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atravis 08-28-2014 11:09 AM

General conditioning (spin-off from APTB thread)
I didn't want to take that thread too far off topic, so I'll come here and ask.

What do people here do to condition their dogs? Not necessarily for sport (though that's fine too), but in general?

I've always done my best to keep my dogs in good condition, at a good weight, etc. But since moving to Texas I can certainly see how much harder it is for them in the heat, plus having less time to work with them I can see a degree of deterioration in fitness.

I used to feed exclusively raw, but now I can only do it periodically as I do not have the good sources I had in AL. I know good diet is important to this, though they do still eat "good" kibbles (Orijen is the last bag they've been on).

The other thread has inspired me to try some light weight pull. Does anyone here do this with their dogs, and does anyone have a good harness rec? I've considering making my own, as I would only be using light weights (no more than 15-20 lbs), but I'm not sure how hard that will be.

Also thinking about APBTs, I've considering making a spring pole. I imagine that could help strengthen some neck/leg muscles?

Just looking for general ideas/thoughts. I'm mostly interested in Ridley, as I am actually trying to do things with him right now (herding, tracking, some protection work), where as Mulder is mostly taking it easy. This is him at his best:

Its harder for me to tell what is "fit", relative to other breeds who's definition is easier to see due to a shorter coat. But I'd like to get him as good as I can get him.

lauren43 08-28-2014 11:53 AM

I think flirt poles, spring poles, tug, and any water exercise help a lot with conditioning.

With weight pull, well I just feel like GSDs are fragile for so long lol [referring to their hips here and having to wait a year plus to do any high impact sports] ! My last dog was a pit mix. He didn't love weight pull, but we were going to try it. I bought him a harness and everything...and then never got to use it.

Shade 08-28-2014 12:03 PM

Personally I do hiking, fetch, flirt pole, treadmill, and body awareness exercises with him on a regular basis. I'd do swimming as he loves it but there's nothing nice enough nearby that allows dogs, there's one beach that's decent but it's very crowded

DJEtzel 08-28-2014 02:34 PM

I do a lot of Frisbee fetch, heel work, flirt pole and swimming to keep my boys in shape.

Everything off leash so that they can work their bodies as much as possible.

Lets see if I can find a recent picture of both..

DJEtzel 08-28-2014 02:49 PM

Andaka 08-28-2014 06:54 PM

I try to keep Jag fit for agility, so we developed a game we refer to as "Stairmaster". Jag runs down the stairs, makes a quick turn, then comes back up. He gets a small treat for coming back up to the top. We started it with a toy and he had to go down the stairs, get the toy, and bring it back to me.

onyx'girl 08-28-2014 08:09 PM

Training, swimming, fetch. When we train we do back ups, upsits, circles and turns to keep limber.

The dogs herd each other all the time so natural pivoting, stopping and lunging help keep them in shape. They also compete in who gets to the thrown toy first and herd each other on the way back to me.
Karlo uses the fitpaws peanut during the winter months to keep his core strength toned.

blackshep 08-29-2014 09:07 AM

Does anyone have/use a dog treadmill? Are they good for conditioning, building stamina?

My dog has a borderline hip and I want to keep her in shape, but I worry about throwing a ball for her when there's a lot of sharp turns/starts/stops. I live on a busy road in the country without much of a shoulder, so walking/running isn't possible without going for a drive.

She hates swimming, so that's a no-go.

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