New Trend: Exercise with Your Dog

Did you ever think your pooch could turn out to be your most reliable workout buddy?  Are you tired of your calorie-burning partner canceling your workout sessions together more often than they showing up?  Perhaps you should turn to your pooch.  With a few training tips for your dog and the help of some safety tips you could be well on your way to the best workout.  “There is a new trend that your best workout buddy is your dog.” Says Arden Moore, pet expert and author of Healthy Dog:  The Ultimate Fitness Guide for You and Your Dog (Dog Fancy Books) (Bow Tie Press, 2004).

Weight Loss:  Researchers have often said that pets reduce stress.  A study done by the University of Missouri, found overweight people who walked their dog everyday dropped an average of 14 pounds through the course of the year.  That’s better than the latest weight-loss plans, and more fun!  Arden Moore also states that if you’re working out with your dog, you have a tendency to have more fun and stick to your workouts.  We all know if you have fun working out chances are you will continue to exercise.

Why do it:  I have never come across a dog that didn’t enjoy a good walk.  I have been walking dogs for quite awhile.  Taking a one to two mile walk four or five times a week can greatly improve your cardiovascular health and help with bouts of depression according to research.  Not all dogs are built to run marathons.  Labrador and golden retrievers, greyhounds, as well as standard poodles (my Rocky says Woof to that!), can make great running partners.  Dogs that don’t sport a heavy-bonded body structure, generally can handle longer runs.  As with humans, dogs need to build up to running or sprint walking.  It’s always a good idea to talk with your vet about your pet’s health before staring a rigorous workout schedule.   Remember, there are many ways you can get into a workout routine that’s good for both you and your pet.

Consider these four points as you plan a workout for you and your dog:


You may as with any workout walk a little to warm up the muscle for both you and your pooch. Then you can start with some fun stretches to strengthen your dog’s hind legs and get your pooch ready for exercise:

Bow Down

Is where they stretch out the front legs, lower their legs, and put their buts in the air?  How often have you seen you dog do this.  This is a natural position for them.

Sit Up and Beg

You want to be sure your dog is trained to watch you holding a treat by your eyes.  Have your pooch sit, hold your treat slightly over your head, where they can still see, and say “Good Sit”.  Then move the treat slowly over the dog’s nose and the dog should start rising up, and eventually stand on their hind legs to reach the treat.

Even if they just hold that pose for a second reward your pooch with praise and sometimes a treat.  Practice this and in no time your pooch will stay in the position longer.  This stretch will strengthen the abdominal and the back area muscles and hind legs.  According to Aden Moore, “It also helps large breeds or those with long backs, like Corgis and Dachshunds, with back and hip issues.

The Cool Down

Relax your pooches’ muscles after you both exercise by giving your pooch a head-to-tail rub down to relax their muscles.

Now you are ready for exercising with your pooch, so here you go….

I know myself that when my dog walker comes, my dogs dance and prance around like it was the first time they were being walked.  Walks really are a big deal for most dogs!  Arden Moore says “this is their chance to use all of their senses to take in the environment that is similar to us going on a shopping spree to the mall running a sale”.  Which means it may be hard to keep your dog focused on the walk because their nose from sniffing every plant, bush or mailbox.

Do you want to know more fun and exciting things to do with your dog other than walking?  Should I bike, swim or play Frisbee with my pooch!

Know when it’s time to fly.  Why not incorporate Frisbee into your workout.  Wonder how many calories you can burn?  Try it and find out!  It’s a good idea that your pup be a several months old before trying this sport.  You will want to start throwing the Frisbee a few inches off the ground until the dog is at least 18 months old.  This won’t jar their developing body.

You be their center of attention.  For dogs a walk is like going shopping.  It heightens the senses.  You will want to keep things moving.  Vary the walking path.  You will not want to stay on the same path or the same time of day or at the same pace each day.  Mix it up! Keep it from getting boring for you and for them. Keep the dog focused on you. Make it more interesting by walking sideways or backwards. You have to be more interesting then the squirrel they see.

Loosen up that nervous dog.  If you have a shy dog that isn’t ready to take walks in public places.  Build their confidence inside your house first.  Turn on music, act goofy, dance, and invite the dog to weave between your legs, and even have them stand on their hind legs to dance with you.  After they become more confident with you, invite a friend over your dog likes, and start taking short walks around the yard or neighborhood, according to Arden.

Water plays safety 101.  Never, never ever force your dog to swim.  Not all dogs can swim or natural swimmers.  Like my poodles, they are puddle dogs, not swimmers.  Some like to be around the water, just not in the water.  Be sure that if you are around or in the water that unless you know your dog can swim, have them were a doggy life jacket.  Arden recommends Ruff Wear flotation products.  Also be careful where your dog swims.  Some lakes may carry bacteria that can make your dog sick.

Don’t bike.  Arden says that cycling with your pooch by your side is a disaster waiting to happen.  You need some activities that are more interesting.  Try taking an agility class in the area.  There is a facility in Norcross.

Don’t sizzle the paws or overhead your pooch.  Be sure the pavement is not too hot before you go walking or running.  Our pups don’t wear shoes like we do.  A little friendly reminder so we don’t forget.  What out that your pups are not overheating.  Short nose dogs become over heated quickly.  Pugs, Boston’s, and Bulldogs are short nosed dogs.  How many dogs have you heard that could play ball probably until they dropped.

We wish you lots of happy play time with your pup.  You don’t need to go to the gym.  Get out and exercise with your pup.  You both will love it!  Don’t forget you can play it up by walking sideways and backwards.  Be safe, and watchful of your surroundings.

Have a dog-gone great day!

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About 2pawsupinc

2 Paws up pet sitting company that creates harmony for your pets by ensuring they receive the right level of exercise along with lots of love and attention.
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