Triathlon Racing With Dogs Catches On

Now your furry training partner can run races with you.

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Your best friend can be your race buddy in certain dog-friendly triathlons. Via Halfpoint/Thinkstock
Your best friend can be your race buddy in certain dog-friendly triathlons. Via Halfpoint/Thinkstock
John Virata

Some folks often train with their dogs before they go and compete in human triathlons. Because of the popularity of running with dogs, some triathlons have been tailored to accommodate them.

The races first started cropping up on the racing circuit about seven years ago, according to a Bloomberg news report.

The pan-European IronDog competition was the first to integrate human racers with their dog counterparts. And now, another series of races, the TriDog, are planned for Germany, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic in 2016, according to Bloomberg.

Training with your dog is not unlike training for a human race. Via blyjak/Thinkstock

Training with your dog is not unlike training for a human race. Via blyjak/Thinkstock

According to the Bloomberg report, the training a dog goes through for a triathlon is not all that different from that of a human. Trainers take their dogs running three times a week, with bike training occurring twice every other week during the winter and swimming in the summer. It all depends on the race as well as the human.

There is an upside to all this exercise as well. Triathlon racer Emily Thomas of the United Kingdom told Bloomberg New that her husky-collie cross, Tegan, had separation anxiety. When she started training with Tegan and her two other dogs, things changed.

“I’ve got three high-energy dogs and all I need to do is take them out for a half-hour run in the morning, and they’re fine the rest of the day,” she told Bloomberg News.

The president of the British Veterinary Association, Gudrun Ravetz, who is also a triathlete, couldn’t agree more.

“Anything that encourages people to enjoy their time with their dogs responsibly in the outdoors is good for the health of the dog, both mental and physical,” Ravetz told Bloomberg News.

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