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HAPPYFIT – active exercise training for your dog’s fitness – incl. Training Plan!

Happyfit - aktives Bewegungstraining & aktive Übungen für mehr Fitness für deinen Hund - inklusive Trainingsplan

You would like to start active movement training with your dog and are looking for exercises for your dog? With active movement exercises you offer your dog not only a great way to get and stay physically fit, strengthen his muscles, promote mobility and train coordination, balance and body awareness. At the same time, you’re also providing your dog with an activity that will challenge and stretch him mentally, and you’ll have a great activity together that will strengthen your bond. Fitness dog

The active movement training can be implemented very easily, without special equipment and also for laymen after appropriate guidance immediately and first successes show up quickly. You can do the exercises from this workout plan indoors, in the garden, but also on the go during a walk. In this blog article you will find the illustrated exercise instructions and at this link you can download the appropriate training plan.

In fact, the secret of active movement training is the sensible combination of different exercises. It is not a matter of building them up in a particularly complex way (even if you do increase the demand in the course of training), nor is it a matter of investing a lot of time in movement training. A targeted combination of effective exercises, often derived from everyday movements, ultimately brings success. This is because the training should also be easy to implement for older and sick dogs. All exercises in the Happyfit training plan are selected to provide a small base workout. So you can use it even with older dogs or dogs with joints.

The exercise instructions can all be found in this article, the training plan you can easily download for free HERE.

Active exercises – Please note this when training: Fitness Dog

The daily form of your dog can fluctuate and so it works sometimes better and sometimes worse. Therefore, be patient with your dog.

Also, please stick to the recommended number of repetitions. More is not enough. If your dog refuses an exercise, try a different approach, and/or try again later. If he consistently refuses an exercise, it is possible that a particular movement will hurt him. You should definitely take this seriously and get to the bottom of it. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Happyfit training is not a substitute for a visit to the vet or physiotherapist!

All exercises presented in the Happyfit training plan will give you a little insight into my online courses at the same time.

Exercise #01 SAY HELLO

Trained areas: Forelegs and shoulders

Effect: Giving paw is not only a lot of fun for your dog, it is also suitable to promote the mobility of the elbow. In addition, you train the muscles of the front leg and the coordination of your dog.

When not: pain in the foreleg, with stiffened elbow joints.

Say Hello - Give Paw
Say Hello – Give Paw

Your dog is in a sit, you squat in front of him and you look at each other. Encourage him to put his paw in your hand. To add some variety and demand to the exercise and to encourage joint mobility, offer your dog your hand at different and varying heights, all the way up to a high-five. Have both paws given to you alternately.


If your dog cannot or does not want to sit during the exercise, he can also give the paw while lying or standing.

Exercise #02 BACK DOWN

Trained areas: Hind legs and lower back

Effect: From stand to sit and vice versa we bring our dogs several times a day. The exercise is very suitable as strength and agility training for your dog’s hind legs. The muscles of the lower back are also trained

When not: pain or instability of the hind leg, stiffened joints, or stiffening of the lower back

Back Down - Stand Sit Transfer
Back Down – Stand Sit Transfer
Back Down - Stand Sit Transfer
Back Down – Stand Sit Transfer

You stand in front of your standing dog and you look at each other. Give him the signal to go into the seat. He should sit up as straight as possible and not slide comfortably to one side. The slower and more consciously your dog makes the movement, the greater the gymnastic effect.

In the next step, you give him the signal to go from sit to stand. If possible, he should stay on the spot without taking a step forward. This way the training effect is the greatest. For this, you stand close in front of him. So he works only with the muscles of his hind legs and does not use his front legs to pull himself up.

If it doesn’t work perfectly right away, be patient. The correct execution of the exercise is more strenuous and demanding than it looks. Please let your dog sit independently. Do not press on the buttocks with your hand or anything like that.

Exercise #05 HURDLE RACE

Trained areas: All four runs

Effect: The joint mobility and the musculature of all four runs are trained. By means of slow, conscious movements, a healthy sequence of movements, balance and coordination of the entire body are trained.

