I started teaching K9Fitness and body awareness with dogs just under 13 years ago and I had no idea where it would take me. I didn’t have a path in mind, a goal or even an inkling that it would be my DREAM, my FOCUS and full time job. I am so thankful to be able to share what I love and continue to learn and grow as my clients and the industry pushes me to be a better fitness coach and a better dog trainer.
Independent cued behaviors will encourage proper movement, strength and mental focus.
When I first started training, much of it was done by luring and movement off body pressure. I quickly realized that shaping behaviors for fitness gives the dog time to think about their body and allow their muscles, joints, and limbs to respond to what is being asked. I still teach using luring, targeting and body pressure but my goal in fitness is always that the dog is able to offer the work with focus on the exercise at hand and not food in YOUR hand.
I want to “put it out there” that we can do better – we can be better teachers and better teammates to our dogs. After all, we are working with fully functioning healthy dogs that are mentally and physically capable of learning the process if we take the time to teach them. Shaping using a clicker is fun and it truly teaches your dog something that they will remember and be able to offer forever.
We can do better by teaching our dogs the foundation steps to every exercise with methods that encourage our dog to think about their body during the process.
Quite often dogs are asked to do a more challenging exercises than they are mentally and physically ready for based on the equipment the owner has and a video seen on Facebook or YouTube. This is done without any thought to what the dog should understand or the strength that needs to be established before proceeding with the movement or static position. Teaching each step and each movement prepares your dog mentally and physically for each exercise challenge presented.
Starting JUNE 1, 2017 - I am offering Shaping K9Fitness, a 3 mo long class June/July/Aug – my new Facebook class. This class will inspire you to shape some or all of the behaviors for a multifaceted exercise combination each month. I decided to offer this class in an effort to have REAL fitness and training discussion about strength and body awareness exercises. It is offered on Facebook to make the class and discussion easily accessible by mobile device and/or computer. Learn how much MORE you can accomplish with fitness by putting behaviors on cue and allowing your dog all the steps to gain the strength and knowledge for each exercise. Will everything be perfect and set in stone – NO. I want this class to be more of a discussion, a collaboration of sorts to find all the great ways to shape and capture behaviors. I have ideas and they are GREAT but they are not the only way. I am always learning from my students, they are great trainers.
Learn from me, teach me and let’s work together for our dogs.
Sign Up HERE
Bobbie Lyons, CCFT, KPA CPT