We help busy dog owners and breeders get their dogs fit, safely and effectively! Whether you have a baby puppy or an aged senior dog, we have a safe, effective, science-based fitness programs for you!


Want to know more about Fit For Life? Check out this free webinar by Chris and Gayle to learn more about the programs, how to evaluate your dog’s fitness, and which foundational exercise is great to start with! We also cover our Puppy Exercise Guidelines and more about growth plates in young dogs. (Webinar previously recorded – October 2018)


Fit, active, developmentally sound puppies! After watching the recent trend to severely limit exercise for puppies, we hit the books. For several years, in fact! The results are these Fit For Life Puppy Exercise Guidelines. These guidelines arise from Chris’s long experience as a sports medicine veterinarian, researcher, and competitor and Gayle’s 40 years of experience raising and assisting others to raise puppies to be healthy, sound adults and seniors.

Purchase the guidelines poster or download your free copy (not printable) of the Fit For Life Puppy Exercise Guidelines!


Cold Nose, Warm Sense – Your Dog has a Newly Discovered Superpower!

Cold Nose, Warm Sense – Your Dog has a Newly Discovered Superpower!

Did you know that your dog has something in common with vampire bats, pit vipers and black fire beetles? What could that possibly be?

It all started when some scientists from Sweden and Hungary went into a bar….

Well, that might not be exactly true. I’m not sure where they were when they got together and asked the question, “Why is a dog’s nose moist and cold, when most other mammals’ noses are warm and dry?” No doubt this is a question that has also kept you awake many a night…

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How Much Exercise Do Puppies Need?

How Much Exercise Do Puppies Need?

There seem to be two approaches to exercising puppies by well-meaning owners. There are those who do too much too soon with their pups, doing concussive exercises often as early as 6 months of age. Then there are those who minimize their pups’ activity, almost wrapping them in cotton until their growth plates have closed. So what is the right balance of physical activity for your puppy? What kind of exercises should you do? Can you walk, jog or hike with your puppy?

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AZV is a joint venture between two of the Dog World’s most committed scientists and educators, Chris Zink DVM PhD DACVP DACVSMR CCRT CVSMT CVAWe, and Gayle Watkins PhD MS MBA. Chris and Gayle have joined forces to create online programs that make all dogs, from baby puppies to our beloved old dogs, healthier and fitter. They have a special interest in breeding dogs and young puppies because they know proper conditioning during these periods sets the stage for future generations of dogs.



Chris is one of the world’s top canine sports medicine and rehabilitation veterinarians and researchers. She obtained her DVM and PhD from the Ontario Veterinary College and is a professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she teaches pathology and conducts AIDS research. She is also on the faculty of the Canine Rehabilitation Institute and gives seminars to veterinary professionals and dog owners around the world.

She has been named Woman Veterinarian of the Year and her books have received accolades from the Dog Writers Association of America. Through her efforts, the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation was recently established as the newest specialty in veterinary medicine.

In addition to her veterinary expertise, Chris has put over 100 titles in Agility, Obedience, Conformation, Tracking, Hunt Tests, Barn Hunt, Nosework, Coursing, and Rally on dogs from the Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier and Herding groups.



Gayle is the co-founder of Avidog International, where she works with dog breeders around the world to design breeding programs that produce healthy, stable, long-lived dogs of all types. She has bred golden retrievers for over 40 years, is a Gold Breeder or Merit, and is one of the few dog breeders to have thrice been selected by the American Kennel Club as “Breeder of the Year.”

Gayle’s professional life included 22 years of service as a US Army officer (retiring as a Colonel), teaching, speaking and publishing, and conducting research for the Department of the Army as well as many corporate and non-profit organizations. Her education includes biology, business and sociology degrees from Harvard, Stanford and Gettysburg College.

Gayle has bred and/or shown over 130 American and Canadian Conformation, Tracking, Obedience and Agility champions, plus Qualified-All Age and Master Hunter golden retrievers. These dogs include the only two-time AKC National Agility Champion, the AKC Rally National Champion, and the youngest Champion Tracker golden.