Should we make this a shirt or hoody? Quasha designdid it!
Since Spring Cleaning is about to get underway FCF has some new guidelines for our furry friends while in the gym. These guidelines are set up to ensure a safe, healthy, happy environment that we strive in our community, all of which apply to humans and canines alike!
CLEANLINESS. Short hair or long hair, do your dogs leave behind a trail on the ground? What if there was an accident? Do you vacuum/clean it up afterward? You realize that a fellow athlete may be doing their next set of burpees or situps or mobility on that same spot on the ground.
SAFETY. Are your dogs free from harm? There is a lot of potentially dangerous equipment and moving people around. Constantly. Consider your dog’s physical and emotion safety. Some signs to look for in your dog that indicate they are not relaxed; lip licking, panting, yawning, shaking, and whining.
COMFORT. Remember that not everyone loves dogs. That could leave some of your fellow athletes apprehensive about moving about the space free of anxiety. They, like you, pay for a membership so they have a safe place to go to to relieve stress, not add to it. Take this into account that is it not uncommon to be allergic to dogs. Some people are effected by just having dog dander in their environment. This would make it physically uncomfortable for those to enjoy their time in the gym. Also any aggression by an animal towards a human is a no no.
DISRUPTIVENESS. Is your dog being disruptive to class? Barking and whining are a normal part of dog’s communicating, but when it’s loud and rowdy during our classes it becomes difficult, tiresome, and annoying in the gym. You and your swolemates are paying good money to be taught by our coaches. Any extra noise/distraction is very difficult for staff to talk over, and for athletes to pay attention to.
SPACE. Is your dog taking up floor space that is needed by other athletes? Is your pup blocking equipment, or worse- using needed equipment. Our community is ever-growing and space in the gym is limited. If you are an evening athlete, you know this all too well. Please keep in mind the space that is needed for you to tether your dog and the radius of movement they have on their leash (this is not an invitation to shorten your dog’s leash). Better to leave the pup at home and show up late, than to bring him or her to the gym and be a nuisance.
EQUIPMENT. What are you using to “park” your dog? First, we only support having your dog on a harness. If your dog is tied up by a collar, they can easily hurt themselves if they are pulling. A harness provides a safer experience for your dog. Using equipment such as kettle bells to anchor your dog is fine, but please put the equipment away when you are finished. Gymnastic mats are NOT to be used for your dogs! If they need something comfy to lay on, bring in a towel or blanket for them. Make sure they aren’t in proximity to equipment that can be chewed on either. Lacrosse balls, Crossover Symmetry systems, etc.
If your dog is struggling with separation anxiety of being in the gym, we encourage you to help them out by training them. Come into the gym on one of your non-training days at an hour where there are less athletes in class, and focus solely on helping your dog acclimate to the sounds and movements in the gym… Remember: this means no working out for you that hour!
” If you reward your dog for doing something, she will repeat the behavior. If there is no reward, the behavior will go away. Simple, right? But we don’t always think about it. We are actually training our dogs every instant that we are with them, but we don’t often use that to our advantage. If you don’t pay attention to what you are teaching your dog, you could end up training your dog to jump on you, whine for attention, and run away when called!”
– Ahimsa Dog Training
This is very easily applied to training your dog to be relaxed in the gym while you work out. Make smarter choices for you and your animal.
Otis, canine member of Foundation CrossFit since 2011
We ask that you take these guidelines and philosophies into consideration when you bring your pup into the gym. If you have any questions regarding these guidelines or anything dog training related, please don’t hesitate to ask us.
Coach Andrea has spent over 2 years training her dog Theo at Ahimsa Dog Training, which led to her certification to be a Certified Therapy Team. As a team, they do work around the community to help de-stress people.
She also volunteered at the Seattle Humane Society in their Dog Behavior and Socialization devision. If it were not for all the passion she has for dogs and positively-reinforced training, Theo would not be the well behaved boy that he is.