Camping with your dog

This post will give you all important information that you should know when camping with your dogs. Hopefully, the list can help you to pack more efficiently. Enjoy reading.

Camping area

Check if the camping site that you are planning to go allows dog and what is the charge. Also, a lot of campsites don’t allow your dogs to be off lead, so make sure you keep them on a lead. It is also worth checking if you have more than one dog if the camp site allows you to bring more than one dog. Check facilities around, as for example one of my dogs is anxious around kids, so I wouldn’t want to have a camping pitch nearby playground for kids. It is worth checking if there is anything nearby where you could go and let your dogs off lead, but not going far away from the campsite.

What to pack when going camping?

I will try to list that you can use this as a tick list for when you are planning a trip with your furry babies:

For your dog:

  • Food for dogs including treats: chewy cow ears or tiny high value treats.
  • Water for dogs. You don’t want your dog to have upset belly while you away.
  • Any supplements or meds that your dog eats/needs.
  • Bed and blankets or even a crate if your dog likes to sleep there at home.
  • Toys, I always take few toys, as you can still play with your dogs while they are on a lead (tug game).
  • Towels to dry after a muddy or wet walk.
  • Coat in case it is cold during the night.
  • Extra collars and lead.
  • Poop bags.
  • Stake out or rope.
  • Baby wipes.

For yourself:

  • Tent.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Mattress.
  • Food: breakfast: cereals and milk, or yogurt, lunch: pasta, dinner: BBQ.
  • Stove and gas for it.
  • Pans and wooden spoons for cooking. Dishes such as plate and forks/knife/spoon.
  • Camping chair.
  • Table.
  • Torch with fully charged batteries.
  • Bank battery for your phone.
  • Whistle.
  • Map.
  • Hiking boots.
  • Thermals.
  • In case of competing: your running gear: shoes and clothes, wheels.
  • Gloves and hat.
  • Winter jacket (I know it is only September, but I always have one in my car).
  • Waterproofs.
  • Warm clothes for night.
  • Spray for midges if you are in Scotland.
  • Water.
  • Stuff to clean your dishes.
  • Emergency Card.
  • Know the number for an emergency in the area.
  • The number for the local vet.
  • Everyday clothes.
  • Cosmetics bag 😉
  • Towel.

Road trip

Make sure your dog is well hydrated for the road and during it. You might want to check in advance where are the dog-friendly services that you can stop. Your dog needs to stretch legs just like you. I wouldn’t feed my dogs for a road just in case it would upset their bellies. However a lot of water all the way to the destination. Even if that means I need to stop more often. It is very important.
Have a good music and nice snacks for yourself and enjoy the road trip.

Rules at campsites

  • Exercise your dogs- tired dogs = quiet dogs (no one wants to hear yapping dogs at campsite).
  • Always clean after yourself and your dog.
  • Dogs must be kept on leads.
  • Keep dogs under control.
  • Enjoy.


Happy Camping. Watch this space for our post about our camping in Aviemore. Wishing the runners and bikers clean runs and have fun!

Ruff Dugger

An unusual event is happening every so often in Scotland (check Ruff Dugger Facebook page for more details). Team La Rogata has been four already. We participate but we also help as much as we can. Last time I only helped and it was still great experience to stand at the finish line and see everyone happy and smiley. You probably wonder why people were so happy, so continue reading this post. 

So what’s all the fuss about?

Ruff Dugger is a cross-country run with your dog around challenging course with obstacles such as muddy trenches and roots or even a tree on a way. It is great fun for you and your four-legged friend. You get very dirty. It tests your teamwork for sure. You can sign as an individual team (you and your dog) or you can sign with your bestie (you, your bestie and dog each or even you, your dog and your bestie without dog). 

I have done it as a team with my “volleyball” friend and we had so much laugh that my belly was sore for the next few days. As a team, two dogs and two humans need to work together. You laugh and run together as a team you need to cross the finish line.

The great thing about Ruff Dugger is that it isn’t timed. It is a race, but it doesn’t matter when you cross the line. It matters how much you enjoy it and how much it challenged your team. Ruff Dugger starts in Waves. I absolutely love the names: Mucky Pups (kids), Speedy Gonzales, Dies Hards, Trotters and Hikers. 

