Dog fitness training is taking over the world
Active training in the therapeutic area or to maintain fitness is becoming more and more important in dog sport and many dog owners also enjoy training and are very creative in their training design.
But what should I watch out for when I start training?
First of all I have to ask myself the question, am I “just” doing it just for fun or am I pursuing a goal? Especially in fitness training there are a few important things to consider, I would like to list a few points.
- Security: no slippery floors or unsecured equipment
- Training according to plan: if you want to start dog fitness training professionally, you should take notes on the training and never go into training without a plan. It makes sense to design a training plan over several weeks, in which other leisure activities are also taken into account.
- Health: Include health deficits and exclude exercises that are unsuitable for your dog. It is best to consult a dog physiotherapist for this.
- Setting priorities: what do I want to achieve or improve?
e.g. Compensatory exercises for sport, compensate for a muscle deficit or generally improve the thrust from the hindquarters?
- Training aspects: we should never train one-sided, not just strength or endurance and not just on one level.
First of all, it is important to uncover the weak points of the dog, most dogs have a muscle difference or a “chocolate side” that needs to be compensated for. Anatomical conditions (body type, connective tissue type) are also very important and must be taken into account when planning the training. As with humans, body training is very individual and must be specially adapted to each dog. There are comparatively few dogs over a year where you would not have to compensate for one or the other imbalance, but do not worry, it is not much different for us humans.
Based on our screening, we set (flexible) priorities and plan our training for the next few weeks.
We should definitely warm up our dog with strength and coordination before a strenuous training session and string the exercises together sensibly, e.g. do not put any stretching exercises before strength exercises. Overexertion must be avoided, here is our motto as with any other training, stop when it is nice!
Various products for training with your dog can be found here:
Enjoy the training!
about the author
Sandra Rutz lives with her husband and their 2 Australian kelpies on Lake Constance.
She is a dog physiotherapist, osteopath for dogs, sports therapist and author of the book “Praxisbuch Hundefitness” and “Form-Funktion-Fitness” (published by Kynos Verlag). Sandra Rutz is the managing director of the practice of Katzenphysio Kressbronn and Dogfitsports, the center for dog fitness on Lake Constance. From 2019, together with a selected team of lecturers, she will offer dog fitness trainer training and dog fitness therapist training.
If you would like to learn more about Sandra Rutz and her work, please visit her page: www.dogfitsports.de.