AWS Canine Fitness Club

An official AKC FIT DOG club

AKC Fit Dog Titles are now available!

Bronze, Silver, and Gold Titles can be earned on a point system. One of the ways to earn points is to walk with an official AKC Fit Dog Club like Assembly of the Wandering Shepherd!

Read more from the AKC

AKC’s Turkey Trot is back

The AKC FIT DOG Turkey Trot is a virtual 5K (3.1 miles) that people do with their dogs. This non-competitive 5K Turkey Trot can be done all at one time, or in smaller segments on multiple days so that everyone (people and dogs) can participate at their own pace. This can be a walk or run activity.

Proceeds will be donated to the AKC Humane Fund ( This is the time of year to give thanks for what we have and to help others. The AKC Humane Fund assists women’s shelters that accept pets, supports the AKC’s Rescue Network to help rescue dogs, and promotes responsible dog ownership through outreach and education.

Learn more from the AKC

AWS Canine Fitness Club

We work hard on our fitness skills in the classroom to help our dogs stay safe in the “real world.” Let’s not waste those skills. Let’s get outside!

AWS hosts outdoor walks for fitness, health, and AKC Fit Dog Titles.

We have plenty of spectacular places to go on short (and long) walks near our city. It’s easy to find ourselves too busy to get outside, even when it’s something we really want to do. That’s where the AWS Canine Fitness Club can help. We create, post, and promote walking schedules. (Sometimes it’s just easier to find the inspiration when we have something on the calendar already.)

We add walks based upon the needs/wants of the club members. Let us know if you want to host a walk!

Because this is a club event, and not an educational class, these walks will be free for everyone who wants to join us.

Portland City Walk

Host: Laura & Ruby

When: The first Friday (starting March 2023) of each month 9am -11am

Where: Meet at the Starbucks by the OHSU Robertson Life Sciences building on the west end of the Tilikum Crossing Bridge.  (2730 S. Moody Ave. Portland, OR.) This walk is about 2.5 miles; crossing the Tilikum Crossing bridge east, walking north along the Eastbank Esplanade, crossing the Hawthorne bridge west, south along the Waterfront Park trail to Starbucks.

Leashes: All dogs must be on a six foot, or less, leash.

Why Walk?

Walking is a great addition to any fitness plan - for humans and dogs. When we add an outdoor element we challenge our proprioception skills in ways that we can only try to mimic in the classroom. Walking in nature also helps create endorphins that can help us feel better emotionally. Humans with their great vision and dogs with their impressive olfactory skills will reap immense rewards from an outdoor walk/hike.

Executive Summary from Step It Up!: Surgeon General’s Call to Action


Now more than ever, fitness is important for both dogs and people. The most commonly recommended exercise to improve fitness is walking. Walking is considered a safe activity that improves muscular strength, circulation, memory, weight loss, increases energy, helps with sleep, and reduces stress. The American Heart Association recommends walking a minimum of 150 minutes per week. Participation in the AKC FIT DOG program will bring health benefits to both you and your dog.

If you walk with your dog on a regular basis, join the ranks of AKC FIT DOG and get your free (5-3/4 inches) FIT DOG logo car magnet.

The AKC FIT DOG magnet proudly declares to the world that you are committed to your dog’s health and fitness through regular exercise.

In partnership with Pet Partners of Portland

Walk With Me is a special initiative within the Therapy Animal Program for teams who would like to help promote physical activity within their community by inviting others to go walking with their registered therapy animal. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action, together with a body of research that supports the benefits of walking with animals, makes it clear that walking is yet another way that Pet Partners therapy animal teams can enhance human health and well-being through animal-assisted interventions (AAI).

Laura and her dog Ruby are a registered therapy dog team with Pet Partners. They would love for humans to join them even if they do not have a dog!

These walking events are completely free. We ask everyone to follow basic guidelines to keep everyone safe. (Those guidelines will be provided to participants who join us.)

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