Conditioning Question

Weight pull, Protection, Agility, Flyball... you name it!

Postby furever_pit » December 15th, 2009, 9:22 am

I wasn't sure whether to put this here or in "Nutrition & Health" so mods please move this if that section is more appropriate.

This weekend my new trainer told me that I need to do some conditioning work with Dylan. Dylan is not fat or anything, but we do need to increase his stamina and endurance...the FR work takes a lot more out of him than Schutzhund did. Swimming was suggested, but I am very nervous to let Dylan swim in any bodies of water because of alligators and I don't have a pool myself to let him go in. So I'm trying to come up with ways to help Dylan get into better shape.

We already use both flirt and spring poles and Dylan runs a few miles 2-3 times a week with me on my rollerblades. I was thinking that even on regular walks I should start doing intermittent wind sprints of about 50+ yards. Any other ideas?
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Postby ArtGypsy » December 15th, 2009, 10:30 am

OhLord, I got tired just reading the post......

good luck! :wink:
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Postby maberi » December 15th, 2009, 10:32 am

Can you post some pics of Dylan if you don't mind? Just curious to see what his build looks like

The conditioning on roller blades is a great idea for building stamina. You might slowly start to increase the mileage with him and make sure you are running him like that for at least 3 days. Be careful not to increase the mileage too quickly so his body can have enough time to adapt.

You can also throw in some hill sprints and drag weight training, but you'll need to purchase a weight pull harness for that if you don't already have one.

If he enjoys playing fetch with a ball or a disc, some short sessions of that will help as well since that is a lot of explosive movements in a short amount of time.

Again, just be mindful about how quickly you increase his activity level.
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Postby TinaMartin » December 15th, 2009, 11:04 am

maberi wrote:Can you post some pics of Dylan if you don't mind? Just curious to see what his build looks like

The conditioning on roller blades is a great idea for building stamina. You might slowly start to increase the mileage with him and make sure you are running him like that for at least 3 days. Be careful not to increase the mileage too quickly so his body can have enough time to adapt.

You can also throw in some hill sprints and drag weight training, but you'll need to purchase a weight pull harness for that if you don't already have one.

If he enjoys playing fetch with a ball or a disc, some short sessions of that will help as well since that is a lot of explosive movements in a short amount of time.

Again, just be mindful about how quickly you increase his activity level.

Ditto on what Matt says. You could also look into getting a tread mill for when you get tuckered out.
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Postby furever_pit » December 15th, 2009, 3:18 pm

Here are some pics of Dylan. He does not have much muscle mass but I just don't think it is in his genes. He does do some drag weight work but I will have to increase the number of times we do that and I'm thinking that we will start doing it at the beach so that he will encounter more resistance from the sand. As far as a treadmill, I still live with my Mom and she does not want one in her house so that will have to wait - I'd really like a slat mill though.

Dylan is not big into fetch, but I suppose that is something he and I can work on together.

As far as running Dylan for a few miles for at least 3 days in a row...so far what I have read about dog conditioning states that it is better to do harder workouts with rest periods in between. Do you have links to articles or websites on this subject?

On the springpole.
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Being a jerk and crouching. :rolleyes2:
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Jumping.
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ETA: Tina, I want to get tuckered out too. I'm going to use this as an opportunity to get started on my own conditioning before breaking it to my trainer that I want to learn to catch dogs. WOOHOO!
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Postby TinaMartin » December 15th, 2009, 3:39 pm

I would agree with you on the body type. How will you hold up on the sprints. Are you going to try to do them with the roller blades?
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Postby pocketpit » December 15th, 2009, 4:20 pm

If he enjoys playing fetch with a ball or a disc, some short sessions of that will help as well since that is a lot of explosive movements in a short amount of time.


I think this is the best thing to concentrate on with long distance type conditioning as a secondary form of exercise. FR has a lot of short, explosive movement and so personally I feel that replicating that with your play or conditioning has a lot of value.
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Postby maberi » December 15th, 2009, 4:49 pm

furever_pit wrote:As far as running Dylan for a few miles for at least 3 days in a row...so far what I have read about dog conditioning states that it is better to do harder workouts with rest periods in between. Do you have links to articles or websites on this subject?


Dylan looks fantastic! Nice and lean, and I think you are correct in that his genes carry a rangier and leaner body type which I actually prefer.

You bring up an interesting topic which I have been giving a lot of thought to myself. I've yet to see too many articles on conditioning dogs, so I've been comparing what little information I have found on dogs, to strength training and conditioning in humans.

In my personal opinion I don't think you can look at conditioning a dog as broadly as most of the articles I have read do. Just as in humans, I think you need to look at the sport your dog is involved in and determine what the requirements are so you can tailor your training. My training for football back in the day was much different than my training I did for track and field which is much different than the training I do now for triathlons.

