There are many approaches to K9FITNESS:
If you know me or have been following me, you know that I subscribe to progressive steps starting at the foundation level and moving slowly into more challenging exercises.
Why? I believe that if the dog understands how to use their body efficiently, understands where their body is in space, and how to engage their core, then strength training can be skill based while targeting specific muscle groups. Without a proper foundation of body awareness and muscle engagement, it leaves our dogs at risk.
So many dogs get tossed into the deep end of the pool because they are asked to perform exercises that are beyond their current level of fitness or capabilities. Taking the time in the beginning to train the foundation will save you time, frustration and possibly an injured dog in the future. It is important to assess where each dog is, what they already know and what needs to be taught to increase the efficiency of the exercise chosen for that dog.
Every dog I see, starts with foundation exercises - this is to protect the dog's muscles and joints and encourage injury prevention. Some dogs will progress quickly as their owner just needs to "refine" movements or behaviors they have already trained. Some dog's will start at the beginning and it may take a bit longer.
Fitness is not a sprint - it is a marathon.
Here is one foundation exercise shown in my class and also presented at the live lab for the CCFT/Master Trainer program:
To start your dog off on the right track join my online Foundation K9Fitness class available now for just $59 - two week self guided class with 14 movements or behaviors.
As an instructor for the CCFT program (Certified Canine Fitness Trainer/FitPAWS Master Trainer Program) I am proud of what we have put together, honored to be apart of it and humbled when the students achieve success. This program teaches how to assess the dog, when to refer to a veterinarian, how to choose exercises, what are signs of fatigue and how to increase the level of exercises based on the capabilities of the dog. Online and in person training required.
Bobbie Lyons, CCFT, KPA CPT