Many people start the new year with the aim of loosing a few pounds and getting fit and healthy, but then slowly the intention slides and you get stuck back in that rut.

But you have a partner to keep up that motivation! What better incentive than those big brown eyes (*other colours available), begging for you to clip on that lead and put on that harness, and get going to explore the great outdoors together. Your canine partner will always want to get up and out - even when you don’t quite have that energy after work, or it’s raining and muddy. Your dog doesn’t care - and you’ll feel better for doing something once achieved.

Canicross

If you don’t yet enjoy a dog sport with your dog yet, there’s lots to choose from...

You could look at Canicross. This is cross country running with your dog. It’s simple and easy to get started - all you need is a dog and a pair of trainers, and you can get out and get fit together. There’s a few pieces of kit that we’d recommend for you both - a harness for your dog to allow him to pull forwards, a bungee line to connect you both together and a belt for you to wear to clip the line to. And you’re all set.

Bikejoring is another option - not quite as simple as Canicross to get started but just as much fun! And again, great exercise for you both! Your dog is connected and runs in harness in front of your bike, with you pedalling to assist.

Alternatively, dog scootering is a sport that you can enjoy together. Your dog pulls you along whilst in harness and you can scoot to help out at the tough sections.

Dry land mushing races take place throughout the UK. Most winter weekends, you are likely to find teams of sled dogs racing through the forest trails ranging from 1 dog teams up to 8 dog teams. Usually taking place on 3 or 4 wheeled rigs, (and ever hopeful of that snow fall to allow the sleds out), trails are around 3 miles in length and are timed runs.

Backpacking allows you to get out and explore the wilderness with your dog. You can enjoy short day time walks or even multiple night camping trips together. Why not get your canine chum to help carry the load?

There’s lots of things and activities you and your dog can get out and do. May be you already take part in one of these activities and you want to try something new; perhaps you want to spend more time doing the one activity you currently do already? Perhaps you have a set challenge in mind? A particular event you want to take part in? A distance you want to achieve?

Whatever you decide to do this year, all that matters is that you both enjoy yourselves and the time spent together.

Team bonding