A PORT Glasgow woman is taking the lead with new fitness classes which dog owners can enjoy with their pets.

Heather Hopkins, 53, has been taking part in Cani-fit classes for the last two and a half years with her dog Rory, a pointer cross.

Now she is launching a local version.

Heather, who owns three rescue dogs, said: “I had seen cani-crossing - cross country running with dogs - and thought it looked fantastic but I knew I wasn’t as fit as I once was and didn’t think I could run.

“Then I saw Cani-hike classes which were similar but at a walking pace, so I decided to give it a try and I loved it.

“I got fitter, my dogs got fitter, we learned to work as a team and it was a great way to exercise us both.”

After a month Heather was ready to try running and hasn’t looked back since.

She has travelled all over the country to attend events.

She said: “I have been to many new and different places and met loads of new people and really enjoy it.

“It not only keeps you and your pet physically active but also works the brain too.

"The dog learns the commands and before you know it you are cross country running with your dog out in front and building up your endurance.”

In April Heather took a course to become a leader and now she is hoping to introduce classes locally.

She has organised a free taster sessions to run at Parklea on Tuesday September 10 from 10am until 11am.

Heather said: “The classes are adaptable so we cater for all levels of fitness and dogs of all shapes and sizes are welcome, although I’d always advise checking with a doctor or vet of yourself or your pet has any underlying medical issues.

"I’d really like to see people like myself, the unlikely athletes, giving it a go.

"It is a great way to meet new people.”

Anyone interested can sign up online at https://cani-fit.com/event/free-taster-parklea