Laferra’s first race

I have signed with my younger dog, who has never raced before. She was at races before, but only to spectate. So this was a great opportunity to see how she deals with it. Oh wow, I am speechless. At the starting line, Laferra was crazy so keen to go. As it was a nice big field we had a lot of space from other runners. 5…4…3…2…1… Go and here we go running into the first paddle. Yyy very deep paddle. Laferra wanted to say hi to few people but nicely passed the paddle and here we go again.

On the muddy bits, Laferra decided to go around or stopped, which wasn’t a bad idea as that mud was deep. It was great to work hard with my girl when there were trees on paths. She waited patiently for me to carry her over. The muddy trench was so much fun. It was so slippy and deep, so I carried her. Of course, I don’t force the dog to anything, but I didn’t want to take a chicken leg. It was all about fun. She did amazing staying focused, but she forgot ”

Overall Laferra did amazing staying focused, but she forgot “haw” and “gee”, so we definitely need to work on that. Oh, and she decided she wants to say hi to marshals when they said hi to us. So please any marshal out there, just smile when we pass hahaha I think this will need some extra practice too. We had a chance to overtake but also has been overtaken. She nailed it!

Anyway, I still have a smile on my face as it was hard work running or passing that deep mud and a great afternoon to see all our canicross friends.

What to expect?

What can you expect from the Ruff Dugger:

  • Great experience for you and your dog.
  • Challenging course with muddy trails.
  • Some roots on the way.
  • Lying trees to make you jump over.
  • Maybe some slippy hills.
  • Water crosses.
  • Muddy trenches.
  • A lot of turns- twisty trails (watch for those signs and tapes). One of the Ruff Dugger course has a maze.
  • Marked as normal races, so you can practise reading the signs and giving directions to your dog.
  • Very friendly atmosphere.
  • Great Marshalls.
  • Great advice from Cani-fit regarding equipment for canicross.
  • Nice gadgets from the event. You can buy Ruff Dugger tops, towels or toys for the dogs.
  • Remember to bring clothes to change afterwards or your car will be very muddy.
  • Hose with running water to clean yourself and your dog afterwards.
  • A nice goody bag.
  • A lot of photos for you to remember how much fun you had.
  • Fantastic memories forever.
  • Everyone welcome.

Friends of Team La Rogata

I asked my two friends what they thought about Ruff Dugger, just so you know it isn’t only me loving it. Thanks to Aisling and Fiona for sharing their experience.

“Ruff Dugger was one of the most fun days out for me and my dog Coral. It was just relaxing to have a run in which we were not running against the clock, but working together as a team to get through the muddiest course I have ever been on! She loved it so much, we were smiling the whole way around and I can’t wait for the next one, bring on the mud! ” Aisling Gribbin with Coral

“This is the second Ruff Dugger that I have done with Dakota and she loves it, she was really excited and pulled the whole way round. It’s great to have fun and work as a team getting muddy even if it did mean she had to have a bath after!” Fiona Duxbury with Dakota

Holiday mood

As you can see per title I am in the holiday mood as I am just going for business trip and going away again middle this week. I always plan my holidays including taking the dogs. It is very rare that I don’t take them. Let’s talk about where to leave your dog.


If I leave them the big chance is that I am away with my work for the business trip. It is hard to leave those two behind, but no option. So I thought this week post will be a bit more about how did I choose where those two are staying when I am away. I have the best solution for Roger, as he goes to his previous owners and just has his usual routine with his dog walker.

What to look at.

So when you leave your dog you, of course, want that he or she will enjoy their time. Here’s a list that I used for my two:

  • What will be their daily routine?
  • Where will they sleep?
  • How many walks?
  • Where will they be fed?
  • What walks they will be on?
  • Any stimulations (livestock, play games)
  • How many other dogs will be there?
  • Will my dog run off lead?
  • Who will look after my dogs?
  • Does my dog like them and is friendly with them during initial meeting?
  • Who covers vet bill if something happens to my dog?
  • Do they have a licence?
  • How secure is accommodation and playground area?

That is just a few points that helped me to choose the right place for each dog. My two are totally different, so I looked for different things.


  • Lafie loves other dogs.
  • Loves running off the lead.
  • Human cuddles are acceptable.
  • Not a big fan of kennels/crate.
  • Fine to be fed with other dogs at the same time.
  • She loves livestock, but she wouldn’t chase anything. Being friend with everyone is her motto.
  • Very good with a recall in any place.
  • She keeps checking on a person that she walks with.
  • Trained recall with a whistle.



