When establishing a fitness program for your dog, it’s important to keep an even balance of skills and activities. There are multiple components that need to be factored in when designing a fitness program: areas of the body that are worked, other sports/activities the dog is engaged in, as well how a program will fit into the owners lifestyle and needs, personality of the dog, drive of the dog, willingness of the dog.
Along with creating physical challenges for the dogs, most fitness skills also present a high level of mental challenge and thought process for the dogs. Since all exercises are best performed with thoughtful, purposeful movement, we start with creating a baseline of foundation skills that the dog fluently understands, which allows for ease of progression and additional added challenges, as appropriate, in a safe, purposeful and planned out manner.
Each and every dog is unique and different in their own way and programs are designed with all of those attributes in mind, setting each dog/handler team up for success. Elements of Body Awareness, Balance, Flexibility, Mental and Cardio are applied to each program design, at the level needed for each team. It’s also important to consider the build of the dog, age, purpose of the work, goals of the work along with the drive and personality of the dog –- as these sometimes create specific challenges or needs to be addressed in the program design.
ALL dogs at ALL life stages can benefit greatly from an appropriately designed and executed fitness program. Rechecks with a certified fitness professional are invaluable as they allow a trained eye to ensure that you are getting the most out of your work and program design.
Curious as to how a program may benefit your dog? If so, please drop us a line with any specifics so we an discuss options that may be of interest and value to you and your dog!!