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Movement training for young dogs – 2 active exercises for a good body feeling and coordination

When a young dog moves in, as a dog owner you delight in his clumsy and often awkward movements as he explores the world step by step. It’s just too cute to look at. But especially in the first year of a young dog’s life, the course is set for the dog’s movement patterns. As a dog owner, there is a lot you can do during this phase of your dog’s life to ensure that he will continue to move through life safely later on. Exercise training for the young dog

In this way, healthy movement patterns and a good body awareness can be trained in the first months of life. It is recommended here to train especially playfully with the young dog and to accompany his dog during the growth in the development of his movements.

What does body awareness mean? Exercise training for the young dog

Body awareness is the feeling that the human being, but also the dog has about his body. It means the feeling of how to move your body but also the self-awareness of the position of the body in space. This is also called proprioception.

Why is a good body image important?

A good feeling for one’s own body also has many decisive advantages for our dogs. Firstly, it allows the dog to move safely. In addition, he can move faster, or react faster and more confidently. In addition, the risk of injury is significantly reduced. Thus, it is very helpful both in everyday life, but also if you plan to be active in sports with the young dog. A good body feeling can be supported and promoted with some simple exercises. To have a positive effect on the self-perception of the dog’s body already in the puppy and young dog age has the advantage that already in the first months of life safe movement sequences are consolidated in the brain.

Therefore, in the following I present you 2 active exercises with which you can playfully train a good body feeling of a puppy or young dog. Exercise training for the young dog

Here is what to consider when training with a young dog

Young dogs are often over-motivated and the concentration phases are short. Therefore, it is important that you remain calm and patient when training with your dog. In addition, the training sessions should always be short. If you feel that your dog can no longer concentrate, stop the training. Getting started with exercise training is not about exercises being as complex as possible. Simple, playful movements already have a great effect. Now it is important to create the basis for healthy movements. Therefore, always present your dog with solvable tasks.

Please also make sure your dog is standing securely and non-slip during the exercises.

2 active exercises that support a good body feeling in your young dog

Balance training on the ceiling B

Balance training blanket
Balance training blanket

Trained body areas – Whole body


Balance training specifically promotes your dog’s coordination, balance and good body awareness. At the same time, the exercise strengthens confidence in his body and the entire musculature.


Blanket or large towel

Here’s how

For the exercise, take a larger towel or blanket – depending on the size of your dog. Your dog should then stand about centered on this blanket. Now you begin to lightly and slowly pull on different corners of the blanket or towel. Your dog must thus give the load center of gravity from one run to the other and balance himself. In addition, he thus perceives his body as a whole. The exercise is more strenuous for your dog than it may look at first glance. Start with a unit of 20-30 seconds and then slowly increase the units.

Doggy Twist – rotate around its own axis B

Doggy Twist
Doggy Twist

exercise training for the young dog

Trained body areas – back muscles


The Doggy Twist is an intensive active stretching of the back muscles. In addition, balance and coordination of the entire body, as well as equal load on both sides of the body are promoted.

When not

Instability of the spine


Your dog is in the basic Stand position and you are standing in front of him, facing each other. First, hold a treat in your hand and move it away from you in front of your dog’s nose in a clockwise rotation. Your dog will follow your hand movement and thus turn around its own axis. Once he has turned completely, give him the treat. Now perform the same counterclockwise by taking a cookie in your hand and moving it away from in front of your dog’s nose in a left turn, so that he performs a rotation around his own axis in the other direction. Once he is back in the starting position, you reward him again. Give him short breaks between repetitions so he doesn’t get dizzy. When your dog understands the exercise, you can combine the turn to the left or right with a word signal.

By the way, it is not unusual if you find that the turn is easier for your dog in either direction. Dogs also have a chocolate side. However, you can strengthen the weaker side through continuous training.

Want to learn more about exercise training for young dogs? Then I recommend you my Basisfit Junghund course. With this you create the perfect basis for healthy movements and a healthy musculoskeletal system in your young dog!

All the love, your Tina

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