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 yourself up when breaks happen — just start back slowly.
To get back to your strength and endurance routine (without causing extra stress to your dog’s joints) start by working on your warm up routine. Warm up routines consist of range of motion movements that prepares your dog for performance training and reminds them of proper body position on lower impact strength exercises.
Those of you who have taken my K9 Conditioning course can follow the order and time limits recommended in K9 Conditioning I.
Those that have trained with others or have designed their own program, stick to short time frames while working on equipment. Limit the time and no more than one exercise per muscle group.
Remember to set a timer. When the timer goes off, you are done, no matter where you were in the training process. I do not subscribe to “end on a good note” because ending on a good note to most people means end when the dog has done it “right”. In some cases, being “right” may not be possible due tight muscles or lack of strength. Unnecessary repetition may cause your dog to be sore — or worse, can cause injury.
In most cases, K9 Conditioning exercises can be done in 10 minutes or less three days a week. If you are working on endurance exercises, the recommendations for that are in a previous post, located HERE.
I hope this helps those who needed a push to get back on track!