Does your dog enjoy a good romp through the mud? Is she a high-energy pup who’s always up for an adventure? Does she enjoy making friends?
If you answered yes, then the Ruff Mudder obstacle course may be just the thing for your active canine.
Sign Up Now!
Registration is as easy as 1-2-3. In fact, you might say it’s the easiest part of the Ruff Mudder experience. Just follow the steps below:
- Click on your city below.
- Columbus, Indiana | August 3
- Littleton, Colorado | August 10
- Chicago, Illinois | August 24
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | September 7
- Seattle, Washington | September 21
- Nashville, Tennessee | October 5
- Bartow, Florida | December 7
Ruff Mudder events will be held on Saturdays during select Tough Mudder events. A week before the event, you will receive an email from Tough Mudder about your event day that includes parking details, your registration code and other information.
Note: If you plan on participating in Tough Mudder and Ruff Mudder, make sure you bring someone along to watch your dog while you compete.
Ruff Mudder Event Info
Ruff Mudder is an all-dog version of the popular Tough Mudder event in which participants test their physical and mental limits by navigating a mud-soaked obstacle course. This year, Tough Mudder teamed up with Chewy to bring the dog version of the event to 10 cities across the United States, from May through December, in conjunction with Tough Mudder challenges.
“Chewy is thrilled to partner with Tough Mudder as the presenting sponsor for this year’s inaugural national, 10-city Ruff Mudder event series,” says Orlena Yeung, vice president of brand marketing at Chewy. “Our partnership with Ruff Mudder centers around a shared focus on active lifestyle and building camaraderie and connections, whether between people or people and animals. This event celebrates the special relationship between people and pets in a fun, exciting and interactive way.”
The first Ruff Mudder event kicked off in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 18, with two other events following soon after in Michigan and Massachusetts. Ready for the challenge? Here’s what to expect.
When arriving to Tough Mudder, be on the lookout for the Ruff Mudder Village. There will be signs to guide you.
Right outside the entrance of the Ruff Mudder Village, you’ll find a check-in tent, also known as the “vet tent.” From there, you will present your vaccination records, sign doggy waivers and register for a wave time. There will be free giveaways and special items for you and your pup after you finish your Mudder experience. Pet adoption events will be held at select events.
Once you’re set with a wave time, it’s time to take on the course.
Ruff Mudder Course
Guided on-leash by their trusty pet parent, four-legged Ruff Mudder participants will face seven obstacles to crawl and climb their way through. Every Ruff Mudder event will have designated wave times starting at 10 a.m. When it’s your call time, it’s go time. Here are the obstacles your pup will face.
- Mini Everest: A quarter pipe that’s over 4 feet tall, your pup will have to work her muscles to climb this hurdle. Momentum and speed are key for this obstacle.
- Boa Constrictor: Not for scaredy dogs! In this course, four-legged participants will have to work their way through a dark and muddy tunnel.
- Mud Mile x2: A Tough Mudder favorite, this obstacle is made for dogs that love to get dirty. Pups will have to climb and wade their way through hills and valleys to defeat this obstacle. Twice.
- Mini Berlin Walls x2: Two-foot tall mud-slicked walls await in this obstacle course for dogs to use paw-eye coordination to jump over.
- Mudderhorn: For the grand finale obstacle in the Ruff Mudder course, good boys (and girls) will have to ascend this bad boy to declare victory at the top.
Once crossing the finish line, your pup will be able to refuel with free samples of Landmark dog food, a unique formula that features ultra-high protein levels. Look for some cool Chewy swag to take home as well.
After refueling and celebrating your victory, be sure to capture your mud soaked victory faces by posing in front of the Ruff Mudder backdrop and snapping a pic to show off your dog’s Ruff Mudder win with family, friends and social media. Use the hashtag #ChewyRuffMudder and tag @chewy for a chance to be featured!
Complete your adventure-filled day by checking out the many vendors in the Tough Mudder Village (pups allowed), including Chipotle and Celsius, while tasting the local food trucks.
Every competition needs rules. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
- Ruff Mudder events are on Saturdays only at select wave times starting at 10 a.m. Sign up for a wave on-site. Arrive at the start line 10 minutes before your scheduled start time.
- Leashes are a must. Bring them and keep your pup close at ALL times.
- Accompany your dog the whole time. Ruff Mudder isn’t doggy day care. Your pooch will appreciate your support, too!
- Clean up after your dog.
- No aggressive dogs are allowed.
- Dogs are NOT allowed on Tough Mudder courses (but they are welcome in the village).
- You must bring vaccination records.
