Bark Run: a summer of sport and fun for 140 dogs, from lazy Labradors to agile Akitas

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The 3km agility course around Wimbledon Common challenged the mental and physical ability of the canine companions – echoing the Park Runs which take place up and down the UK.

From lazy Labradors to agile Akitas, dogs of all shapes, sizes, ages and breeds came together for an afternoon of sprinting through hay bales and rummaging for treats. 

Obstacles included the “Zig Wag” — a zig-zag walk to test dog’s balance skills —; “Sprinted Slalom” — a run and dodge element through hay bales —, and the “Drenched Doggy Dash” finale to give them a well-earned cool down.

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Bark Run was created by tails.com to celebrate dogs getting involved in the “summer of sport”.

There was also the yoga-inspired “Downward Dog” where small-sized pups came in handy as they were challenged to crawl through enclosed spaces to get to the other side.

And the aptly named “Every Day I’m Snufflin” – a timed treasure hunt task for dogs to sniff out a series of treats and toys.

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The event was kicked off by double gold Olympic medallist and nine-time world champion Victoria Pendleton with her beloved Malinois, Vala.

Tails.com ambassador and dog lover Lorraine Kelly followed shortly behind in the obstacle course with her Border Terrier, Angus.

Victoria said: “I know the value of choosing the right food to create strong performance, and my dogs are no different.

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“It has been an honour to be the first person to take part in Bark Run. Vala did so well – we make a great team.”

Sean McCormack, head vet at tails.com, said: “Bark Run is designed to create walkies with a difference for dogs and their owners no matter what the dog’s age, breed or lifestyle. 

“We see the benefits of tailored nutrition every day in building healthy, happy dogs for our customers and Bark Run is a great way for dogs and their owners to enjoy a sporting experience together. 

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“We’ve all wanted to celebrate the ‘Summer of Sport’, and we believe dogs shouldn’t have to miss out.”

Find out how to set up your own Bark Run at home here, and download a Bark Run at Home guide for creating your very own challenge.

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