Working dogs will benefit from training with FitPAWS® Canine Conditioning Equipment from puppyhood to their working career, retirement, and beyond. Cross-training on FitPAWS® equipment will help working dogs develop core strength, body awareness, and self-confidence. Working dogs have many of the same risks associated with highly competitive canine athletes and can reduce their risks of injuries by having a consistent physical training program.
Incorporate FitPAWS equipment early in puppy training, and maintain core strength training throughout your working dog’s career for increased performance and injury prevention. Cross-training can include core-strength training on the FitPAWS Peanut or Egg and obstacle course training featuring the FitPAWS Wobble Boards, Discs, Donuts, and Hurdle Set.
Training Equipment For The Working Dog
Adding this strengthening activity to your working dog’s cross-training activities 3-4 times per week, has many benefits, including:
- Improved reaction and control
- Increased trunk and core strength
- Stabilization of weak areas
- Improved balance and proprioception (awareness of the body’s position in space)
- Increased range of motion in joints & elongation of the muscles
- Improved sensory & body awareness
- Reducing the risk of work-related injuries
Protection K9s, and
Breeders, trainers and handlers of K9 dogs used for protection and Search-and-Rescue know the importance of work hardiness for your working dog. Dogs with these jobs are often exposed to different challenging and unstable surfaces and need to be ready for long hours of field work. Incorporating strength-training on the unstable surface of a FitPAWS® Peanut is a great way to accomplish strength-training, body awareness, and balance training. Incorporate the FitPAWS® Wobble and Giant Rocker Board and Balance Discs into a puppy program for exposure to moving surfaces and different textures on the paws. The FitPAWS® Hurdle Set can be used for crawling exercises, jump training, lateral side stepping exercises and other body awareness exercises.
Working dogs like to play too! Shutzhund is a competitive canine sport that has its origins in German police dog training and testing. Your dogs can gain a competitive edge by cross-training with FitPAWS Canine Conditioning Equipment. After your dog has mastered strengthening exercises on the FitPAWS Peanut, advance to the FitPAWS® Egg. A strong core will help in both competition and field work. Visit our Canine Sports page for additional information and sport-specific training benefits.
Breeders of Service dogs can start with the low-impact FitPAWS equipment as a part of their super puppy program. The FitPAWS® Balance Products – Balance Pad, Balance Discs and Wobble Boards can be incorporated into their surface training program by laying the equipment out in an obstacle course. Therapy and Service dogs need to be confident when walking across any type of surface. The unstable and textured surface of these products will help develop confidence in different environments.
Service dogs that assist their human for counter balance will benefit from core strength and balance training on a FitPAWS Peanut. The FitPAWS® Peanut can be stabilized between a couch and a coffee table, so the owner can continue with training exercises at home. Because of the interactive quality of the FitPAWS equipment, training will continue to strengthen the bond between owner and service dog while giving the dog an important outlet for its excess energy.
Hunting dogs move fast in the field and often hurdle over branches and under natural obstacles to chase down their game. Having keen body awareness and a strong core can help your dog perform their best when they are on the job. Proprioception exercises on the FitPAWS® Balance Discs and Wobble Boards can help a dog instinctively learn how its body moves in space so that it can respond to different environmental factors at fast speed.
Often times, hunting dogs can strain themselves by twisting themselves the wrong way in a ground hole or uneven surface. All movement begins from the core, so developing strong core muscles by cross-training on a FitPAWS Peanut can reduce the chance of injury and help improve overall field performance. Running also takes endurance training. Increase hind end strength with sit-to-stand reps on two FitPAWS® Donuts or Balance Discs. Consider using the FitPAWS® Donut Holders when you are beginning training to help stabilize the Donuts and make it easier for your dog to get used to.
Consider using the FitPAWS® Peanut as a substitute for a barrel when teaching the “Whoa” command. Dogs learn to engage their core muscles and major muscle groups in order to keep balanced on the unstable surface of the Peanut. As they become stronger, they learn to keep the movement of the Peanut at a minimum.