by Olga Baram, Certified Canine Athlete Specialist
IGP is all about balance of drives with control while maintaining your dog's proper emotions. Just like our training, the IGP specific conditioning shouldn't be boring, tedious or drilling. It should be exciting and enjoyable for both, the dog and the handler. Then it will enhance your relationship and your dog's attitude with the physical workouts😊!
So how do we keep our IGP partner fit, healthy and excited and make our connection stronger?
I try to be creative and challenging while making it fun for the dog and for me, be it some formal maintenance obedience training, hiking or tracking. After all, it's "the lazy days of summer", might as well enjoy them. Then it is also easy to stick to it and stay consistent😉. Whatever you choose to do, be it hiking, biking or jogging, remember about the dangers of overheating so may be best to do it early mornings or evenings out of the sun. If you have access to a body of water, then you are in luck!
Launching into the pool and swimming is Bravo's summer favorite. We work on endurance and flexibility while his back, neck, shoulder, and front and rear muscles all get worked. Bravo added his own twist of practicing targeting his ball, which may come in handy for the long bite entries 😂. All of this is within 15 minutes a day. Or, if I have time off then we just take breaks and chill together by the pool and do more reps😊
I throw in some engagement and obedience exercises between these reps. We add limb awareness work out once a week and play some barking games to keep up his endurance with guarding. We usually finish up with some basic stretching. As you see, the results show🤩.
Of course we also do LOTS of tracking, but that is for a different post😉