Canine Conditioning

Whether human or canine, there are five components of fitness, all of which help to prevent injury and improve movement.

The following are brief descriptions of each component courtesy of Kyra’s Canine Conditioning book (2019):

  • Flexibility – is the ability to move joints through a completed range of motion. Flexibility can be improved through static, dynamic and functional stretching exercises.
  • Balance – is the ability to evenly distribute one’s weight in order to reamin upright and steady. Balance can be improved through instability training exercises.
  • Stamina – also known as “cardio”, is the ability to reamin active for a long period of time. Stamina can be improved through gradual increases in training exercises such as jogging.
  • Coordination – also known as proprioception or the “sixth sense”, is the ability to know where our body parts are, even if we cannot see them. It is important in learning new motor skills and for developing muscle memory.
  • Strength – is short-term explosive power. Strength training protects bone health and muscle mass and is key for seniors to help combat age-related muscle loss.

A physically fit dog is conditioned in all five areas and as you work through this course. The exercises required to achieve your dog’s CCF titles are based on the Do More With Your Dog training program and criteria.

Before starting, be sure to review this short document on basic dog anatomy.

Just as with humans who are starting out on a new fitness journey should seek out their physician’s ok prior to starting a training program, you should seek out your veterinarian’s advice for your dog particularly if you have any concerns or if your dog has any abnormalities.