  • Not a big fan of big groups of dogs.
  • As a cross border collie, he likes to be police or referee when other dogs play.
  • Obsessed with the ball.
  • Crazy obsession with livestock.
  • Obsessive barking when seeing livestock.
  • Not good off lead apart from the beach.
  • Fine to be fed with others in same place or time.
  • Getting stressed when overstimulated.
  • Separation anxiety.
  • Loves his treats.
  • Getting rid of energy is one, but he also needs the stimulation of his tiny brain.

Totally two different dogs to search for one home boarding.

Home boarding

So apart from thinking about my dogs needs, I also checked additional things as mentioned before:

  • License.
  • Bill vets if an injury occurs.
  • How much experience working with dogs has the person who will look after them.
  • What vaccination my dogs need to have to be able to attend.
  • Drop off and pick up times.
  • Any updates on what my dog has been up to?
  • What is the notice to book the dog in?


So I have perfect places for my dogs to stay and daily updates with photos and videos what they have been up to. It makes me stress less and I can enjoy my time away from them if it is for holiday or business trip. Eventually, you want to relax or focus on your job.

Good luck in finding the right place for your furry friend and happy holidays. A Happy business trip to me.

All the fun begins

Training dogs

This week we will focus on training the dogs. You would think it is easy, just go for a run and that’s all. But it isn’t that easy. I am still learning myself but I will share with you what I have learnt so far. When you think how to train your dog you should see it as how you train to improve your running. If you train for some certain distance, you built for it. You run intervals, you run longer distances, you work on pace and heart rate. It is exactly same for your dog.

The training plan is important but also please make sure your dogs are well hydrated for exercises even if it is just fetching the ball.

My dogs love fetching the ball, even Laferra discovered it is fun to catch the ball, as Roger is chasing her and then she gets a lot of strokes from me for bringing the ball. On that note be careful what ball you are using, as I have read a lot about tennis ball being swollen by dogs but also that it is bad for their teeth.

Balls recommendations and interval training

Personally, I would recommend you those three balls:

  • Ruff ‘N’ Tumble Five senses- it appeals to all five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and feel (it smells like beef, got tiny bell inside). Amazon has it for 4.99 GBP.
  • Rosewood Starmark Durafoam ball– extremely durable design, even Roger can’t destroy this one and it is lightweight but easy to throw far away. Amazon has it for 6.92 GBP.
  • Chuckit Ultra Ball– developed to have a high bounce. Amazon has it for 5.49 GBP.

So my two Muppets play with a ball once a week, usually the beach as Roger can be off lead without any stress. They both sprint to catch it and just jog back, which is ideal.


I feel lucky as three times a week my dogs are being walked by a dog walker, who takes them to the beach and both dogs run for an hour. I consider that when planning what are we doing in the morning or evening. They received a bit more food on those days too.

Canicross training is all start and stop up to max 6km (which we do with cani-fit classes). Again I feel lucky to have cani-fit classes, but you can always do it with your social group runs. I do that 3 times a week, but I switch dogs, so probably one dog will do it twice a week.

Bikejor or scootering

This is a new part added to my training for both dogs (it used to be just for Roger). I have learnt that building strength of your dogs is as much important as other training. So once a week short rides that the dogs constantly pull. Roger has no problem with a scooter or a bike. On the other hand, Laferra doesn’t feel as confident near it, but she loves running fast. She is slim, lean and doesn’t really have many muscles yet. So we will do once a week short distance, Laferra pulling constantly with the scooter. Again I feel lucky that I won a scooter, it seems to be very important part of training. Recently Laferra started making that funny noise like purr. It was just for food but now it seems it is for her running harness and scooter. Does that mean she loves the scooter? I hope you watched the video that we posted yesterday?! If not here it is:

Working on her homework! Amazing Sunday morning. what were you up to?

Posted by Dogxplorescotland on Sunday, August 13, 2017


Ok ok training, training, but where is the fun? These all are fun, my dogs love being just out with me running around the woods. Laferra’s prize for hard work is that she can be off lead and hunt birds or bunnies, where Roger would be 5minutes play with a ball or nice sardines in his bowl when he comes back after the run.


