Since injuries usually occur during the lengthening and stretching of the muscles that are not prepared for such a load, it is important that we try to prepare the body as much as possible to protect against these kind of accidents more easily and effectively.
Canine Conditioning is a working out with the help of specific exercises for healthy dogs, to improve muscle mass and strength, general fitness level, coordination and balance.
In spite of the fact that fitness training is not, and will never be, a replacement to regular walks with your dog around in forests, meadows and hills – fitness training is critical to support your dog’s body to resist explosive and unforeseen movements that could cause injury.
Common exercise activities are good only to maintain power in large muscle groups – while small, seemingly unimportant, muscles deeper in the system remain neglected. It’s these muscles that are activated when a dog suddenly loses balance or tries to avoid slipping on a slippery surface, and are therefore the most common places at greater risk for getting injured.
Planned training to improve physical fitness do not take as much time commitment as you might have thought at first – as little as 15min 3-5x per week can amazingly improve the condition of our dog, and we can do it at home or during walks in the nature.
The goal of fitness exercising lies in certain repetitions of specific movements. In order to improve muscle strength, repetitions and load are required to induce wanted muscular response. We can strengthen specific target muscle groups with different exercises or we can increase endurance.
Just like people, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and weight alone is not a good measure to see if your pet is healthy. By looking at your dog’s overall shape, and getting ‘hands on’, you can get a much better idea of whether your pet is doing well, needs to put weight on, or if they might be carrying a few extra kilograms.
Body condition scores mainly involve looking at and feeling the ribs and waist, and guideline charts like those above can help you assess what you are seeing and place your pet on the body condition score scale.