CANINE FITNESS BLOG

Overloaded! (It’s Not About Reps and Sets)

Overload. Despite how it sounds, it may be a good thing for your dog’s fitness and health!

Proprioception – How To Hone Your Dog’s Injury-Prevention System

Proprioception is like a body-wide stabilization system. It enables dogs to be active while preventing injuries. Learn how to fine-tune it!

Play Ball (Safely)

What is it about retrieving that makes many dogs (and owners) lose their minds, completely forgetting self-preservation and control? This blog tells you how to play retrieve games safely with your dog.

Stop Taking Your Dog For a Walk! (Try a Saunter Instead)

Pretty well everyone agrees that taking your dog for a walk is just about the best exercise your dog can get, right? Maybe… or maybe not.

Is Your Dog Hard Core? The Importance of Canine Core Musculature

During the past 4 years, hundreds of dedicated members of the Fit For Life™ canine health and fitness program have assessed their dogs’ front limb, rear limb and core muscle strength so that their dogs could be assigned individualized fitness program that would target each dog’s weakest muscles. We just examined the data from almost 400 dogs entering the program and learned that fully 62% of the dogs needed work on core musculature – far more than any other part of the body.

Lets’ Not (Static) Stretch…the Truth

Lets’ Not (Static) Stretch…the Truth

Whether or not to stretch, and if so, how and for how long, is a huge controversy in human sports medicine. Since there are no published articles on the effects of either static or dynamic stretching in the dog, we rely on the literature about stretching in humans and apply those findings to dogs. As a result, the same controversy exists in the dog world.

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…

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?

Yawn… Your Dog Empathizes!

Yawn… Your Dog Empathizes!

Picture this: you’re riding in a car with a friend and she yawns. A few seconds later, you yawn too, even though you’re not tired or bored. Your friend yawns again and this time you decide you are going to resist yawning. But you can feel the darn yawn building in your throat until you just have to let it out! In fact, you might actually be stifling a yawn just from reading this! Congratulations – you’re human.

Perfect Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect. IMPERFECT Practice Makes Perfect

Perfect Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect. IMPERFECT Practice Makes Perfect

Remember the first time you had to give a presentation in public? You probably wrote down what you wanted to say, then read it out loud over and over, repeating the words just as you wanted to say them in the presentation. It was really, really boring, and you were thinking, “How often do I need to do this before it will stick in my head?”

Researchers at Johns Hopkins’ Department of Rehabilitation Medicine studying how people learn made an interesting discovery (1). They found out that the old adage, “perfect practice makes perfect,” was actually not quite true. Whether it’s memorizing a presentation or learning how to do a front cross in agility, it turns out that we learn faster if we don’t practice perfectly. Let me explain…

Do the Dew(claws)?

Do the Dew(claws)?

A dog using its dewclaws, preparing to “grip” the water. Photo by Tom FretzAs a veterinary sports medicine specialist, I work extensively with canine athletes, developing rehabilitation programs for injured dogs or dogs that required surgery due to performance-related...

Love, Actually: How a Tiny Peptide Drives Your Passion for Dogs

Love, Actually: How a Tiny Peptide Drives Your Passion for Dogs

Oxytocin. Most of us think of it as the hormone that helps bitches whelp and produce milk. And yes, it’s that, but so much more. A series of recent studies have revealed how oxytocin has a major effect on the brains of both people and dogs to strengthen the human-canine bond – that indescribable interspecies attachment that might just explain why you’re reading this.

No Hot Dogs Please!

No Hot Dogs Please!

Not the kind you eat – you can make your own decisions about that! I’m talking literally: hot… dogs.

Maybe you are thinking, “Oh gosh, I already know everything about this topic: Don’t leave your dog in the car, dogs have less efficient cooling mechanisms than people, blah, blah, blah.” Well, bear with me, because there are a couple of new studies that just might surprise you. In fact, they might just save your dog’s life.

How To Teach Your Dog To Take Pills

How To Teach Your Dog To Take Pills

One of the biggest yet most important challenges you face when raising dogs is to teach them to willingly and happily accept medical treatments, such as pills. At some time during your dog’s life, it is likely he will need such treatments.

It’s Dead Tail Season!

It’s Dead Tail Season!

How to avoid and treat dead tail, also known as “cold tail,” “limber tail” or “limp tail,” a strange thing that strikes some dogs. Many of my friends were out training or hiking with their dogs this weekend in and around lakes and streams, which reminded me that it is...

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