When you think about hydration, think twice. How do you feel when you finish run and you won’t drink enough water? A headache, you feel sleepy and very tired? Dogs would feel same. Roger is good and drinks a lot of water during the day normally. Lafie doesn’t drink much at all. An hour prior leaving the house, I put bowl full of water for both dogs. Yes, they won’t drink just a water. I use few things to make them excited every time:

  • Icepaw- Salmon Oil or Cod Oil. 9.99 GBP. It can be any other fishy oil.
  • Icepaw- Fish Powder. 4.99 GBP. (Laferra’s favourite).

When we leave the house dogs are ready to pee all that water! I usually drive to trails which are around 1h drive from the house. That means the dogs drunk 2hours prior training. It works for my two but watch your dog, you know it the best and will know when it was ok to give water to the dog.

After a run, my two wouldn’t drink water. I usually put something in their water:

  • Few Pedigree biscuits. 1 GBP per 500g.
  • Icepaw-Sproutten- two bags 11.99 GBP (it last for a month).
  • Sardines- Lidl 0.37 GBP.


I discover that my two definitely run better on empty stomach, so I feed them an hour after training. Please make sure you don’t feed your dogs before ANY running even if you are going for a walk and they will be off lead running.

This may predispose the dog’s stomach to bloat or twist. Generally Google says an hour prior and afterwards don’t feed your dogs. Depends on how hard they work, they get more or less. I keep an eye on Laferra, as a young dog, we can’t keep same weight on her, so I started feeding her double portions. She managed to gain 2kg in 4 weeks. Let’s keep it this way now.

Again off topic

A lot of folks tell me I am very dedicated to my dogs. Well, I feel I am ready to tell you a short story. Before I moved to Edinburgh my life was just a life, nothing exciting, just normal life. I was even depressed just before I moved to Edinburgh. Big decision and finally arrived in the capital of Scotland. A week later after my move here, I have met Roger via borrowmydoggie. My first thought was I wish he can be my pet. He was amazing, a rescue dog that had a lot of behaviour issues but he loved spending every minute of his life with humans.

I spent more and more time with him and I became happier. One day I adopted him and my life changed. From being a miserable and grumpy person, I changed to that happy outdoory person. Loved spending every minute of my life with Roger. He smiles every day and has such a character that everything else wasn’t important anymore. All my problems disappeared in a second that I was with Roger. I have a bad day at work I come back home and I totally forget about everything. Yes, I am dedicated to my dogs, as I know their life is short and I want to spend as much time as possible with them. I feel like a Hero for them and I know how much they love me. I hope they know how much I love them. Roger changed my life. So be happy and enjoy every minute with your 4-legged pals. They also help me with my health problems, but that’s one thing I rather not talk loud! I have those days that due to pain I just can’t crawl from bed, but seeing smiley Roger helps to fight and forget about it.


Anyway, enough all this happy tears notes. August is a month of pre-season training. We are taking it surprisingly very easy due to my injury and high temps. Weather is very funny at the moment, it is very cold for August or surprisingly very humid. No plan in place due to that so more of spontaneous wee trips.

This week back to Roger’s favourite Blairadam Forest. After some rain earlier this week, it was great to see streams full of fresh water. Nice run with Cani-fit  family. This time long loops with max speed for Roger. He is defo stronger after training on a scooter. I can feel more pull. However, I learn that I need to tell both my dogs to “get on” and stop letting them trot around. Roger is definitely strong enough to pull for longer. We are still working on Princess Laferra.

New hobby?

Recently my yoga studio re-shared an event for charity workshop to make dog beds and jackets. I thought what a great idea and we could bring dogs, so great option to socialise weird Laferra (she can be funny sometimes when indoor, she is still very friendly towards dogs tho). Unfortunately, due to some circumstances, I couldn’t take her but I decided to go myself. I had a blast and it was my first time that I was working with a sewing machine. Apparently, there will be more workshops like this, so keep your eyes on our fb page for more details. Here are few photos:

It was amazing and I have never knew that sewing can be so much fun. I really want a sewing machine now. Also as you can see below my dogs approved the bed I made for them.

Lubi Lykan thank you so much for rescuing those fabrics and letting me and others having fun and learn how to sew. I also manage to find best tweed bow ties for my dogs:D Lubi you are a star!

