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Fitness & Conditioning

  /  Fitness & Conditioning


We only need to watch our dogs in slow motion to see the efforts on the body when performing normal tasks.  If we then add an activity such as flyball or agility, and we are suddenly asking a huge amount form the dog’s body.  Below is a slow motion video form the 2012 International Border Collie Competition.

Whilst watching this video it is evident that performing the normal tasks we ask in an agility round, demands a great effort of control, balance and strength from our canine partners.  However, not every run is smooth or plain sailing and things go wrong.  It is at these times that we are taking the control, strength and balance elements to the extreme.

In human athletics and sports, the athlete will spend a large proportion of training time in the gym and exercising appropriately for the sport in which the partake.  As with human sports, the exercises and conditioning we undertake should be appropriate for the activity we plan to do.  For example, the exercise and training a marathon runner will do is very different to that of a 100m sprinter.  In a similar way, the exercise and training we would do for an agility dog is very different to what we should do with a canicross/sled dog.  We should always be mindful of the requirements on the body of the activity we are training for.

By undertaking an appropriate fitness and conditioning programme, you can better prepare the dog’s body to undertake the tasks we ask of it.  By having the right strength, balance and flexibility your dog will be able to adjust itself better, handle more difficult tasks easier both of which may lead to better performance but more importantly reduce the risk of injury should things not go according to plan.

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