August 16, 2006


Conditioning For Healthy Dogs, a Powerpaws article by Sarah Johnson, says:

Conditioning is defined as "developing a state of health, readiness, or physical fitness." Simply stated, conditioning consists of a planned program of exercise. Fitness is the condition of being physically fit. Fitness includes, cardiovascular, muscle strength, muscle endurance, power, balance, proprioception, flexibility and more.

Specific Training For Your Sport

Mimic the movements of your sport in your conditioning program. For example, if you do a 2 on 2 off 6’3’ A Frame, you need to strengthen those muscles in that specific position without the impact of that obstacle.

Cross Training

Get your cardiovascular workout or strength training using different muscles than you use for your sport in order to prevent overuse injuries. For example, swimming your agility dog.

The article goes on to list the pros and cons of a number of popular methods of exercising dogs, such as:

  • Hiking with dog off leash
  • Long distance recalls between two people
  • Walking in deep sand
  • Underwater Treadmill
  • Riding a bike or scooter while dog is trotting
  • Johnson advises against throwing a ball as a form of exercise:

    Too focused on ball, therefore, runs into fences, cars, other dogs, people and other objects
    Too focused on ball, therefore not thinking about their body position & landing
    Jumping high into air, causes big uncontrolled impact on landing, high risk for injury
    Running after low ball is high risk for impact sliding injuries
    If the dog is overweight or unfit, the risks are extremely high for injury.
    Is this the play relationship you want with your agility dog - pick up a toy and your dog runs out away from you.

    No comments: