Friday, August 28, 2015

Parkour Dogs

Phoenix in a tree at Thousand Acres.

This week I got a lot of questions and some concerns regarding my Monday Mischief post: To Catch a Squirrel... if you didn't see it just click the link. I decided to make a post about it so I can clear the air. There was NO squirrel in the tree where I was photographing the dogs. It was a joke.

Phoenix posing on the fence at Thousand Acres.

What is Parkour? (AKA: Free Running) From Wikipedia: Pakour is a training discipline using movement that developed from military obstacle course training. Practitioners aim to get from one point to another in a complex environment, without assistive equipment and in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Parkour includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling, quadrupedal movement, and other movements as deemed most suitable for the situation.

It's basically like agility but we use whatever obstacles we find! The dogs are trained to balance on fence posts, climb trees, jump over things. Everything I do with my dogs is completely controlled and trained.

Zoe on the giant rock at the south end Cannon Beach.

Zoe on the giant rock at the south end Cannon Beach.

If you look up "parkour dogs" on youtube you will find some pretty extreme videos. We don't do any of that extreme stuff at all. I don't allow them to jump down from places that are too high, especially if the landing will be on cement and we are very careful about the things we do. I would never allow them to do this sort of thing when they were overstimulated and chasing a critter.

Zoe posing on a pillar!
Phoenix learning parkour.

So the tree they were in was a tree that had been split and half of it was on the ground, they were able to hop up on a low branch and climb up into the tree. As you can see, Zoe is making her descent. She's focused on the branch of the tree and is very careful where she's placing her paws. We've done a ton of rear end awareness training. She knows exactly where her front and rear paws are. 

In 4 years of doing this we have never had an injury. 

Parkour can be great exercise and there's a ton of variety with it. It's jumping, it's running, it's balancing. My dogs really enjoy it. However, with any sort of sport like this, your dog needs to be physically fit. I would not recommend doing this if your dog is overweight. If you're interested in parkour and never done any sort of obstacle training, I would recommend finding an agility class and doing that first with a qualified instructor. I used to take agility classes with my family dogs and it was so much fun. I learned a lot. I would also recommend doing rear end awareness exercises and starting on really low and wide objects that are easy for your dog to negotiate while they are learning.

Happy Fit Dog Friday everyone! 

Do you do any sort of obstacle training with your dog? Tell me about it in the comments!

Disclaimer: ZoePhee is not a vet or fitness specialist. ZoePhee is not responsible for any injuries or loss that occur from reading this blog post. Always see a professional before starting an exercise program. ZoePhee does not condone putting your dog in unsafe situations without the proper training and knowledge, please be cautious with any sort of training like this.


  1. Wow wow wow! That video is amazing! You're dogs are so fit!

  2. It sure looks like they are having fun.

  3. ohhh, the jump up in the tree is impressive! Thanks for sharing that!

  4. I love these pictures! Agility training has definitely made Barley a better model on our hikes ;) She loves trotting along low/fallen limbs and balancing on rocks!

  5. Parkour can be a really fun fitness alternative if you have the right kind of dog...and you do! We do obstacle work with Jack, but he's kind of a big lug, so tree climbing is out, but we use rocks and fences and logs, etc.

  6. Wow, that's really amazing and it looks like the dogs really enjoy it too. I wish I'd started Delilah on this when we first got her. I once saw her run almost straight up a rock!

  7. Very well balanced girls! We do that a little bit for photos, but not as much as you do. I might want to hang out with you guys, though, if you can climb trees. I can't do that, but it would help in catching squirrels.

  8. We do this,too! People can be absolutely ridiculous in the blog world.

  9. That's what we do we just never knew it had a name! I'm always walking on trees, fences and climbing stuff when we go places. Zoe and Phoenix look like they enjoy it for sure! Love Dolly

  10. WOW!! You are SO talented!!! I wish my huskies would do this, but they are huge chickens! LOL!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  11. I love it!!! We do agility in our backyard, and we play on natural obstacles just like you do. Your girls look so happy and fit. It is such a fun thing to be able to do in the forest.

  12. Looks like so much fun! I'd like to try this out with Bain at the river and park.


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