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  • Writer's pictureChristina Agar

Canine Body Conditioning

Just like us dog's need to work all parts of their body to stay fit.

Yes going for their daily walk or charging around with other dogs is good but believe it or not it won't work all parts or theirs body and definitely not evenly.

An unbalanced build of muscle can be just as bad as no real muscle at all. They need to build strength and flexibility in all parts - front, back, topline and the core.

By doing simple exercises on a daily basis you can ensure your dog is using all parts of their body and building strength, balance, flexibility and proprioception (awareness of their own body).

Dog's of any age can do these exercises but they need to be age appropriate and fitness appropriate. If you normally just take a leisurely walk then you would not undertake a marathon without putting in an exercise plan to help you achieve the fitness required.

Initially you don't need any special equipment and even when you want to add some difficulty to the training, you can still use articles you have around the home. Just make sure you always use things that have a non slippy surface.

I have done a few videos to show you really basic things you can start with at home.

These can be seen on the Facebook page

Spins - make sure they can spin both ways. Older dogs might find one way harder than the other as they will often favour one way to turn and therefore have built up the muscles and flexibility only on the one side.

Sit, Down, Stand - make sure there is little forward or backward movement. This will ensure they engage their core muscles.

To create a little more difficulty to this is to use a small platform and get the front end stepping on and off and repeat with the rear end stepping back and onto the platform, this is much hard. Initially I start with my dog just learning to walk backwards.

Some of these things I have already incorporated into my Beginner Skills sessions, therefore they will become part of your basic everyday training.

If people are interested in doing more I will look at putting on a workshop.

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