Racing with your dog can be a fun way to keep fit

This game is not a good idea if you own a greyhound or an Irish setter, but if you have a medium sized dog such as a cocker spaniel then this energetic training routine may be a great way for you both to keep fit.

You will need a small clicker, garden canes, stopwatch, small healthy dog treats, sweets and small toys. Another family member who wants to join in can make it more interesting.

The first thing to do is to create a race track in the yard or garden at the back of your home with either canes or cones. The best layout is a zigzag or a circle.

With your dog on a lead walk him around the course, then both of you trot around the course again. Third time around should be a gentle jog.  At the end of each course give your dog a treat and plenty of praise.

Start the race with you setting off first, and then call your dog to follow. If at first you do not succeed if your dog is being a little slow, place a long lead on your dog and let him follow you. He will soon get the idea.

Once your dog knows what is expected of him it can be fun to set the race up for all the family to join in.