Happy Monday!!




Rest, injury and back on track


It seems that we will take a rest a month before race season starts due to my tiny injury. I presume it is for the best to rest and it gives me time to catch up with my favourite tv shows. At the same time, dogs are loving their lazy life. I have never thought I will ever think that I feel really bored and I can’t wait to go running and riding my bike. I used to just play volleyball and be lazy, now the more is happening the better. Last few days I have been trying to go to the sea so the dogs could run and I could swim, but it has been raining every time (morning and evening that I wanted to go). So tonight is my last try. Yes, I hate being potato coach, even tho that I watched few seasons of tv shows already. Maybe I will stand on my kick bike scooter and make the dogs train hard. Well someone from our team needs to be strong for start of the season. Haha


I also never thought that buying a bike is so difficult. I spend hours to search for that one bike that would tick all the boxes. Really?! And well guess? I am still searching. Hah

My Kona is doing great, but time for an upgrade so I can enter some races. I know like I don’t do enough races with dogs.

Time off

How to deal with hyper crazy dogs when you are limited within moving around? Continue reading and learn what we do with Roger and Laferra during my injury.


So as I am injured and need to rest I thought I will focus in this post how to make your dogs entertainment if you are really limited due to rain or actual injury/illness. I like to work with my dogs on their behaviour. Roger is very well trained with tricks as we attended few classes for dogs. However, it is challenging to train two dogs as both of them are trying to do it at the same time (and most of the time wrong). I have decided to use Laferra to practise Roger’s agility skills. What do we do? Laferra sits and wait and Roger uses her as a wing and turns around her whatever side I tell him. She gets treats for staying and he gets treats after each run if a good side. Both dogs are stimulated and it is quite challenging to multitask with treats. Two happy dogs at the same time.


Sit and wait is one of my favourites, however, I also like touch hand. Roger managed to master this, where princess Laferra is still a bit confused so she touches and then gives me paw, which is sweet. Touch hand skill comes very handy, when you want your dog to focus on you or check his focus for example for agility (as I learnt recently). Roger likes to cry when he stands and does nothing, so this comes very handy.  It is great to still make one of the dog sit and wait and another one to touch hand.



I have tried my dogs to work together and make synchronise sit and lie down.

I must admit this one doesn’t really work well most of the time, but I am not giving up. Make sure you have treats in each hand for each dog and show them at the same time. If lie down is too hard for them (they do have those bad days). We do sit and give me paw, which Lafie mastered so much that she gives me paw without me asking for it, as she thinks she will get a treat.


You may question that it is all about treats, not toys. Both of my dogs are food orientated and slim, so I know many treats will work well and won’t affect their weight. However, sometimes I use toys at home, to teach dogs to leave, drop it or bring it to me. Recently Lafie discovered that fetching toys is amazing as Roger chases her and she gets a lot of cuddles and strokes from me. As a limit of space in the house, I let them play tug game and leave it when I want to. Hide and seek- search for the ball and bring it is another great game. Dogs need to stay and I hide balls.



The only one toy I used for them is wobble ball dog toy. I was lucky as I got it on sale for less than 10 GBP. Easy to clean and dishwasher allowed. I thought it will make a lot of noise banging off the doors and walls, but surprisingly it is nice and quiet. Not that easy to take the treats out, dogs really need to move it around. Defo one of my favourite pretty looking toy.



Back on track

Luckily for me, my pulled muscle recovered after 7 days of rest. I never thought that these 7 days will be so frustrating. I just wanted to go out. Finally!

Saturday lovely 1-1 with Lindsay from Cani-fit with Laferra to work on focus and strength. A lot of work for us. Time to raise the game and tell my dogs what I expect from them. No more fluffing around?!

On Sunday, I have decided to train both dogs as the temperatures are spot on. I chose a safe option for my leg and did kick bike scooter with Roger. We had so much fun and he pulled well. Then off for a cani-fit class with Laferra to work on our homework. Both dogs did not bad. My leg is much better, so back to training, smart training. It is less than a month until our first race, lets the fun begin.


We were back to Holyrood Park. This place is in heart of Edinburgh and every time I am there, it really surprises me how wild it is. Nice walk up the hill in the evening. I love this place.

