How to get more speed out of your dog safely

The rules I've seen for motivating your dog to move as fast as possible are:

  1. Use a motivator your dog absolutely loves
  2. Keep your training sessions short and to the point
  3. Balance your training sessions
  4. Resist the Urge to "Cheerlead" your dog
  5. Try teaching handling skills without the equipment first
  6. Practice lots of restrained recalls and races over obstacles to a prize

I think two key concepts and fundamentals for speed are being missed in many of the "rules" for increasing your dog's speed through the environment.

We've already stated a few times that safety is paramount in Canine Parkour. Speeding through the landscaping is not necessarily conducive to safety. If you've ever watched a dog in a new environment, they learn the layout first, long before they try moving with any speed or what would seem randomness through that new space. Then slowly, as they learn where the holes are, where the ants are congragating, and who's on first, they pick up the speed of their movements. Understanding and familiarization are key. So I would add to those rules, right before #5 that first you acclimate your dog to the main training environment and then generalize that learning to any new environment.

If you watch all the videos of the most well-known Parkour dog TreT, you will find the ones showing his training. That training never asks for complicated, at speed manuevers from the dog in a new environment. Everything is trained and repeated for fluency and safety.

The second concept is that of arousal. Most "speed" is done at high arousal and there is nothing wrong with that, except and until your dog can't think while that highly aroused. Rule #1 states to use a motivator your dog absolutely loves. But will that motivation send your dog over the top to mindless need? Training your dog to be able to think, to make high speed decisions and to understand that frantically running around will not get rewarded is paramount in your training in Parkour.

Jogging/Circle Work

In Training

Standard Parkour



Jumpers Parkour

Creative Parkour