How to Prep for the Big Day
You would train for a human-only course, and Ruff Mudder is no exception. From the diet to the workout, you and your pet will have to work together to get ready for the big day. Follow these guidelines to prep your pup for the event:
Schedule a trip to the veterinarian.
Before you begin training, check with your vet first to make sure your dog is in adequate physical health to safely participate in Ruff Mudder.
Also, be sure you have all of your dog’s vaccination records (you will need to present them when you check your dog in at Ruff Mudder). If you can’t find them at home, have your vet’s office print them out for you during your visit.
Practice basic training.
All dogs must stay leashed while traversing the Ruff Mudder the course. It’s a good idea to make sure your dog can walk well on a leash before getting them used to running on one. Get tips for walking on a leash here.
Make sure your dog gets daily exercise.
Set some time aside to build up your dog’s strength so they can crush the Ruff Mudder course.
From muddy tunnels to two-foot walls, your dog will be challenged during each obstacle.
Give your dog high-protein dog food.
You’ve probably adapted your own diet to meet the demands of your training schedule, and the same should go for your dog. Active dogs require protein-rich diets to help build muscle and support energy levels.
If your dog is not already on a high-protein diet, consider switching to one. Landmark, the official dog food of Ruff Mudder, is a great food to fuel active dogs. It comes in three different formulas: trout and herring dog food, angus beef and pork dog food, and a chicken and turkey puppy food. Just be sure to talk to your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
Pack your bag for event day.
Start packing your bag and making sure you have everything you’ll need at least a week before the event takes place. Here’s what you should have on hand during your Ruff Mudder race:
- Dog Vaccination Records (required)—You will need to present them when you check in for the Ruff Mudder.
- Dog Leash—A strong and sturdy leash completes the race. For a dependable leash, consider the Frisco’s classic nylon leash, which is available in 4 and 6 feet. Attach it to a Frisco nylon dog collar or Frisco front-lead harness for additional control.
- Water and Dog Food Bowls—You’ll want something convenient to bring for your pup’s big day, like the Highwave AutoDogMug portable water bottle and bowl.
- Dog Treats—Whether you’re using treats to encourage your pup to trek through the course or to reward and celebrate her at the finish line, dog treats are always good to have on hand. American Journey beef soft-baked dog treats are one option to entice your pup participant.
- Dog Poop Bags—You wouldn’t want to trek through poop. Give yourself and other participants the courtesy of a clean course and pack dog poop bags. One convenient option: Frisco dog poop bags and dispenser.
- Dog Shampoo–They don’t call it Ruff Mudder for nothing! Your pup definitely will get muddy. Bring along you pup’s shampoo to clean up at the dog wash stations after the race. Make sure you use shampoo formulated specifically for pets, like Frisco Oatmeal Shampoo with Organic Aloe for Dogs and Cats.
Connect with other Ruff Mudders.
Get to know the other Ruff Mudder participants by connecting with them on social media. RSVP to the Facebook event page in your area to meet your Ruff Mudder community.
And after the event, don’t forget to share you muddiest memories with the hashtag #ChewyRuffMudder and by tagging @Chewy.
Meet Some of the Ruff Mudder “Pet-letes”
Pups of all sizes, shapes and ages have taken on the Ruff Mudder challenge. Here are some of the dogs who made the course look easy.
Age: 6 months old
Breed: Pittie Mix
Favorite Obstacle: Mudderhorn
Fun Fact: Is an actual diva
Age: 6 years old
Breed:Border Collie Mix
Favorite Obstacle: The Berlin Wall
Fun Fact: Hiked Mt. Washington
Age: 2 1/2 years old
Favorite Obstacle: All the mud
Fun Fact: Huge mama’s boy
Age: 3 years old
Favorite Obstacle: Getting muddy
Fun Fact: Therapy dog and social butterfly
Age: 3 years old
Breed: Mini Aussie Mix
Favorite Obstacle: Mudderhom
Fun Fact: Is a fetching fiend!
Age: 3 1/2 years old
Favorite Obstacle: Victory belly rubs
Fun Fact: Rocks a mohawk
So, what are you waiting for? Ruff Mudder is calling and your dog is ready to answer!
By Lauren Bronston
From graduating with an Audio Engineering degree in Chicago to writing about lovable pets at Chewy’s headquarters in South Florida, Lauren Bronston loves immersing herself in the creative. When she’s not writing and editing pet content, Lauren does even more writing in her spare time and has a passion for writing scripts for short film, TV pilots and even feature length films! To relax and unwind, she loves meticulously building music playlists and her vinyl collection.