Canine Conditioning Tips
Below is a collection of podcasts Bobbie Lyons has contributed over the years. Enjoy!
Do you practice doubles, triples and broad jumps regularly??? Often when I am teaching a workshop, I ask agility competitors – “How often do you practice doubles, triples or spread jumps”? I have to say many of them answer “only at a competition”. Sigh Many instructors don’t set these jumps up due to time […]
Sustained trotting increases endurance, improves physical health, and keeps the lumbar area loose and your dog’s hips rotating independently. Trotting lengthens and strengthens the spine, strengthens core muscles and improves gait function. Trot work is great for dogs that are older than one year old, in good health and not over-weight. Definition of a Balanced Trot: “This […]
It is important, especially with a performance dog, to understand normal movement and what is not normal for your dog, so you can be proactive about keeping your dog strong and injury free. Many people can see differences in a dog’s gait when watching them move BUT many cannot or think these things are “normal for […]
Many things go into keeping your dog in good “condition” and how performance is improved. Improved performance can mean many things. Listed below is what I perceive as improving performance through handler improvements, strength improvements and increasing endurance.BETTER: Handling is a huge key. How many handlers out there feel like they are the caboose on […]
Yesterday I took Riley to a herding lesson. This was our first lesson back after a couple years off. So of course this got me thinking about what I need to change about his conditioning program. What is different about how he uses his body and what do I need to do differently to keep […]
Trial and competition schedules, vacation, injury and life all contribute to K9 Conditioning exercises being pushed down on the priority list. Just like with human exercise, if breaks are taken from K9 Conditioning workouts just start back with lower intensity exercises and slowly build back up to the level before the break occurred. Don’t beat […]
Soft tissue injury is the most common injury in performance dogs and it is one of the hardest injuries to pin point or diagnose. If your dog has a suspected soft tissue injury, see a veterinarian that specializes in working with performance dogs. Most “regular” veterinarians won't see the subtle changes in gait and function […]
In the human world the term “cross-training” is used quite often to suggest that doing different types of strength, balance and coordination training helps to improve performance. The canine world works much the same way.
If you are in the process of designing a program for your dog I hope this list of considerations helps you to pick exercises that are appropriate for your dog's age, current physical condition and the activities you are involved in. I also hope that it you have not sought out proper training, that this will encourage you to do so.
Do you practice doubles, triples and spread jumps regularly??? Often when I am teaching a workshop, I ask agility competitors – “How often do you practice doubles, triples or spread jumps”? I have to say many of them answer “only at a competition”. Sigh Many instructors don’t set these jumps up due to time constraints. […]
Teaching a puppy body awareness and weight distribution exercises at an early age helps the puppy grow into a confident, well balanced and coordinated dog. I start teaching my clients these types of exercises when their puppies are just 8 -12 weeks old. I adjust duration of exercise or repetitions to the age, ability and attention […]
I have been thinking a lot lately about “exercises progression”. In the human world, we know that we can’t go to the gym and do the same amount of repetitions with the same weight every time and improve over all strength and body composition. We know that number of repetitions and/or the amount of weight […]
It can be a challenge to design a conditioning program for sprint activities that will enhance performance, keep your dog’s chances of injury to a minimum and target the proper muscles groups. What does Sprint mean: To move rapidly or at top speed for a brief periodSprint athletes rely on anaerobic activities that build on the […]
Recently I wrote about the team approach to K9 Fitness and how collaboration between professionals in the veterinary, rehabilitation and fitness fields are important. Because I refer clients regularly for diagnostics and diagnosis, I receive referrals from those professionals when no discernible problem exists, the dog is released to normal activity or a strength or training issue is discovered.A […]
One of my favorite topics to teach dog owners is “focus and self-control” and it goes hand in hand with K9 conditioning. Slow and controlled movements in specific positions cannot be obtained if your dog is over threshold. Learning to work with a dog under threshold is a puzzle. It is a truly rewarding experience […]
In the short 8 weeks I have had my new puppy, “Drama”, he has traveled to Montana, California and northern Washington with me learning how to be a good traveler and my training partner. WOW I can’t believe how much we have accomplished in 8 short weeks. Drama now understands the clicker and how to […]