Canine Conditioning Foundations

A strength and conditioning program for your dog can have many benefits; improving quality of life, sports performance, behavior, and your relationship as you bond through training. Improved strength and condition can increase your dog’s odds to avoid injury. This course will give you and your dog the foundational skills to get started in a conditioning program. The skills in this course alone will help improve your dog’s strength and body awareness, but will be critical when you start introducing equipment and more challenging exercises in higher courses.

Course Details

Conditioning Foundations will teach you to train your dog ten foundational exercises that are key to beginning any conditioning program. The mastery of the foundational skills, with proper form, are critical to achieving a safe conditioning program, and for your dog to receive maximum benefit from the exercises. All exercises are trained using positive reinforcement and will lead to your dog to love exercise time. The exercises covered include the static stand, tuck sit, kickback stand, folding down, down to stand, nose target, give a paw, front foot target, independent backup, and side step. Once the exercises are mastered, the course will give you ideas on how to use the foundational exercises with repetitions and combinations to start improving your dog’s fitness right away.

Meet Your Instructor

Kathy Childers

Kathy Childers

Dog Sport Fitness Program Director

FITPaws Master Trainer
Certified Canine Fitness Instructor
AKC Star Puppy and CGC Evaluator
Associate Trick Dog Instructor
Scent Work and Rally Competitor
Dock Diving Support for Team Ruger

What You Will Need for This Course
  • Treat pouch, or pockets

  • Small soft treats

  • Front foot target: this can be a small feed tub, FitPaws disc, or even a phone book covered in duct tape or a feed bowl with duct tape around the edge to keep it from slipping. The target ideally will be approximately the width of your dog’s shoulders, or slightly wider.

  • Platform: Optional (An ideal platform will be slightly wider than your dog’s shoulders, and a foot or more longer than they would need to stand on comfortably.)

  • X-pen: Optional

Should You Take This Course

Are you involved in dog sports? Then you need to have a solid canine fitness program in place! This course is designed to give you the absolute basics that you and your dog will need to ensure you are doing all you can to have your dog be safe, fit and injury-free.

Make sure you meet these prerequisites:

  • An understanding of a marker/reward system.

  • If your dog has had an injury, they should be cleared by your veterinarian before starting.

  • Puppies can learn the skills in this class but should not be starting a conditioning program until the growth plates are closed.

Course Outline
  • What is a Canine Conditioning Program?

  • How Can It Benefit Your Dog?

  • Safety in Doing Conditioning Work

  • Word About Nails and Weight

  • Ten Foundational Exercises:

  • Static Stand

  • Tuck Sit

  • Kickback Sit

  • Folding Down

  • Down to Stand

  • Nose Target

  • Give a Paw

  • Front Foot Target

  • Independent Backup

  • Side Step

  • How to Use Foundational Skills for Better Fitness

We're Privileged to Share This Course With You!

Dog Sport University is fortunate to have Kathy grant us license to feature her courses, seminars and webinars on our online dog training platform. All of the content in this course is created by, owned by, and the rights to the content, are reserved to Kathy Childers.


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Canine Fitness courses we have to offer!