There are 10 essential steps to having great workouts with your dog. If you follow these 10 steps, you will increase the effectiveness, increase the safety, and increase the enjoyment from each and every workout with your dog.
The first 5 steps, as we discussed previously, are:
STEP 6: GET EQUIPPED. Equipping your canine home gym will vary with your location, your goals, your budget and many other factors. But you will need at least a few pieces of equipment to really achieve your fitness goals. In many cases, you can make or use items around your home. You will find it easier to achieve your fitness goals if you dedicate these items for your dog gym. However, investing in high quality, canine conditioning equipment is wise for the serious athlete.
STEP 7: KNOW YOUR FITNESS GOALS We are talking SMART goals here. Different from your motivation, now you need to make your goals SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. If you find this step difficult then go straight to step #8.
STEP 8: GET HELP. Hire a professional. Since canine fitness is a new and emerging field, just about anyone can claim to help you get your dog fit. When selecting your trainer, look for those that have invested time and money into learning canine fitness - at a minimum, look for someone with the CCFT credentials (Certified Canine Fitness Trainer) AND a background in human fitness. Experience in canine sports medicine is great as well!
STEP 9: TRACK PROGRESS Be sure to track your dog’s progress! If you are monitoring your dog’s workouts and making notes, then you can see your dog’s progress over time. If you are not making progress on those goals, then revisit the program with your fitness trainer/coach to make sure the plan is what your dog needs. Using a fitness journal such as the free one we provide is a great place to track your dog's progress.
STEP 10: HAVE FUN! Enjoy the time you spend with your dog! While having fun is likely not the reason you decided to start fitness training with your dog, fitness training should still be enjoyed. Take pride in the fitness accomplishments of your dog and let your dog know how much you appreciate him.
To learn other fitness tips, including warm ups for fitness workouts and understanding the K9 Fitness Pyramid please join our email list. When you do, you'll receive our K9 Fitness Journal for free!