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!


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

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...

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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.

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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…

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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.