Nice views are definitely worth hiking to the top, however, just half way through you can see as much as on top. Surprisingly there are a lot of scents for the dogs, I presume Laferra loved the bunnies.


This week post not much about places to visit! But I hope you enjoyed reading. Happy Tuesday. I have already planned few trips for next week so keep your eyes on next post.



Hello August.

Beach before the rain

I chose a right weekend to work, as it was heavy rain here. However, we have managed to have a good run at the beach just before it came.

There was no one else there, so I let Laferra off for a first time after some time being on the lead. You wouldn’t believe how much happiness that brought to her. She was crazy hunting seagulls. Such a happy pup!

The best Saturday morning, as Portobello beach isn’t that far away and not meeting anyone there is just a bonus. What do I mean by morning? Before 7 am.


Another day another beach walk before I could go and enjoy riding a bike.This time I was trying another 7 Stanes trail centre at Newcastleton. Surprisingly after Glentress and Innerleithen, those red routes were very easy and not challenging at all. A good fun day of 30km, which I definitely feel today. Dogs enjoyed the day walking near the river. I must say I liked it that there were no people. Nice trails if you are planning to have a trail dog, as nice and soft surface for their pads. Even tho it was a bit longer drive than normally, I have a good day out.


I really can’t believe it is already August and it seems very busy time ahead. Luckily Laferra’s “heat” almost finished so we can go back and enjoy our runs with the group. So it is a month to go until our first race of the season. I am really looking forward to the weekend away in Aviemore, although my car doesn’t seem to make that happen easier (stuck at the garage). Yes I said racing time, which means we need to push this month to make Lafie focus during 5km not just 2-3km like she does. So we have plenty classes booked and also Ruff Dugger, but I haven’t decided yet which dog will do it (probably Laferra, as to see how she is in a race environment, even it isn’t a race).

I know she looks great in a harness, but I wish she can run as good as she looks. Haha do I sound like a mean mum?! I am so looking forward to race season as that means most weekends away with the dogs to some great locations in the middle of nowhere!

Wee social run

For a change, we went to the social club for canicross to Almondell and Calderwood Country Park. It is located in West Lothian near river Almond. A lot of natural woodland with a home to a wealth of wildlife such as deer, foxes, herons and woodpecker.





Oh! What an evening. I lost Laferra, as she was a bit crazy running around. I actually didn’t stress and started running to the car while using a whistle. It was maybe around 10minutes and I could see happy Laferra running back to us from the car park. She got lost and ran to the car, which is fantastic (after all I must be a good mum for her). Rest of the evening she stayed with me the rest of the run. Another test for princess Laferra and another pass for her. She is seriously the easiest dog I could ever rescue.

Bike bike

At least my bike doesn’t break as much as my car! (touch wood). I was back with Dirt School for some MTB on a Friday night, as this is the best way to spend your Friday night right?! Another amazing dog free evening (well I missed them a lot). A wee 17km around Glentress on Friday night is the best way to start your weekend. I was lucky to be captured by Brodie Hood Photography.  

This is my first MTB photo and I must I am chuffed looking at it, as I look confident on a bike. Just after 3 months riding that’s not bad at all, but it is time for the new bike.

Beach is like a heaven

My dogs love the beach. Roger was taken out of the shelter for his first walk to the beach, Laferra was found as a puppy at the beach. You can see how much they love it, when they run free like crazy hounds.

First time ever we have travelled to Tentsmuir Forest. Just a 1.5h drive from Edinburgh, you are taken to a pine-scented forest and windswept sands. I really didn’t know it is such an amazing place with single trails for a canicross or a bikejor but also amazing pretty massive beach for dogs to be off lead. It also has fantastic facilities such as picnic tables so ideal for having BBQ and a massive car park. A fantastic day spent with our canicross friends on a social run.

Another day of the weekend and another beach. We were back to Yellowcraigs. I was gutted that I didn’t take my wetsuit as it was hot and no wind at all. It would be ideal for me to have a swim as I think I pulled my muscle so time for few days rests. I have decided we will be going swimming every day this week. Wish me luck as it isn’t fully light at 5 am.

I must say I am so happy it is August already! Just a month to go and we are back to our racing season! I would normally say let’s the hard training bein, but in my case let’s it heal quickly.

Have a good week People. 🙂