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Dawn Celapino Gets Pups and Their People in Shape

Dogs are not only welcome at this personal trainer's fitness classes, they're expected to join in on the fitness fun.

Melissa L. Kauffman  |  Apr 14th 2017

Editor’s note: Have you seen the Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? This article appeared in our April-May issue. Subscribe to Dogster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.

I find it hard enough to work out and make sure my dog works out too. If I could get a personal trainer that could do both, I would — like Dawn Celapino of Southern California’s Leash Your Fitness. Dawn and her trainers work out with pet parents and their dogs; they have classes on yoga, hiking, kayaking, surfing, trail running and boot camp. With human clients ranging from 19 to 68 years old, the trainers make adjustments for any injuries or physical limitations, Dawn said.

It all started when she got her Cairn Terrier, Jack, in 2005.

“I took all of my workouts outside because I did not want to leave Jack at home, and we had so much fun together. I started taking all of my clients outside and incorporated their dogs in their workouts, and they loved it. When all of my corporate fitness jobs would not allow Jack to join me, I quit them all and started Leash Your Fitness.”

Some people have lost more than 50 pounds with the different programs they offer.

“We have seen people learn new things about their dogs and create a greater bonding experience between parent and dog.”

If you’ve just started exercising with your dog, Dawn recommends adding exercises to your daily dog walk — even working on your balance by standing on one leg while your dog goes potty.

Dawn and Jack have had many adventures, documented in Jack’s blog and his book, Jack’s Journey USA. Jack and Dawn are now on a new adventure: Jack was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, plus he has arthritis in his front paws. That has not stopped them though, although Dawn said they have slowed down a little bit. Jack still exercises and gets plenty of healthy treats, including roasted vegetables.

“We are going to keep moving, which I recommend to everyone,” she said.