Fitness Fundamentals

What do you do to keep your dog in shape? It doesn't matter whether your dog is doing sports, is a service dog or just your best friend, fitness is as necessary for our dogs as it is for us.

Fitness is a dog’s ability to perform physical activities both static and dynamic.  These activities generally require endurance, strength, flexibility, balance and coordination as well as a general awareness of the environment those activities are being performed within. Fitness usually denotes the engagement in a combination of regular exercise and inherited talent and ability. 

Fitness is also a measure of a dog’s ability to carry out those tasks he is assigned whether in the sporting, working, service or companion arenas. That measure is one of vigor, fatigue and energy. Fitness generally measure one’s capacity for directed movement.


Degility


Degility® is a sport in Germany started a few years ago for the purpose of taming Parkour for all ages and sizes of dogs. 

Degility® is a mixture of fitness, agility and parkour.It is not a sport of speed and excitement. 

Degility® addresses precision in connection with concentration and emphasizes confidence in navigating the challenges of the equipment employing motor skills and coordination not seen in other sports.

Degility® is a combination of Agility and Mobility. It promotes concentration, confidence, coordination, strength, balance, and motor skills. Degility ensures a fit and healthy dog . 

Degility® is suitable for dogs and people of all ages . Puppies, senior dogs, dogs with three legs or other disabilities and even dogs with arthritis or other hip issues can practice Degility and succeed.

Degility® involves overcoming common and uncommon obstacles. Mazes, ramps, moving tables, suspension bridges and anything you can imagine and create.  

Degility® is recommended by physiotherapists and behavioral therapists . With Degility the quality of the life andhealth of your dog can be restored and enhanced.

Dynamic Flexibility

For years I’ve been telling people that “dogs move”.  People move also and yet basically static exercise has been the foundation for most sports and fitness. For decades most coaches have had their athletes stretching statically as a warm up to enhance performance and prevent injuries.  Stretching is now a part of a dog’s exercise period as well and yet still done statically. 

However, research shows that static stretching can and in most cases does reduce the strength and power output of an athlete for up to an hour after stretching. Research also suggests that static stretching before exercise and actual performance does not decrease the risk of injury.

An active warm-up that consists of exercises done while moving more aerobically enhances athletic performance and decreases the risk of injury.

Dynamic flexibility exercises affect the reach and speed of the muscles. These moving exercises increase blood and oxygen flow; activate the nervous system creating quicker responses; and maintains body and muscle temperature effectively preparing the body to work harder.

I can’t think of any canine sport where static flexibility would be a key to success. Dog’s need to increase their full range of motion and that requires dynamic flexibility.

Research also shows that dynamic stretches that resemble the motions of the sport being prepared for are the best way to warm up for the actual practice of the actions and movements of the sport. Dynamic flexibility exercises enhance coordination, balance and stability; reduce injury and keep the body moving and flowing.

Dynamic stretching consists of using controlled speed along with moving each muscle through its entire range of motion around a joint. This movement uses all the muscles involved when moving that joint. Unlike traditional stretching or yoga, dynamic stretches are not held but flow around the joints naturally and in relation to the movements belonging to the sport being trained for. The goal of dynamic stretching is to prepare the body for specific tasks or activities for the dog. Movements are performed slowly in multiples and integrate the entire body.

Dynamic stretching is a great strategy to not only utilize before activity, but also after the activity to restore motion and enhance recovery.


Jagility


"Jagility" is a combined word from "jagen" which in German means to hunt and "agility" which covers quick and graceful physical movements and the ability to think and draw conclusions quickly. 

Jagility is all about the cooperation between a human and a dog. The ability to hunt cooperatively has its roots in the evolution of canids of all sorts. There are many species that hunt cooperatively. Lions, wild dogs, hyenas, chimpanzees and wolves not only hunt together but are also social during non-hunting activities. Occassionally other canids such as coyotes, will cooperate in a hunt of larger game when the smaller pre they usually consume is scarce.

Cooperation and utilizing the natural abilities of a dog are the keys in this activity.

Canine Parkour

Canine Parkour is a fun way to exercise your dog using everyday objects, structural components and park furniture for agility and sport. Mental stimulation is so important for every dog, so you will learn how to use items you come across every day to make walks more fun for both you and your dog. You don’t need access to expensive agility equipment for you and your dog to have fun!

Traffic, people, other dogs, loud noises, dog parks, these are every day occurrences in the life of Parkour Canines and should be a source of confidence and positive stimulation. This class engages dogs and their owners in a positive manner and gives them the tools to tackle these challenges head on. Obedience training and urban agility exercises are combined to create a class that is as exciting as it is productive.

This is a lifestyle change for both you and your dog. Canine Parkour will equip you with the tools you need to achieve your training goals with your dog. Whether you are working with your dog for your and his health, or training for a big challenge, Canine Parkour will help motivate and inspire you to continue.

Are you up for the challenge?