Luke's Dog School | Tips on reading your dogs body language

Last Sunday we headed out on our May Fetch & Follow dog walk where we were joined by dog trainer Luke Balsam from Luke's school of dog. The weather was beautiful and as a group we spent the morning exploring Hampstead Heath while Luke shared with us tips on how to spot and read the body language our dogs our showing us.

Luke has been kind enough to share some additionally tips for all of your who couldn't attend the walk, along with some links to helpful information sheets.

Dog Body Language
Remember, we must first know what our dog is like a relaxed and in a playful state so we can determine if the state they are in now is unrelaxed. When reading a dogs body language try to understand the context and look at the whole dog, the tail, ears, body position, eyes, mouth, etc.

Also, think about the breed, their natural body shape and body position and how that breed interacts and plays (it will differ depending on breed)

Useful information sheets on a dogs body language

Walk and Talk Series | Fetch & Follow Dog Walks | May

After a break for Easter our Fetch & Follow Walk and Talk series is back and this time we are taking the walk to a new area of London! For our May walk we will be venturing to the beautiful Hampstead Heath where we will be joined by dog trainer Luke Balsam who runs Luke's Dog School who will be talking us through tips on how to read your dog's body language. He will be explaining the importance of understanding what your dog (and other dogs) body language is actually saying to us when out and about in the park and how we can use this to ensure our dogs are happy and feel safe.

Luke started his career as a dog trainer aged 12, when he taught the family’s golden retriever some tricks. In return, his current dog, a rescue cocker spaniel, has taught Luke a few tricks about high-energy dogs that always need a job. Now a fully qualified dog trainer, Luke has a deep passion for helping and working with rescue dogs: he has managed Therapaws, the animal therapy programme of Mayhew in London, and still volunteers with the NAWT at its kennels to help train dogs to help with their rehoming chances. When he is not with homeless pooches, he trains dogs and owners how to live together happily.

The walk will taking place on Sunday the 26th May at Hampstead Heath at 11am
To book your space CLICK HERE
*Photo credit for the central image from Wunderdog Magazine by George Baxter 

Learning to Run with your Dog | Canicross

For our March Walk & Talk we were joined by Clare Grierson, Founder of Muddy Mutleys and DogFit canicross instructor, and Jo Ashbridge passionate canicrosser organising meetups across London.

We discussed canicross as an activity, the ideal kit, cues and the range of benefits before heading out on a run with our dogs. It was the perfect way to start a Sunday morning! 

Clare has shared with us her top tips, along with answering questions on all things Canicross 

What is Canicross? 

It’s off road, hands free cross country running with your dog originating from dogsledding/ skijoring and is suitable for all ages and abilities.

  What Kit do I need and why?

A good well fitting harness for your dog that is designed for canicross

The correct length bungee lead to connect you and your dog which is designed to absorb any shock from the pull.

A well fitting waist belt for you – It is important that the running belt sits on the top of the hips rather than around the waist. 

How old should my dog be to start running?

As with any dog sport your dog should be 1 year of age but take in to account the size of the breed – It is also a good idea to seek advice from your vet before starting. 

Can any breed take part?

Yes, if the dog is old enough, healthy enough and willing enough

Why is this canicross a good idea?

It increases fitness and stamina along with being a bonding and training opportunity for both you and your dog

My dog is fearful of other dogs, would canicross be good for them?

If this is the case then Canicross is excellent as it increases confidence for both you and your dog. New experiences and positive associations

My dog cant be let off the lead
Then this gives your dog the perfect opportunity to run and enjoy running and to gain some of the benefits of being of the lead


For more information on Canicross visit the DOGFIT website and you can find out about your nearest social running group below.