Priority Fitness has gone to the dogs. The Northcote gym has been running classes for dog owners and their canine mates since January, and co-owner DJ Wang counts four or five regular pairings at each session.

The four-legged-friendly classes catered for a maximum of 10 clients and their best friends during the standard weekday classes and a special class only for those accompanied by their dog took place on Sundays.

The newbie canine gym-goers can put their legs up and rest quietly, or get involved in off-the-leash classes, including taking part in box runs - where gym users step on and off boxes - or acting as stand-in weights when their owners do sit ups and crunches, Wang said.

"That's the best thing about small dogs, they can be used as weights."

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Running up to 3km outdoors is also a big part of the hour-long sessions, he said.

The progress of dog clients is monitored just as their owners' is, with weight loss recorded.

Opening the door to dogs was mostly about catering to those who were torn between joining a gym and spending more time with their dog, Wang said.

"People are busy, they don't get much time to exercise with their dogs and they feel guilty leaving them at home," he said.

"This is just an opportunity to bond and gel with their dogs and get some exercise. It's a simple concept."

Greg Davis and dog Gizmo do some lunges. Photo / Michael Craig
Greg Davis and dog Gizmo do some lunges. Photo / Michael Craig
Charlie and Jacqui Siu bond over press ups. Photo / Michael Craig
Charlie and Jacqui Siu bond over press ups. Photo / Michael Craig
Jacqui Siu does some box jumps. Photo / Michael Craig
Jacqui Siu does some box jumps. Photo / Michael Craig
Charlie attempts a box jump. Photo / Michael Craig
Charlie attempts a box jump. Photo / Michael Craig
Dog-friendly fitness class at Priority Fitness, Northcote. Photo / Michael Craig
Dog-friendly fitness class at Priority Fitness, Northcote. Photo / Michael Craig
Dog-friendly fitness class at Priority Fitness, Northcote. Photo / Michael Craig
Dog-friendly fitness class at Priority Fitness, Northcote. Photo / Michael Craig

Wang, who is the owner of six-year-old border collie and gym regular Kenzy, said all the dogs involved so far were obedient and toilet trained. There had been no accidents.

The only change needed was to the playlist - Eminem and heavy metal were out and Justin Bieber and Britney Spears were in.

"The dogs don't like aggressive music," he said.

Priority Fitness client Jacqui Siu has been taking her spoodle Charlie to the dog-fitness classes all year and the insurance worker said she had noticed an immediate change in Charlie's demeanour.

"He loves it," she said.

"He definitely has more energy and he's a lot happier because he loves being active and going out.

"You can just tell that he enjoys it."