Another item articles never address is nutrition which is mind boggling to me. Yes, I understand you should feed your dogs a high quality kibble or appropriate raw diet, but this is highly over simplified in my mind. Muscles are muscles, so I have to think that just like humans, it is imperative for dogs to have some post workout nutrition consisting of protein and carbohydrates. Most people will tell you not to feed your dogs large meals directly after physical activity to avoid bloat. I agree with this, but I do think you can safely feed your dogs something light such as non fat cottage cheese and fruit directly after exercise to help replenish carbohydrate stores and fuel muscle regrowth. I'm also not a huge fan of feeding one big meal a day, but that is a whole other story and I could go on about this stuff all day.

To get back to your question. If Dylan were my dog and I was conditioning him for FR, I would schedule in 2 rest days during the week (proper rest is imperative for muscle growth). No matter what sport you compete in, I do think incorporating some strength training is necessary, so I would try to incorporate some short 10-15 minute sessions of drag work with him, but would focus most of my time on endurance and explosive moments since those are what you are going to need with FR.
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Postby amazincc » December 15th, 2009, 4:55 pm

I've got nothin'... but Dylan looks gorgeous! :shock: :heartbeat:
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Postby maberi » December 15th, 2009, 5:00 pm

TinaMartin wrote:I would agree with you on the body type. How will you hold up on the sprints. Are you going to try to do them with the roller blades?


PS - Just one suggestion for this is to put Dylan in a sit or down stay, walk out 50 yards or so either in a field or up a hill and do a recall with him. I do this with my guys and you get to work on their stays, recalls and sprints all in one (plus the dogs seem to love sprinting towards you).
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Postby furever_pit » December 15th, 2009, 7:07 pm

First, THANK YOU for all of the suggestions and for the compliments on Dylan. I really appreciate it.

Our new conditioning regimen is starting today and Dylan and I are gonna go for a jog with some wind sprints thrown in there. I think this is gonna be kinda cool, getting in shape with Dylan. I'm actually really excited about it.

Oh, I figure I'm gonna have to increase Dylan's food intake during this process. I was thinking I would go ahead and up it by 1/2 cup a day. Does that sound reasonable?
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Postby Brownies Mom » December 15th, 2009, 9:21 pm

furever_pit wrote:Swimming was suggested, but I am very nervous to let Dylan swim in any bodies of water because of alligators and I don't have a pool myself to let him go in. So I'm trying to come up with ways to help Dylan get into better shape.


Geez! If there is the potential for alligator encounters, I wouldn't be swimming either! :jawdrop: Being the worrisome person that I am, though :mrgreen: I probably wouldn't take walks, either, :lookaround: so I'd be investing in a treadmill. Oh wait....I've got one. :doh: Somewhere in the basement. :smokin:
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 15th, 2009, 11:51 pm

Dylan is so handsome!

I got nothing to add that hasn't been said... :| Great advice so far. :)

Score has the same build, he doesn't bulk up...he stays lean, though well-muscled. He plays flyball mainly, so we do a TON of basketball fetch in the yard (which has a slight hill)...and lots of off-leash fetching and playtime in various areas when I'm out walking client dogs (wooded areas, flat grassy fields). One thing I can't get him to do is SWIM...he hates going past his elbows. :nono:
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Postby TinaMartin » December 16th, 2009, 9:53 am

TheRedQueen wrote: One thing I can't get him to do is SWIM...he hates going past his elbows. :nono:

Thats because he wants to stay sexy for the ladies. Just ask Sorsha 8)
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Postby maberi » December 16th, 2009, 10:02 am

That's funny Erin. Yoda was the same way. I ended up buying a life jacket for him and nudging him into the water. Once he stopped panicking and realized he was floating, I couldn't get him to come back in. From that day on he LOVED swimming
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Postby TheRedQueen » December 16th, 2009, 10:12 am

maberi wrote:That's funny Erin. Yoda was the same way. I ended up buying a life jacket for him and nudging him into the water. Once he stopped panicking and realized he was floating, I couldn't get him to come back in. From that day on he LOVED swimming


I'm gonna try clicking him for going in next summer...once I find a place that they can swim without me getting a ticket. (I live next to a reservoir...but NO ONE is allowed to swim there) I have the life jacket all ready for him...lol He loves the water, loves to wade, splash and bite his splashes...but no desire to have his feet fall out from under him. (I don't like to swim either...I feel his pain).
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Postby furever_pit » December 16th, 2009, 3:13 pm

So I am thinking about starting a blog about me and Dylan and our conditioning journey. It will include info and periodic pictures and weights. If it generates interest I might start blogging about our training there as well (so Gator could get some face time. haha). Do you think this is something people would be interested in reading?
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » December 16th, 2009, 6:06 pm

I would!
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Postby maberi » December 17th, 2009, 10:11 am

Me too, great idea
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