Survey reveals boom in dog sports across Europe

The growth in the outdoor adventure sector coupled with a desire to spend more time with our pets is stimulating a boom in dog sports across Europe.

As the exclusive European distributor of dog brand Ruffwear, Accapi Group started to dig deeper into the trend.

Accapi Group’s Director of Marketing Sam Collier said, “Ruffwear customers love to get outdoors with their dogs, and the variety of gear we provide allows them to run, bike, ski and even enjoy water activities like paddleboarding with their dogs. Our knowledge of the market tells us this is a growing trend but unfortunately there has been little research in this area, so we decided to conduct our own.”

Accapi surveyed over 200 active dog owners and found that over 70% participated in a dog sport with their companions at least once a day. The most popular activity was hiking, with 78% of owners hiking with their four-legged friends, followed by the dog pulling sport Canicross at 43%, while participating in popular Parkrun events with a canine companion came in third at 38%. The growing trend in SUP, or Stand Up Paddleboarding, was also reflected with 26% of those surveyed taking their dog along for the adventure.

The survey also revealed the size of the opportunity for those retailing in the pet and outdoors sectors, with 75% purchasing specialist sporting equipment to allow them to participate in these activities, such as special harnesses and waist-worn leashes.

Accapi’s survey showed a wide range of breeds participating in these outdoor adventures. The most popular breed for our owners was the Border Collie, followed by Spaniels in second, Terriers in third and not forgetting Labradors in fourth place.

Accapi hopes that this research inspires even more dog owners to get outdoors with their four-legged friends. Director of Marketing, Sam Collier said: “Bringing your dog along on your outdoor adventures gives you both the opportunity to enjoy the fantastic benefits of being outdoors – enjoying nature, exercise and quality time with your four-legged friend. Ruffwear’s range of performance dog gear, allows you to do just that.”


5 products for Outdoor Adventure


  1. Float Coat


This canine lifejacket features a sturdy handle to allow you to lift your dog out of the water.



  1. Flagline Harness


An escape-proof, multi-use harness with a handle to allow you to lift & assist your dog as you explore the outdoors.



  1. Trail Running System


Canicross compliant running belt with a quick release leash attachment point and plenty of storage for all your running essentials.



  1. Roamer Leash


Waist-worn leash with built in elasticity to provide a comfortable experience for you and your dog.



  1. Grip Trex Dog Boots


Vibram soled dog boots to protect paws from rough terrain, extremes of temperature underfoot and potentially harmful snow melt chemicals.