Hello again! Challenge #3: Teach your audience how to do something.

I’m going to teach you how to do core exercises with your dog! I just recently learned how to do this with our senior dog, Scrappy. He finds it fun, gets extra treats, and we can tell a difference in his core strength! Who would’ve thought dogs needed to work their core too?!? Here we go!

1. During your leash walks; include figure-8s and circles (both directions and in varying sizes) to focus on weight shifting, balance and coordination. Use any inclines/declines available to you to walk him over and around. You can also include walking him in a serpentine pattern over this terrain. (We love walking around trees at the park, any hills we can find, and the beach is a must!)

2. 3-legged stand: Lift each of your dogs limbs individually off of the floor for 10 seconds, then release. Rotate lifting, holding up and releasing all 4 limbs 5 times each per session with 2-3 sessions daily. This always reminds me of doing a plank and lifting up one limb at a time and holding. I guess, that’s exactly what it is :)

3. Treats to points: Place your dog in a standing position and while using a small treat, slowly draw his head to each of the following points on one side of his body, then to the same point on the other side: front shoulders, front feet, hips (or as far back as he will go with this point), rear feet (or as far back as he will go with this point). The goal is to keep his back end stationary and allow his front end to slowly and easily move in the direction of the points that you are directing his head/nose to. Have him go to each of the points 5 times per session with 2-3 sessions daily.

4. Ladder: place a ladder flat on the ground and walk your dog slowly over the rungs for 5 repetitions (1 repetition = 1 trip through the ladder and back) per session with 2-3 sessions daily.

5. Side crunches: Have your dog lie on his side and, beginning at his shoulder, use a treat to slowly draw his head along his spine from his shoulder to his hip, then down to his knee, back up to his hip and then back to his shoulder. Repeat this 3 times on each side per session with 2-3 sessions daily. Be sure to not allow him to use his down forelimb (the front leg of the side that he is lying on) to push himself up.

Let me know if you give any of these a try and if so, how does your dog like it? We are about to start an abs of steal session now :)