Running with your dog at Parkrun – Tips and etiquette

Posted by Ginetta George, 3rd October 2015

If you’ve been tempted to join your local 5K parkrun on a Saturday morning – why not run with your dog too?

We met up at the Bushy Park parkrun yesterday with some of the students who recently completed our couch-5k canicross course, – it was great fun! This location was the first ever parkrun venue and they were celebrating their 11th Birthday with a staggering 1185 participants on the start line at 9am.

Running in a parkrun with your dog is great fun

Prior to attending a parkrun you need to register online where you get a unique barcode number (you need to print this out and take with you) – visit

We advise that you contact your chosen venue to check that they allow dogs, as each one is different. Parkrun also have a policy for dogs taking part:

  • Only one dog per runner
  • Dogs should be on a short  line.  At DogFit we have a shorter Park Run length approved line at 1.2m. You can find it here. It also has an additional handle near the clip end, which is handy if you need to pull your dog in close at any time.

It’s brilliant that parkrun allows runners with dogs to take part, but good to be mindful of a few things so they will continue to do so.

  • Keep your dog under control at all times
  • Run with a short line and take care not to trip up any other runners
  • Think about starting at the back of the run so more space for your dog when you start off
  • Keep your distance from other runners
  • Overtake on the outside and let someone know if you are passing
  • If your dog needs to relieve itself, move off the course and always clean up
  • Be polite and thank other runners if they have moved over for you
  • Don’t forget water for your dog at the end
  • In summer months, check the humidity is not too high

Great day for a parkrun

Parkrun is a great concept, people of all ages compete at their own pace. Volunteers marshall everyone around the park and are really supportive – which is great and encourages you to keep running. If you run at an event regularly, consider volunteering to help support the venue.

When you get to the finish you are sent down a taped tunnel and given a token at the end.   This is then scanned and recorded together with your barcode and by noon on Saturday you get your results – which definitely spurs you on to improve when you go again.

This was my first parkrun too with Coco, so we were complete newbies, but had a great time and will definitely be doing it again.  It was also fabulous to see our couch-5k runners now fit enough to canicross 5k non-stop 🙂 Well done you guys!


Since we created this blog post in 2015, unfortunately Parkrun made a ruling in 2021 that you cannot take part with your dog wearing a Canicross (human) belt. You can only run with a handheld lead, which is something that we would definitely not recommend as this would pull you off balance.

2 responses to “Running with your dog at Parkrun – Tips and etiquette

  1. Paul Kalinauckas says:

    My dog loves parkrun. Unfortunately he takes off like a rocket and I struggle to keep up with him. Improves my time by over 10% though. The trick I found is to just lift up my knees and let him drag me along.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *