I see being able to share a little bit of what I know and love as one of my favourite things in life. That's part of MOTIVATING people. I mean, if you really like what you do, and you are somehow in possession of good communication skills, sharing experiences is one great way of bringing people together.
And I still don't speak perfect dutch, but one must start from somewhere, right?!
So yesterday we had this first (free) workshop "Hardlopen met je hond" (Running with your dog). When I first announced it, I was actually expecting talking to around five people, but ended up talking to and running with a group of 13 people + 13 dogs.
But bringing 13 dogs inside a 20m2 room without any previous contact could be pretty risky in terms of noise but specially because it could also be really stressful and not a nice experience for some of them. So we started with 15 minutes of "play time" outside and then went inside - and had no problems at all!!!
We did not had time enough to get deep in any subject, but I tried to make an overview of what running with your dog basically involves. I told them why I started running with my dogs and how running together motivates me to run even more; I also explained the differences between canicross, canitrail and running with the dog. And after that I presented a little introduction of how I taught my dogs the right commands and what are some important commands for the dogs to know (left, right, stop, slow down, faster, keep going and so on); I also briefly spoke about where to run safely in the city (sidewalk, bike path, which side, etc) and how to choose the best routes (using the same route in the beginning will help your dog to learn commands, for instance). After that, Jan Douma, from Steenbok Sport, presented and explained the differences on material for canicross and canitrail.
Around 40 minutes later, we went out for a very pleasure running session together. It was SO nice to see and be part of a running group with 13 dogs!! We ran 3 laps in a very beautiful 2,5Km route where the group could experience asphalt and cross terrains.
We did some stops on the way where I took the opportunity to give them some tips about the communication with the dog and how to decide where exactly to run when there are different possibilities.
People passing by smile, film and talk about us with so much joy that it couldn't feel better!!! I love seeing people laughing or smiling when they look at us!!! And I love the way WE feel too - of course!!!! There is no way one will be mad while or after running with his dog(s)!
I am already looking forward to the next workshop! I will now plan and organise different workshops with focus on one specific subject so we can go deeper in each of them: commands, route choices, the dog's physical conditioning, the best sport choice according to the dog's personality and safety are my first ideas!!! (What else would you like to learn about?)
I wish a lot of kms and fun for you and your dog and hope to see you soon!