Strengthening your dog doesn't always require a lot of space, or time. In fact, once your dog learns a few basic behaviors, a strength training program can be completed in just minutes each day. Here's a great concept by Robert Porter, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner of It's Possible Canine Conditioning. The Power Drill, can be used in endless combinations to provide a targeted, or generalized strength training program for just about any dog. In this video, he demonstrates the 6 pause points that are required to perform all of the movements.
Once the pause points are learned, the difficulty can be increased. This can be accomplished by increasing the height of the platforms, adding an unstable surface such as a FITbone or FitPAWS Donut, or holding one leg off the ground. The pause points can be performed in rapid succession, or held in place for varying challenges.
As someone involved in training disaster search dogs, I find the most difficult part in training a pause point is maintaining the dog in a standing position, as many of our K9 partners often default to a sitting position on an obstacle. I will tell you that if you are committed to getting your dog on a regular fitness and conditioning regimen, training a stand command is well worth the effort!
A stronger, more fit dog can perform physical tasks more efficiently and with a lower risk for injury than a less fit dog and there is no better way to improve the relationship with your canine partner than through fun, reward based training exercises!
Do you have a regular fitness training regimen with your K9 partner? We'd love to hear about it! Comment below or shoot us a message firstname.lastname@example.org