Athletic and working dogs are similar to human athletes. The sporting activities that they engage in can result in injury. Increased cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and strength can minimize injuries and maximize performance.
A Russian trainer once told me “Americans seem to use sport for conditioning…instead of conditioning for their sport”.
A poorly conditioned athlete will not only be performing at sub-optimal levels, but he/she is waiting for an injury to happen.
Preconditioning programs can help prepare for the upcoming season and off-season programs can offer variety to allay mental fatigue and boredom with routine, as well as providing the benefits of ongoing endurance and strengthening for specific muscle groups.
Cross-training has been found to be beneficial for human athletes. Track athletes and skiers add swimming for endurance and stretching and weight lifting for strengthening. Dancers add Pilates for core strengthening and balance. Likewise, canine athletes benefit from other types of activities, such as swimming and balance activities, to strengthen their bodies in a different fashion from their primary sport.
We offer customized conditioning programs that include attention to the events that your dog will compete in and to the handler’s time and physical constraints. Current level of fitness and pre-existing medical conditions or injuries are considered.
Based on your dog’s particular sport and capabilities, a program may include:
- interval training (walking, trotting and/or swimming)
- in the underwater treadmill
- endurance training on the incline land treadmill
- strength training
- balance and coordination activities using cavaletti, cones, ramps and stairs.
Benefits: increased muscle mass, improved balance and coordination, increased flexibility and increased endurance.
Run Fast-Train Smart!