Las Cruces Dog Sports is very excited to start our first ever conditioning class targeted specifically for canine athletes. All three instructors have different takes, approaches, and hopefully a lot of different ideas for you to take home.
There are a few requirements/suggestions/ground rules (in addition to the normal LCDS house rules and common sense) that we would like to make everyone aware of before class begins. As always, it is important that humans and canines both be in good physical shape prior to starting this class–we will NOT be addressing weight loss plans, any sort of injury based or geriatric rehabilitation, nor performing any veterinary assessments or examinations, or making any sort of diagnoses during this class. Your dog MUST be at a healthy weight and have good overall physical and cardiovascular fitness in order to fully participate. Please be sure to see your regular veterinarian prior to the start date if you are unsure of have any questions in this regard.
One of the best things about canine conditioning is that there is a lot of neat equipment available, but there are only a few things you HAVE to have to get started and a lot of these things are actually very inexpensive or can be easily made at home.
Must have list…
- Hungry dog + treats (small, soft, non-crumbling). Frozen peanut butter or frozen small jars of baby food (meat or sweet potato) can also be great motivators. Please try any new treats out at home first to make sure they do not cause any gastrointestinal upset. A clicker-saavy dog is also a big bonus!
- Harness (non-restrictive–ask if you have questions), plus a short leash or training tab.
- Cavaletti (very easy to make at home–we will talk about this in class!).
- Perch–there are several commercial ones which you can purchase, also, black, round, horse feed bins work great for this! We will have several examples at the first night of class.
- Flat plank or board with textured surface.
- Traffic cone (no stealing!).
- Uneven surfaces (lots of commercial options, but also couch cushions, comforters, foam, or air mattresses can work great!).
If I only ever bought ONE piece of fancy equipment, it would be the FitPaws FitBone–this is appropriate for all sizes of dogs and can be used for a ton of different exercises. The best price I have seen is through CleanRun, Amazon or directly from FitPaws.
Fancy stuff, and the nice to have list…
- FitPaws toys.
- Peanut/Donut/Egg/Discs–the FitPaws brand has a much thicker and durable surface and is more resistant (but not impossible) to punctures.
- Trampoline –Wobble board –Paw pods
- Homework is absolutely required! Not every team will progress at the same rate or master the same set of skills, but because all athletic training is based on gradual progression, you must practice. Many skills will be build on week-to-week, so it is important to practice at home. Along those lines–DO NOT OVERDO IT. Some tricks can be practiced on a daily basis, but many of the harder exercises should only be performed a maximum of three times a week for a maximum 5-10 minute duration. Please ask if you have any questions.
- This has to be fun for our dogs! No forcing the dogs onto the equipment. Luring is okay, shaping is more awesome. Some dogs will be naturally wary and tentative at first and that is fine–not every team will progress at the same rate, but we will all get there in the end.
- Toenails must be short and in good shape. This is important not only for the dogs, but also to ensure equipment longevity.
- Teams with weight/health/age issues may not be able to participate in every exercise.
- Warmup and cool down routines are always important.
Please see our Class Registration Form to register for this class.