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Canine Conditioning Programs

Oct 19, 2022

Our dogs competing in protection sports are Canine Athletes.  To do their best, they should be in their top condition.  Of course we always want to maximize our dogs performance during the trial season.  Yet, the biggest concern for most of us with our dogs is reducing the risk of injury. 


A good conditioning program should do both! It should include all 5 pillars:

  1. Cardiovascular Endurance
  2. Muscular Strength
  3. Balance and Proprioception
  4. Flexibility
  5. Mental Stamina


A sport specific conditioning program will push the limits in all 5 to get that extra in specific behaviors that we need for our specific performance in each exercise.  The goal is to do it in a very safe and controlled way. And to teach our dogs to move their bodies in a safe way by building the muscular neurotransmitters.  This actually transfers to the performance they need to do and mitigates injuries!


To do this, one must really know and understand each exercise in the sport and be able to apply each of the 5 pillars to specific exercises to achieve the best results. That’s why we call it sport specific.  Learn more about conditioning for IGP athletes from Olga, who is a world championship competitor herself here thru a workshop, private lessons, online consultation or take the IGP Athlete course! 

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