Christina Young, instructor for City of Nanaimo parks and rec’s intro to dog parkour and urban agility class, and dog Enzo, demonstrate some of the techniques that will be taught in the class, which will be held at Bowen Park. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Active Life: Dog parkour keeps owners, pets on the move

Introduction to dog parkour course offered by City of Nanaimo parks and rec this fall

The dog days of summer may be over, but the City of Nanaimo parks and recreation department says people can get active with their canine companions into early fall.

A course called ‘introduction to dog parkour and urban agility’ is being offered on the Bowen Park complex grounds until Oct. 2 and uses parkour techniques, training that takes its cue from military obstacle courses and involves jumping and climbing. The class will see owners and dogs working together to scale benches, logs and stairs, hopefully strengthening their bond in the process.

“Parkour is an awesome sport,” said Christina Young, instructor and professional dog trainer. “Any dog can do it: puppies, old dogs, young dogs. It can build your relationship with your dog, it can be used to build confidence in your dog, give your dog some mental stimulation and it can be done anywhere.”

Young said dogs can jump on anything, put their front feet up, go up stairs, go around trees and walk along logs and cement barriers.

“We do a lot of arounds – around trees, around different obstacles – weaving through posts, hopping up and off of logs, benches, under benches, around benches,” said Young.

Participants must bring a properly fitting harness for their dog, which should be comfortable around other dogs and people. If owners are asking their dogs to jump up, Young said the harness will provide support and she wants participants to be able to spot their dogs safely if they’re asking them to jump up on items that are high.

Owners should bring their dogs’ favourite treats in order to provide incentive.

“We use lots of cheese, or cookies and treats so the dogs do these behaviours in order to earn the things they love, so they end up loving the behaviours themselves,” said Young.

Owners and dogs will learn to interact more when they go on walks, according to Young. Owners can engage their dogs and have more fun, she said.

Deborah Beck, City of Nanaimo recreation coordinator, said if people are going to get out and get active, it only make sense to get their four-legged friends involved as well.

“It’s really fun and … if you have your children with you, they can come along and learn how to do it. The whole idea of play, playing with your kids, playing with your pets, being outside and being active – throw it all together,” said Beck.

The dog parkour course runs on Tuesdays until Oct. 2 and goes from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the upper picnic shelter at Bowen Park. For information about registration, visit and click on the recreation and parks tab.

Beck said there aren’t any plans to change the course name to ‘Barkour,’ although she does like the idea.

“There hasn’t been, but I think that would be really fun,” Beck said with a laugh.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Nanaimo actress wins two Joey Awards for young Canadian actors

Hannah Zirke, 13, won for her TV roles in ‘When Calls the Heart’ and ‘Sacred Lies’

Family-friendly production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ comes to Nanaimo

Local playwright describes adaptation as ‘less Alastair Sim, more Muppet’

Column: This holiday season, support a local artist

Many opportunities to attend craft markets in the Nanaimo area in the coming weeks

City declares house on Metral Drive a nuisance property

Nanaimo council votes to start charging for calls for service to the address

Nanaimo’s new council meets for first time in council chambers

Mayor Leonard Krog says council members came to first regular meeting prepared

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP look for tips about suspected poppy donation thief

Police have released images of a man suspected of stealing poppy donation cans

Regional District of Nanaimo to review water infrastructure

Region to make assessments of each of its water service areas

731,000 Canadians going into debt to buy prescription drugs: UBC

Millennials and those without private coverage were more likely to borrow money

Pot users, investors need to be vigilant at Canada-U.S. border

U.S. authorities say anyone who admits to having used pot before it became legal could be barred

Awards will recognize business excellence on Vancouver Island

Nomination period begins for Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

Over 150,000 accidents happened during the holiday season last year

Great Nanaimo Toy Drive begins its campaign leading up to Christmas

The 36th Great Nanaimo Toy Drive will make sure children have presents on Christmas morning

Most Read