Also called “urban agility”, dog parkour combines human parkour [also called “free running”] and dog agility to create an accessible activity for dogs and humans alike. Dogs learn to interact with the world around them [jumping, climbing, balancing, crawling, etc.]; in the process, they become more confident and trusting. And bonus: this activity can even help a dog overcome their fears.
Some of the work I’ve done with Glimmer over the past few years has been a form of dog parkour. I can attest to the positive effects it has had on both her confidence, and her trust. While she doesn’t take parkour to the same level other dogs do [e.g. she doesn’t crawl under things yet], she’s learned how to climb onto and stay seated on irregular-shaped objects such as rocks and fallen tree limbs, she’s learning how to balance on narrow planks, and she’s learning how to go into a down position on fallen logs. When we finish a dog parkour session, her eyes sparkle with happiness and she has a huge grin on her face.
If your dog is exhibiting signs of boredom [e.g. chewing up furniture, tearing apart the garbage cans, destroying pillows, etc.], give some thought to getting you and your dog into a dog parkour course. It will drain out all that excess mental and physical energy, and because it’s low-impact and limited only by conditions you and your dog can realistically work with, even older and low-energy dogs can have some fun. NOTE: If your dog has a medical condition, seek permission from your veterinarian before starting this or any other physical program.
Have a great day, and remember: Stay calm and lead on.