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Weight bandages for dogs in dog fitness training – useful or dangerous?

Gewichtsbandagen für Hunde, die im Hundefitness Training eingesetzt werden, erfreuen sich immer größer werdender Beliebtheit.

Weight bandages for dogs, which are used in dog fitness training, are becoming increasingly popular. However, the use of weight bandages in dogs should be weighed very well and I also consider the use very critically. Their use should always be under the supervision of a professional. I would also like to explain why.

What happens when you put a weight bandage on the dog during training?

Regardless of whether you equip the bandage with weights right away or train without weights, it has an effect on the dog’s body. At the same time, it also has an effect on the psyche, in that there is an awareness of the body part or area. An example, which illustrates this psychological effect very well, is e.g. the use of body bandages or also Thundershirts. In this case, the effect is decidedly positive. Weight bandages for dogs

What do you need to consider when using weight bandages for the first time?

As just described, we cause awareness on the dog. We attach something to our dog. However, it is not only an awareness, but also a manipulation and so it is indispensable that we get our dog used to it very slowly and the use should always be done only when it is also okay for the dog.

There is no “he has to go through it now” here. You should familiarize the dog with the bandage step by step. Get his consent. To do this, you can show it to him, let him sniff it, hold it to his body and positively reinforce this process. If all that is fine with your dog, you can put the bandage on briefly and again positively reinforce this. You should repeat this several times before you put the bandage on him – mind you, without weights – even for a few minutes.

If this is also okay for him, you can start to use them specifically in individual exercises during training. Weights should only be used step by step. This habituation process can take different amounts of time depending on the dog. As described at the beginning, this should always be accompanied by a professional who is familiar with working with weight cuffs on the dog. I do not recommend working on your dog with weights on your own.

Why does the use of weight bandages on dogs belong in the hands of a professional? Weight bandages for dogs

If a dog suffers from uneven muscling or relieving postures, or if it is loaded on one side, this always has a physical cause. Physical deficits do not arise from a “whim” of the dog. Therefore, it should always be known what is causing the incorrect loading, muscular deficits or relieving posture. Accordingly, the dog should be comprehensively accompanied and treated by physiotherapists and veterinarians. Weight bandages for dogs

If the weight bandages are used inappropriately or incorrectly, the physical problem may be aggravated. It is therefore always necessary to weigh up from a therapeutic point of view whether the use of weight cuffs is sensible and appropriate, or whether a comparable training effect can be achieved for the physical deficits through appropriate exercises without weights.

The use of weight cuffs in the healthy dog to enhance the training effect.

More and more they are also used on trained dogs to further intensify the training effect. However, even here I advise against applying the bandages arbitrarily and in complete training sessions on the dog.

Instead, just as with a dog with physical problems, I recommend always using it under the supervision and advice of a professional. He can weigh up exactly which areas of the body can be trained and how, and how a balanced workout can be designed. When using the weight bandages – as in training without – it is always important to consider exactly which body areas an exercise trains and how (musculature, mobility, coordination,…). Then you have to weigh up for which exercises the brace makes sense and which weights are used during training, as well as at what intervals they are changed.

You see, there are a lot of different factors to consider when using weight bandages. If this is something you see making sense for your dog, have a canine physical therapist consult with you and guide you in training.

All the love, your Tina

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