When not to: For stiffened joints

Equipment: For the variation: 4-5 flat obstacles such as branches, poles, broomsticks.

Hurdle Race - Cavaletti Training
Hurdle Race – Cavaletti Training

Sit on the floor with your legs apart. If your dog is excited at the beginning, let him sit next to you first to calm down a bit. Guide it slowly, step by step over your legs. You can also put him on a short leash to control his pace. When you reach the end, let him dismount and don’t forget to praise him! This exercise requires a lot of concentration and is exhausting for your dog. Now we are going back again. He should go as slowly as possible. This is the only way your dog’s brain internalizes what the correct and healthy movement should be.


You can alternatively lead your dog over 4-5 obstacles like broomsticks, cavaletti obstacles or thicker branches. Place the obstacles in a line on the flat floor. 4-5 obstacles are ideal to get your dog into a flow of movement. He should be able to comfortably climb over it and not be tempted to jump. A distance of one dog length is optimal.

Exercise #06 SNAKE LINES

Areas trained: All four runs and the back

Effect: An even load of all four runs, a healthy movement sequence as well as balance and coordination are trained. At the same time, the flexion of the spine is intensified and the muscles of the back and legs are strengthened.

When not: instability or pain in the spine

Equipment: flower pots, thick stones, tree stumps or piles of books

Snake Lines - Slalom Training
Snake Lines – Slalom Training

Place the obstacles in a straight line on the flat ground. The number of 4-5 obstacles, each one dog length apart, is optimal to get your dog into a flow of movement.

Let your dog dismount before going around the obstacles. Lead him slowly around the obstacles on a short leash. Through the leash you control the pace and prevent your dog from stopping the exercise. When you reach the end, let him dismount before you go back. Go as slowly as possible. This is the only way your dog’s brain internalizes what the correct and healthy movement should be.


If there are no obstacles at hand, your dog can also slalom between your legs. You stand with your legs wide apart so that your dog fits comfortably between your legs. Lure him between your legs with a treat and lead him around the outside of your legs. Repeat the exercise on the other side as well. Make sure you run it in both directions so that both halves of your body are loaded.

Exercise #22 PAWS UP

Areas trained: Musculature of all four runs

Effect: The exercise is an effective muscle workout without the need for joint movement. Therefore, it is called an isometric exercise (muscle strengthening without active movement of the joint). In addition, you train your dog’s coordination and balance.

When not: instability in the back or in the hind or front legs.

Paws Up - Lifting paws
Paws Up – Lifting paws
Paws Up - Lifting paws
Paws Up – Lifting paws

Your dog stands and you squat in front of or next to him. You grab a front leg (above the paw) and lift it for the time indicated in the training recommendation. Put the paw down, grab the other front leg and lift the leg slightly. 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 indicated in the training recommendation.

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.

Exercise #25 NOSE UP fitness dog

Trained areas: Front legs, neck, shoulder, back muscles

Effect: stretching of the muscles of the front legs as well as the neck, shoulder and back, light training of the muscles of the hind legs, balance and coordination of the whole body.

When not: diseases and pain in the cervical spine

Nose Up
Nose Up

Your dog is standing next to you and you are looking in the same direction. Hold a treat close to your dog’s muzzle. Slowly guide it up close in front of its nose (90 degrees clockwise) until its snout is pointing up (as vertically as possible). Hold the position as indicated in the training recommendation. Slowly guide the treat back to the starting position. Alternatively, you can stand in front of your dog and guide the treat.


Your dog may not be able to stretch his neck to the final position in the beginning. That’s not bad at all. Guide the treat to the point where it is easy for your dog. In the course of training, his muscles will become more elastic and he will manage to stretch his nose tip upwards and hold this position. Do not help in any way! Also, if your dog tries to sit down, that is a sign that the stretching was too much for him.

Now I wish you and your dog a lot of fun with the training!

To be on the safe side here is the

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