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About

This project was created by four canine therapy specialists, passionate about animal welfare and best practice in rehabilitation, conditioning and training. Kirsti is a canine musculoskeletal therapist who also trains and competes her own dogs in agility. Alex is a canine exercise rehabilitation and massage therapist who also trains and competes in agility and parkour. Kirsti and Alex run canine fitness and conditioning workshops together. Nikki and Katie are veterinary physiotherapists and hydrotherapists with a specialist canine rehab clinic in West London. Their combined experience of 26 years working professionally in canine rehabilitation led them to develop Conditioning Your Canine. The aim of this project is to provide a progressive series of safe, effective exercises that can be recommended by canine specialists to support rehabilitation and/or conditioning goals for dogs.  However, this platform can be used to create programmes of exercises for the benefit for any dog at all lifestages and abilities.

All exercise programmes are created by your supporting therapist specifically for your dog and should not be shared with any others as this could be harmful or inappropriate for another dog to complete.

 

Why ‘Conditioning Your Canine’?

The inspiration for this project is twofold.

Firstly, seeing the positive impact a good home exercise programme can have on our patients’ rehabilitation and recovery from injury, inspired us to produce an online aid to support owners with this element of their dog’s treatment plan.

Secondly, our belief in consent-based training drove us to develop a programme of exercises where the dog is involved and engaged with the conditioning process, and where owners feel empowered to complete the exercises with their dogs without force or intimidation.

 

The programme’s benefits include:

  • The Foundations document has a wealth of information about the key principles underpining the conditioning exercises which we recommend referring to as you work through your conditioning programme
  • Progressive exercises recommended specifically for your dog at their current level of ability
  • Clear videos showing how to complete each exercise and Training Tips on how to train your dog safely and positively
  • What ‘good form’ looks like so you know if your dog is performing the exercise correctly
  • Understanding which key muscle groups are activated during the exercise
  • Access via an online platform compatible with all electronic devices allowing you to use this programme whenever and wherever suits you
  • Printable version of the exercises, so that you can refer to them when not online

This programme enables you to complete your home exercises with confidence. You can refer to your personalised exercises multiple times, to help guide you and your dog throughout the process and to complete the exercises safely and effectively.

 

 

Providing choice and using positive reinforcement provides the following benefits:

  • The training and conditioning process becomes an enjoyable bonding experience for you and your dog, and improves your dog’s trust in you as a handler
  • It provides a better learning experience for your dog where your dog is more likely to repeat a behaviour
  • It builds positive links between performing the exercises and reward, releasing “feel good” endorphins
  • Dogs who are fully engaged with their conditioning exercises progress quicker, with increased body awareness and better muscle engagement

 

This resource empowers you to take a confident and active role in your dog’s home exercise programme. It can be engaging, fun and educational for you and your dog. We think you will be impressed with the results you can achieve together!