Exercise is a vital part of your dog’s life! Besides providing health benefits, regular exercise gives your dog a chance to release their pent up energy, which can eliminate a lot of problematic behaviours like chewing, digging, or barking. It’s a win, win!
Probably the easiest workout to start with your dog is walking or running with your dog on a leash. This is fantastic and can certainly help your dog (and you!) reap wonderful health benefits. However, just like with humans, dogs can benefit greatly from cross training and adding other types of activities into their exercise routine.
Here are some cross training ideas that can benefit you and your dog.
Strength and Obedience Training with your Dog – Depending on your dog’s temperament and size, you can do several sets of exercises before or after your walk or run to add some strength training to your workout. While you squat and stand, encourage your dog to sit and stand too, so he uses his back legs while you do. If you have a small dog, you can actually use them as resistance to do bicep curls or chest presses. This tends to benefit you more than him. If your dog is too big to be held, you can work with them to hold a sit or down position while you do your exercise sets. For your legs, hold a small dog to your chest while you do a wall sit. If your dog a bit big for this, do the wall sit and put his paws on your legs while you hold the position. A great all over toning move is a plank. You can do a plank and have your dog work to hold a down position next to you on your mat.