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Canine Boot Camp Workout Program

Source: Thank Dog Bootcamp Updated on October 27, 2016
Bootcamp Guide:

Exercise Program with Your Dog

Why would your dog be a great workout partner? If self-motivation isn't enough, with a majority of Americans being overweight, owning a dog is and that's what makes Thank Dog! Bootcamp different. Doing an exercise program with your dog is an automatic motivation that will stay consistent throughout the program and here's why: Dogs love to run as much as they love to be with their owner. They will never say no to exercise, which means the owner stays motivated regardless of how they feel or what kind of day they had. And honestly, how could one say no to those puppy dog eyes when all the benefits outweigh the moments of self doubt and lazy thinking? A study was designed by Dr. Kushner, co-author of “Fitness Unleashed,” as he called it People and Pets Exercising Together, or PPET. The study took place at Northwestern University in Chicago, where overweight owners and dogs alike were put through an exercise and nutritional program for several weeks. Although, the owner's weight loss was significant, each week they were more focused on the positive changes they saw in their dogs' health which kept them going to reach their weight goals. Finally, when it was over, all the participants spoke mostly about their dogs and essentially said the same thing during the exit interviews: They stuck to it because their dog loved it so much.

Thank Dog! Bootcamp is a one-stop fitness program that unites a workout for people with obedience training for dogs. It's a combination of weight training, cardio training, and dog training to give both the human and dog a workout while teaching the dog how to behave.

A certified fitness and dog trainer directs the daily one hour workout. Each session consists of on-and-off 10 minute cardio intervals. Basic obedience commands are integrated throughout the exercise program to ensure a smooth workout for everyone. Dogs learn to obey and focus in high energy environments, while both are getting a strenuous workout. When the human weight training sessions are going on, the dog will practice “go to your place”. It's a balanced approach for both the dog's physical and mental well-being. “We believe in quality exercise over quantity, working both your dogs mind and their bodies!”

Additional Benefits

Aside from reaching your fitness goals, the combination of physical and mental stimulation is necessary to have a happy and healthy pooch. Mental stimulation for a dog is just as tiring as physical activity and without it, they get bored just like humans. Contrary to what some dog owners believe, dogs actually do like to work and thrive on mental challenges. It tires them out where boredom doesn't create those unwanted behavioral problems like chewing, excess barking, and digging holes in the backyard. They build endurance just like we do and when pent up energy is only being released through physical activity, their minds are left focusing on other ways to balance out. Dogs are intelligent animals, survivalists, and need their minds exercised just as much as their bodies. After all, it's not like they can pick up a book or watch TV! They can only do what we give them and that's why Thank Dog! Bootcamp was designed this way.

Don't worry, even the most unruly and untrained dog can participate in this program. The only exception is dogs that are aggressive towards people. Otherwise, all dogs are accepted! They also welcome all body types and fitness levels to attend.

Why not just exercise? Obedience training is necessary as it's the key to establishing leadership and a clear line of communication between dog and human, while also building and strengthening the relationship. On that note, fitness can be unpleasant to exercise a dog if they don't know how to heel, have leash aggression towards other dogs, and/or always pulling ahead as if it was his/her idea to go for the run in the first place. And, that's only referring to one dog and their owner - think about 20 people in the same place dealing with leash issues! It would not only be chaotic and distracting from the people exercise, but could be dangerous as well.

One week prior to starting, a certified dog trainer and personal trainer meets with new enlistees to conduct a consultation for both dogs and their people. There, basic obedience (a detailed lesson plan is even provided to take home as a practice guide, where the training continues for a peaceful home environment) are taught and human weight/measurements and health history are taken.

“A tired dog is a good dog and a trained dog is an even better dog, so get your shoes on, grab a leash and come play with us!” - Thank Dog! Bootcamp

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