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.

Degility: Movement With Purpose

The classes in this section are as follows and titles can be achieved at each level.

Puppy

Standard
Mazes
Quick & Nimble
Senior

Unlike Parkour, a course in Degility is done all at once.  Because you are using obstacles and equipment that you have acquired or built, you can set up each course and train your dog through each course just like Rally Obedience.

Depending on the level  of skill, a course can be made up of different skills and different obstacles. Each obstacle will require only one skill at a time.  Unlike Rally, you can choose the skill you wish to show on each obstacle.  Since speed is not a component of Degility except for Quick & Nimble, you have time to decide.

Each course that we will create for you will contain at least 10 skills and 7 obstacles. You and your dog will cycle through the obstacles just like an agility course where you could potentially do one type of obstacle, especially jumps, 3 or more times.

Obstacles

Obstacles can include whatever you can find.  Most of what I have I've found in the "FREE" section on Craigs List.  If you've done agility you can also use regular agility equipment.  I've even found springs from old cars in junkyards very cheap for the springy table obstacle.

  • Tunnels: old tires, 50 lb drums with ends cut out and rolled (drape sheet off one end for collapsed tunnel), cardboard boxes with holes cut in two sides
  • Mazes: barrier plastic stapled to stakes, three (or more) cardboard boxes with holes cut in sides duct taped together to make maze tunnel, Xpens and puppy play pens made of plastic
  • Patterns: weave poles, cones, patterns outlined by flags, stakes, and ropes made in zigzag, figure eight, and 90-degree-angle shapes
  • Spaced platform jumps: 16" x 4" blocks stacked three high and 16" apart, tree stumps on end, rubber feed tubs
  • Surfaces: stones, sand, plastic, water obstacle such as a kiddies' wading pool, etc.
  • Dog Walk: Picnic tables lined up with planks connecting them, stacks of cement blocks and rail road ties, straw bales
  • Jumps:  Hula hoops, cardboard boxes, cavaletti, rail road ties, even tractor tires
  • Slides: straight (as opposed to curved) plastic kid's slides are best
  • Ramps: boards or logs to make ramps
  • A-frames: half-buried old tractor tires (see Front Page picture) for going over and through, lumber in "A" shape
  • Broad jumps: made from lumber and/or PVC pipe, ditches
  • High jumps: hula hoops, old window doors (for large dogs), PVC pipe makes great jumps, barrels, broom handle laid on two boxes
  • Dog Walks: cinder blocks with an 8' x 1' x 2" board laid on top, horizontal ladder walk, flip/flop board (like a tiny seesaw), packing crates

Core Skills

  1. Sit
  2. Down
  3. In
  4. Around
  5. Up
  6. Over
  7. Through
  8. Under
  9. Crawl
  10. Back Up
  11. Turn
  12. Stop
  13. To Me
  14. Wait
  15. Weave
  16. Wobbles

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?