Lately, I have been receiving a lot of emails regarding the challenges to training in limited spaces. I admit it’s easy to prepare sequences and workouts for your dog when you have a large fenced field. Limited space doesn’t mean limited options necessarily. In preparation for the hot temperatures headed my way, I spent some time developing a few circuit training plans for my personal dogs. With the executive order “stay home” in effect, I have been given a good reason to go ahead and try them out. I am pleased to report my dogs are thoroughly enjoying their workouts and I’m getting to be creative in my planning which I love. My goal was to develop a few circuit workouts for each dog to rotate daily which would mentally and physically challenge my dogs in a small space. Add in some new trick training, along with some obedience behaviors we are polishing and we have a full workout.
What is circuit training for a dog you ask? It is exercise stations set up so that instead of resting between repetitions you take your dog from one station to the next. How many stations you set up depends on how much room you have and your dogs fitness level? Keep in mind any prior injury limitations. For a beginner dog keep stations on the flat focusing on texture changes (mat work) for more advanced dogs break out that FitPaws equipment you have been storing away and waiting to use. Remember inflation of the exercise equipment matters, if you have doubt, ask! If you don’t have FitPaws equipment, be creative there are many household items you can make work. Need suggestions, email me.
As a certified human canine fitness coach, I cannot stress the importance of proper form enough, with humans and dogs alike. Speed is not the goal here so remember slow intentional movements win. Don’t forget the position of your hands and treat delivery placement matters. Video your exercises and make sure you are delivering the treats and your hand placement is keeping your dog in a neutral stance while performing the exercises asked. If you need some help critiquing your videos post them in my group here.
Here is a sneak peak into one of Māui’s circuit course. There are 13 stations just in what you see here. This is Māui’s morning workout. Can you identify all of them? All of the stations can be rearranged very quickly to change it up during the workout. So don’t fret if you don’t have a ton of fitness equipment, you can accomplish a lot with just some basic pieces.