Form is the Key in Canine Fitness!

general fitness Nov 11, 2016

Why do we focus so much on your dog's form while doing fitness exercises?  Why is it so important? 

The answer is very simple – the results depend on the dog’s form.  You should care about proper form if you care about the intended results.  Doing an exercise with the right form is the only way to consistently achieve the desired results, and that is why we focus on form with every exercise we teach. If you want to make your dog stronger, faster, more agile, or even just more aware of his body, then you must achieve the correct form with each exercise in your dog’s fitness training.

Canine fitness training is more than simple parlor tricks. Every single exercise your dog does should be done with a specific purpose in mind.

You should know the purpose and it should fit with the overall goals you have for your dog. The purpose should be a physical reason.  The purpose may include goals like:

  • strengthen the joint capsules to stabilize specific joints like the hips
  • increase control over the hind limbs
  • to strengthen a certain muscle or group of muscles like the hamstrings
  • Increase spinal stabilization
  • Improve reach 

There are many different, specific, physical reasons for doing different exercises. 

This physical basis includes creating and reinforcing neuromuscular connections, muscle cell hypertrophy, muscle fiber recruitment, and strengthening of support tissues like ligaments. 

In the same way that muscle memory is relied upon when your dog is performing weave poles, your dog builds muscle memory when doing physical exercises. Build that muscle memory with the correct form – so that your dog engages the muscles that you want him to use and your results are consistent.  The photo below is an example of the important form points for a static position.  

Form has a direct impact on the purpose of the exercise.  I can change the purpose of the exercise by changing the form.  A little shift here, a subtle change there and I have modified the form to achieve different results.  I have challenged the dog’s body in a different manner and that will change the purpose.

Form is critical to purpose and

Form is critical to results.

Without a clear purpose, your dog's form can be compromised and the results you are looking for can be elusive. Our programs provide the information on form and purpose through video tutorials and annotated photos for every single exercise. 

We will help you achieve your fitness goals. 

If you are doing an exercise and do not understand its purpose in your fitness training program, please stop doing the exercise. Ask! Only move forward once you understand what goal the exercise is trying to achieve. Many exercises have more than one fitness goal. Many exercises, in part, because a dog is a quadruped, affect multiple muscles and joints. Be sure to know everything that an exercise is intended to do. Then be sure to follow the proper form for the intended purpose.  


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