Is your dog a sports lover who relishes agility, flyball, freestyle, or disc dog competition? Or is she more of a couch potato? Perhaps she’s getting on a bit in years? Then your dog could benefit from a proactive approach to injury prevention. That’s where core conditioning—or Pilates—for dogs comes into the picture. In humans, Pilates exercises improve posture, balance, coordination, and range of motion, reduce back pain, alleviate tension, and reduce injuries. Similar exercises can do much the same for dogs.
In addition to roll over, down dog (bow), and spin, one of the best exercises for canine core conditioning is the classic sit up and beg position (not advisable for Dachshunds or dogs with back problems). With all these, the trick is to start slowly and gradually build duration and flexibility. To learn more, search YouTube for “pilates for dogs” or buy a book or DVD with instructions.