The topic of dog fitness and exercise training is becoming increasingly popular among dog owners. I have been passionate about it for a number of years and for me it has become my absolute focus in my work with dogs. It never ceases to fascinate me how just a few simple exercises can strengthen a dog’s health and basic fitness.
Dog fitness – is it for my dog?!
Absolutely! Dog fitness is not just about healthy dogs. You can use it perfectly for really any dog. Whether preventively to promote general fitness in a healthy dog or sporting dog, for older dogs to restore mobility, for four-legged friends with joint problems or for young dogs to give them a good body feeling from the beginning.
I am happy about every single dog owner I can inspire for the topic of exercise training or even fitness training. The great thing is that you can do it yourself on a regular basis with your dog after proper instruction from a professional.
Here it is important on the one hand that you know exactly how to perform the exercises, but also which exercises are suitable for the physical needs of your dog. In addition, you should not train randomly, but have a suitable training plan in which exercises are sensibly combined with each other and also a suitable number of repetitions are defined for each exercise. So you need structure.
Would you also like to get started and are not yet sure if your dog will join in and enjoy it? Dog fitness
I think it’s great that you’re open to the topic! To give you a first insight into the topic, I present you here some exercises from the dog fitness training. These exercises are suitable for any dog and you can easily copy them. So that you also have a corresponding structure for your training, you can download the matching 6-day HAPPYFIT training plan free of charge! DOWNLOAD HAPPYFIT TRAINING PLAN HERE.
With these exercises I give you at the same time a small insight into my online courses on fitness and exercise training for dogs, which you can find on various topics on Doggy Fitness. If you have found joy in training and would like to continue, but are still unsure which class is right for your dog, feel free to contact me anytime and we can exchange ideas: email@example.com. Dog fitness
Some important points about training:
- You do not need any equipment, but can use things from your household
- Always ensure a non-slip surface so that your dog stands stable
- Always take into account your dog’s shape of the day. Like us humans, our dogs are not always in the same good mood
- Always work positively with your dog. Punishment is taboo. Also, don’t force your dog when he swerves!
- Please stick to the number of repetitions specified in the training plan – more won’t help
- What looks so easy for you is quite strenuous for your dog – pressure to perform is taboo. It is about conscious movement training, in the sense of health
HAPPYFIT 2.0 – your exercise instructions
K2 – slalom running through the legs dog fitness
Slalom running through the legs trains an even load on all four runs, a healthy motion sequence, as well as balance and coordination. At the same time, the flexion of the spine is intensified and the muscles of the back and legs are strengthened.
Instability or pain in the spine
For the figure eight run through the legs, stand with your legs straddled and lure your dog with a treat between your legs and around the outside of your legs. You should do this in both directions so that your dog stretches his spine in both directions. Once your dog understands what you want him to do, leave out the treat and lure your dog with the hand gesture and you can also add a word signal. Then, always reward your dog when he has run a complete figure eight so that the movement is as fluid as possible.
K4 – Balance training on the ceiling
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
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.
M1 – Give paw
Giving paw is suitable to promote the mobility of the elbow. The musculature of the entire front leg is also trained. In addition, you will promote your dog’s coordination, as he will have to shift his balance while alternating paws. Dog fitness
Pain in the front leg, with stiffened elbow joints
Your dog should first be in the basic sit position. If your dog already knows the give paw trick, now have him give you both front paws alternately at different heights.
If your dog does not know the trick yet, you can build up the exercise as follows:
Your dog is in the initial sit position. Now take a treat in one hand and hold it in front of your dog at wrist level. Your dog will now show interest in your hand and the hidden treat. If he tries to get it with his nose, you ignore this. When your dog touches your hand with his paw, praise him (or click the behavior) and give him the treat.
You repeat this until your dog lifts one paw securely. In the next step, motivate him to give his paws in turn by holding your hand in front of his respective barrel. If this also works, you no longer offer him the closed hand with the treat, but your open flat hand, in which he puts his front leg. You can now combine the exercise with a word signal. He should hold the position of the lifted paw for 2-4 seconds.
M3 – Stand Seat Transfer
The Stand Sit Transfer is a very effective strength and agility training for your dog’s hind legs. In addition, the muscles of the lower back are trained.
Pain or instability of the hind leg, stiffened joints or stiffening of the lower back
Your dog is in the starting position of sit and you are standing in front of your dog – facing each other. Your dog should sit as straight as possible and not slide to the side or angle a run comfortably. The goal is to achieve the highest possible body tension.
Now give your dog the signal to change from sit to stand. In this movement, he should take the momentum from the hind legs if possible and not pull himself up over the front legs. You can support your dog’s movement by making a small backward movement yourself and luring him with a treat. Make sure that the distance between you and your dog is not too big, otherwise this will in turn motivate him to make a significant forward movement. In the Stand position, you then reward your dog. You can now bring him from this position back to the sit for the next repetition of the exercise.
This ensures that we specifically train the muscles of the hind legs and lower back and train a physiological load on the dog’s body.
A clean change from sit to stand and vice versa is more difficult for most dogs than we think. Therefore, give your dog the opportunity to improve his movements in the course of training. Continuous repetitions train the awareness of correct movement sequences.
Extra tip: it helps a lot of dogs a lot if they do the exercise on a firmly outlined, slightly elevated surface, such as a target or a stepper.
M9 – Mikado – Cavaletti Training
Cavaletti training Mikado trains the joint mobility and musculature of all four runs. By means of slow, deliberate movements, a healthy sequence of movements, balance and coordination of the entire dog’s body are promoted.
For stiffened joints
4-7 obstacles like branches, poles, broomsticks
For the Mikado variant, your dog should be able to master the basic variant of cavaletti training.
For the Mikado variation, take 4-7 obstacles such as cavaletti poles, broomsticks or branches and arrange them like a Mikado game. The bars are therefore at different distances and heights and in a relatively confined space. The task now is for your dog to climb slowly and deliberately paw by paw over the poles.
M15 – Lift paws
The exercise is an effective muscle workout without the need for active joint movement. Therefore, it is called an isometric exercise (muscle strengthening without active movement of the joint). In addition, you train your dog’s body awareness, coordination and balance.
Your dog is in the starting position Stand. You first squat in front of or next to him. Now grab a front leg (above the paw) and lift it for the time indicated in the training plan. Put the paw down, grab the other front leg and lift the leg slightly as well and hold the position. Dog fitness
Now crouch behind your standing dog. Lift one hind leg – also above the paw – and bend the barrel slightly, just as you do when you dry your dog’s paw. Hold the paw for the duration specified in the training plan.
Even if the exercise looks simple, the effect and effort are high, especially if your dog has a weak point in the musculoskeletal system.
As you lift the barrel, you strengthen the muscles of the other three barrels by shifting your weight and your dog must compensate for the shift in body center of gravity.
Here again the link to the FREE HAPPYFIT 2.0 dog fitness 6 days – training plan:
I hope you and your dog have a great time training!
All the love, your Tina