CANINE FITNESS

Fit dogs live longer and are healthier, so let’s get your dog fitter!

The Importance of Fitness

Our dogs’ fitness affects every aspect of their lives, from health to quality and length of life.

Yet how do we get and keep our dogs fit enough? And more importantly, how do we do it safely? Well, longer walks aren’t the answer!

Our fitness programs are designed and presented by experts to be done at or near your home, in any weather, with minimal equipment. Whether your dog is a couch potato or an elite athlete, we have safe, progressive programs for you. And, our coaches and community will keep YOU going as you improve your dog’s fitness and health, and thus, your own!

You can also supplement your dog’s fitness program with our classes, award-winning exercise videos and, if you have a puppy, our books.

Canine Fitness Memberships

Personalized programs and expert coaching for all your dogs

Why Our Programs Are Better

  • Created and run by canine fitness and health experts
  • Based on latest science and experience
  • Easy-to-Follow exercise instruction videos
  • Programs for all of your dogs
  • ALL your dogs can join for one price!
  • Step-by-Step exercise program progressions to get your dog fitter
  • Earn fitness titles for your dog

Membership Benefits

  • Personal coaching with Chris Zink DVM PhD DACVSMR & Dr. Gayle Watkins
  • Dozens of videos that show how to perform exercises
  • Free access to all online classes
  • Free live webinars
  • Access to private Facebook group to get your personal questions answered

Give Your Dog the Gift of Health and Longevity!

We offer fitness programs for all dogs, at any age.

Online Classes

Gait Training

Presented By: Chris Zink DVM PhD DACVSMR
Audience: Competitors
Available On Demand

Optimize the strength of your dog’s front legs, core and rear legs to reduce the risk of injury.

Keeping Your Dog Cool

Presented By: Chris Zink DVM PhD DACVSMR
Audience: Competitors
Available On Demand

Tips, techniques, research and resources to keep your dog cool during the summer heat!

Identifying Injuries

Presented By: Chris Zink DVM PhD DACVSMR
Audience: Competitors
Available On Demand

Discover the 5 things you can do to detect your dog’s injuries *before* they become a problem

Canine Rehabilitation

Presented By: Chris Zink DVM PhD DACVSMR
Audience: Competitors
Available On Demand

Learn to use canine rehab to prevent and treat injuries and surgeries so your dog recovers more quickly

  • Gait Training – optimize the strength of your dog’s front legs, core and rear legs to reduce the risk of injury.
  • How To Keep Your Dog Cool – tips, techniques, research and resources to keep your dog cool during the summer heat!
  • Identifying Injuries – discover the 5 things you can do to detect your dog’s injuries *before* they become a problem
  • Canine Rehabilitation – learn to use canine rehab to prevent and treat injuries and surgeries so your dog recovers more quickly

Books, Videos & More

Fit For Life Videos v2.0

This USB flash drive contains all 32 exercise videos from the Fit For Life and Fit To Be Tied canine conditioning programs.

Fit For Life Puppy Exercise Book

This 28-page, paperback book lays out the keys to getting and keeping your growing puppy fit from 3 weeks to 15 months of age.

Puppy Exercise Guideline Poster

This 18″ x 24″ poster displays the science-based, puppy exercise guidelines created by canine sports medicine veterinarian, Chris Zink DVM PhD DACVSMR and expert breeder, Gayle Watkins PhD, to take puppies from 3 weeks of age until their growth plates have closed.

Canine Fitness Articles

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.

My Dog in Rehab Needs Stuff to Do!

Ok, your canine buddy is on the team’s injured/reserved list. It’s only temporary, but it’s driving you and your teammate nuts! Your dog’s brain is used to being active – running, playing, wrestling with his dog friends, and spending time training and competing with you in whatever games you play. That brain thrives on stimulation!

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.

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?

Teacher’s Pet – How To Make Sure Your Training Doesn’t Go In One Ear And Out The Other

Have you ever parked outside a restaurant or concert, had an exciting few hours, and then walked outside to realize you have no idea where you left your car? Why can we easily recall our childhood street address but forget something we knew just a short time earlier?

How To Make Your Dog Live Longer – It’s Easy!

As my dog grows older, I often look at his greying face and hope I will have him for many more years. And when it becomes obvious that I will have to say goodbye to one of my dogs, I always wish that we could have just a few more days together. I’m sure you have felt...

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…

The ‘Cure’ in Curcumin: This Spice May Be The Solution to Your Dog’s Lameness

Soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament) injuries are common in active dogs. In one study of agility dogs, 87% of all injuries involved soft tissues (1). Muscles heal quickly and generally return to full function, but tendons and ligaments are notoriously difficult to...

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