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Seven new ways to exercise your dog

Seven new ways to exercise your dog
This article contains: dog Cani-cross CaniX Fly ball Heelwork to music

Dog owners: fancy a change from a circuit of the park? Try one of these!

1) Go the distance with CaniX
CaniX is canine cross-country running for people of all ages and fitness levels. Over 1,500 teams competed in CaniX UK events last year and the sport looks set to run and run. Humans over 10 years and dogs over one year can all join in and there are graded trails for different abilities. You can enter a 21km distance event if you and your dog are fit enough – but there are also gentler 2.5km trails.

2) Become a musher
If you are the owner of a sled-dog breed, the best way to harness their natural pulling power is by getting involved in organised breed activities. Siberian Huskies, Greenland Dogs, Alaskan Malamutes and Samoyeds can all take part in racing or trekking events. You don't need snow, but you will require specialised equipment and dogs that are well trained for the sport.

3) Have a go at Fly ball
Fly ball is a fast-paced, action-packed sport which is thrilling for participants and spectators alike. A team of dogs competes in a relay race across hurdles and has to retrieve a tennis ball thrown from a spring-loaded box before returning to the start. Border Collies and working sheepdogs do particularly well, but dogs of any breed or size can join in so long as they are fit and sociable.

4) Walkies goes large
Most of us usually enjoy taking our dog for a walk, but sometimes it can be hard to find the proper motivation to stick to a regular routine. So, why not start a dog-walking group? It doesn't have to be anything formal, just ask a few fellow dog walkers to join you once or twice a week. Plan some new routes, try some new games, and learn some new tricks. The dogs will absolutely love playing with a regular circle of friends. Why not arrange your own group?
Community classifieds website www.gumtree.co.uk can be a good place to start

5) A day at the races
Just-for-fun Afghan Hound races take place all over the country (details are available from the Afghan Hound Association www.ahaonline.co.uk) while many Whippet clubs in Britain also hold regular events (check out www.thewhippetclub.com). Terrier races are held at many country shows and games fairs, and are usually open to anyone.

6) Strictly come doggy dancing
Do you have a flair for the foxtrot or an itch for the cha cha cha? Why not teach your dog to give a twirl? Heelwork to music - or canine freestyle as it's also known - is a competitive sport that combines the skills of obedience training with a touch of grace and rhythm. This fun approach to serious training will keep both you and your dog on your toes, and it's very entertaining to watch.

7) Doggy assault course

About a third of people who visit woods are dog walkers, so the Forestry Commission has launched a Walkies in the Woods campaign to promote responsible dog ownership and make their woodlands as dog-friendly as possible. The latest innovation is a trail designed by canine agility experts, which has been built at Coatham Wood, near Long Newton, Teesside. The one-mile trail has pipes, tunnels, posts, beams, steps and hurdles and is a fantastic way for you and your dog to keep active.

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nick whyte
Been away for 5 weeks, come back to find my insurance has lapsed.contacted petplan, now stae they will not reinstate my policy.... pretty poor service for a company who state they are the market leaders.never insure your pet with this company!!!!!!!
Karen nicol
Wilf is four years old, not four months.
Colin spence
It seems pretty poor that this large company did not no Karen nicol dog wilfIs four years old not four months along with the other comment left by someoneWho was on Holliday and whilst away his policy lapsed you'd think pet plan would on One off term reinstate him and keep him as a customer not tell him NO !!!!I'm now thinking have I joined the right company !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Colin spence
Rachel Bell
i insured Dent with petplan then got Billie and spent good part of an hour on the internet and phone adding Billie to our policy. So now theyre saying Billie is insured but not Dent. Wot a load of rubbish. Gunna cancel Billies and go with another company who is cheaper and hopefully better. not wasting my time and money with petplan.
carol Mitchell
I hav etried lots of insurance companies, as I have had dogs and cats for many years, and believe me there is not an insurance company to beat them. They insure your dog for life from a puppy, and do not put in exclusions, there maybe cheaper out there but nowhere as good as. That is my experience with them. Although I do think it was unfair not to insure the dog when the owner returned from holiday and had forgotten, I always pay by direct debit so that does no happen, but still no reason not to insure
I have been insuring dogs with Petplan for over 20 years. I won't say there have never been problems but they have always been worked out. I would not hesitate to recommend Petplan to anyone looking for a good quality insurance. Not always the cheapest I know but in my view worth every penny.
Hi NinaThank you for sharing your comments with everyone. We post a new blog each week so if you have any tips to share please do share these with everyone.Thanks Jade - the Petplan Team
Lily is 4 months old now, she is a tea cup yorky, tiny....but creates havak in the house, she run round like a wirlwind , loves playingwith her toys getting lost in garden in the shrubs then jumping out in front of you, so cute, but the kther side of our lily she curls up under your chin and is fast asleep, my other 2 dogs dont know whats hit them,..but theylove her.
Steve Norris
I had a Yorkie for 15 years that passed away New Years Eve 2013, I said I would never have another dog. But low and behold we now have 2 Pomeranians one boy one girl, we had a lot of problems at first but Vets for Pets have been fantastic the girl is 14 weeks and a hand full the boy is 17 weeks and is as bad. But thank you Vets for Pets for everything you have done.
Hi JeanWe hope Lily is well. I too have a Yorkshire Terrier, named 'Bettie', and even though she is small, she can certainly run loops around me! We hope our tips above are helpful for you. Please do come back as we post a new blog topic each week. Many thanks, Jade - the Petplan Team
Hi SteveI'm so sorry to hear about the news of your Yorkie. We hope your two Pomeranians are okay and well.Do let us know if you need anything. Many thanks,Jade - the Petplan Team
I have been with pet plan for years and years with dogs and cats and have never had any problems. They always pay very promptly . And I have always found them very helpful. I wouldn't insure with anyone else.
Dorothy Davies
I have been with pet plan for years. My 11 year old dog Lilly died last year. During her life she had several serious conditions including 2 cruciate ligament repairs. Pet plan never let me down once or quibble with my claims. Not many companies let the vet claim on your behalf, this saves having to find the money up front and then claim it back. I wouldnt use anyone else.

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