Two New Hobbies for Beanie and Biggles

Heelwork to Music

Last night Beanie and I went to a ‘Heelwork to Music’ workshop that was organised by the Glasgow Dog Training Club. This is something I typically wouldn’t touch with a barge pole as I have two left feet and absolutely no sense of rhythm. However, our obedience teacher Val assured us that it wasn’t about dancing but more about clicker training and teaching tricks.

It turned out to be perfect for Beanie as it’s so fast paced. The handler doesn’t have to dance – it’s more like getting the dog to do tricks around you. We’re starting classes in the next week or two. So watch this space – you might just see a video clip of Beanie and her gawky mum doing a rendition of the Sugar Plum Fairy ! Not sure what music we’ll get Biggles dancing to – the theme tune to Roobarb and Custard suits him well.


Paul wrote about our trip to Muirshiels Park at the weekend and Biggles and Beanie’s determination to pull us at break-neck speed accross the countryside.

At the time, we talked about finding a hobby for them that satisfied this urge for cross-country running. We thought perhaps tracking, but Paul has reservations as he feels that if they learn what their noses are really for it might be a bit like opening Pandora’s Box.

We think we’ve discovered the perfect sport for them (and us!). Paul and I have always been fitness fanatics until the last couple of years when family bereavements and injuries took their toll. We hope to get back to full fitness but it’s hard to find time with two active, impossible-to-tire beagles to amuse. Cani-cross sounds like the perfect activity for us. In simple terms it’s just cross country running with your dog. However, the difference is that the dog wears a special harness on a bungie lead that attaches to waist belt. The idea is to gain extra speed by letting the dog pull you up hills (Which Beanie and Biggles LOVE to do). The sport was invented by husky owners whose dogs needed a good daily workout but could not be let off the lead. Here’s a clip of a recent cani-cross event:

We’ve already ordered the harnesses and leads and some good cross country trainers for us. Paul’s fitness is quite good so he can run with Beanie. I’m still recovering from a hip injury so Biggles and I will make a great team – we can slowly build up running fitness together. By the time he’s a year old and allowed to compete we should both be fit and raring to go!

2 Replies to “Two New Hobbies for Beanie and Biggles”

  1. Lisa

    I have seen this activity when the BBC were televising Crufts last year. It looked great fun. Where are you going to find all the time to do agility, flyball, htm and cani cross? Looks like you are going to have to become a full time mum!

  2. Susan Westlake Post author

    We run our own business and work from home. At most we only work 4 hours a day and the rest of the time we’re doing stuff with the dogs. It’s what we enjoy most. It’s actually easier having activities to go to as I don’t have to spend time thinking up interesting things to do!

    Actually, the full canine activity list reads:

    – obedience
    – swimming
    – beagle racing (150m chasing a lure)
    – agility
    – flyball
    – hill walking
    – road racing (5k’s)

    …and now HWM and cani-cross!

    But there’s time for it all.

    Our harnesses arrived this morning so we’re off up Ben An tomorrow. It’ll be nice getting dragged up…..not so sure how the downhill trip will be, but it’ll be fun!

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