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Exercise training for hip dysplasia and hip osteoarthritis in dogs – with these 2 exercises you specifically strengthen the hip & hindquarters of your dog

After recently presenting two active exercises that youcan use ifyour dog has back problems, in this article I present two active exercises from movement training to strengthen the hips. Hip dysplasia and hip osteoarthritis are very common joint diseases in dogs. Incidentally, both often occur in combination with back problems, such as spondylosis. Diers is mainly due to the fact that the LSÜ twist in the hip movement – what we colloquially call hip swing in dogs – creates a non-physiological movement in the lumbar spine. Exercise training for hip dysplasia

This is what happens with hip problems in dogs

By the way, the LSÜ twist is one of the classic symptoms that indicate a hip problem in a dog. Many dog owners find it funny when their dog wiggles his butt back and forth, especially at walking speed. Without knowing that this is a clear indication of a hip problem.

In hip dysplasia, the problem is that the hip joint is not congruent. This means that the two joint partners, the acetabulum and femoral head, do not fit together optimally. On the one hand, this causes instability in the joint, and on the other, painful arthrosis develops.

Active movement exercises should therefore focus on giving the hip joint stability through good musculature on the one hand. On the other hand, joint mobility should be maintained or promoted in order to delay or prevent the progression of osteoarthritis in the joint. In addition, it is important to train a gait pattern that is as normal as possible.

To achieve this, of course, a combination of different active movement exercises is necessary. Nevertheless, I would like to introduce you to two exercises that are also an integral part of my Hipfit course. With this you can already make the first steps in movement training and start to support your dog with it. Please keep in mind that the exercises presented are not a substitute for a visit to the veterinarian, treatment by a physical therapist, or specific active exercise training.

Two exercises from movement training for hip problems

M11 – Rear isometric exercise training for hip dysplasia.

Trained areas: Hind legs and lower back


Strengthening the muscles of the hind legs and lower back. At the same time, body awareness, balance and coordination are trained. With isometric exercises you train the muscles very effectively. It is a special form of strength training, because you tense the muscles without having to move them or a joint to do it. Your dog is working against hand resistance or gravity.

When not

No restriction

Here’s how

Starting position for all variations: Your dog is standing on a flat, non-slip surface.

Variation A: Crouch behind your standing dog and place your hands on the sides of his thighs. With your left hand, apply light, steady pressure to the thigh until you feel your dog tense the muscles and resist. Hold this position for the time specified in the training plan without rebounding or increasing the pressure. Slowly release and apply light pressure to the other thigh with your right hand until you again feel your dog tense the muscles and counter. Hold this position for as long as indicated in the training plan and then slowly release.

Isometric training dog hindquarters
Isometric training dog hindquarters

Variation B: Next, embrace the thighs in front. Pull very lightly in your direction, as if you were trying to pull your dog toward you, until you notice your dog countering. Hold for the specified duration and release again.

Isometric training dog hindquarters
Isometric training dog hindquarters

Variation C: Now place your hands flat on your dog’s lower back/butt as if you were pushing him into the seat. Apply light downward pressure until you feel your dog resist, and hold again for the duration indicated in the plan. Then slowly let go again.

Isometric training dog hindquarters
Isometric training dog hindquarters

It is important that the pressure you apply is very fine and never happens in a jerky way. Give your dog a chance to loosen up in between.

Exercise recommendation Exercise training for hip dysplasia

Even though isometric exercises look like little, they are very strenuous for the dog. Start with 2-3 repetitions of 2-3 seconds each.

M3 – Stand Seat Transfer

Trained body areas: Hind legs and lower back


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.

When not exercise training for hip dysplasia

Pain or instability of the hind leg, stiffened joints or stiffening of the lower back

Here’s how

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.

Stand Sit Transfer - Doggy Fitness
Stand Sit Transfer – Doggy Fitness
Stand Sit Transfer - Doggy Fitness
Stand Sit Transfer – Doggy Fitness

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. Exercise training for hip dysplasia

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.

Training recommendation

The exercise looks very simple, but it means a high body tension for your dog and a great effort for the correct execution. Start with 2-3 repetitions.

Your dog suffers from hip problems and you would like to support him more intensively? Feel free to contact me and we can exchange ideas on how to help him!

By the way: You will also find these exercises and many more in my online courses for exercise and fitness training for dogs – here you will learn to train with your dog in a targeted and healthy way!

All the love, Tina



Dieser Beitrag ist auch verfügbar auf: Français (French) Deutsch (German) Español (Spanish)

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