The hosts of the FitDog Friday blog hop, SlimDoggy, To Dog With Love and MyGBGVLife, announced their Fall Fitness Challenge at the beginning of October. We were tied up with #DogWalkingWeek as well as some other things, but we still wanted to join in see what we could come up with. The purpose of this special challenge was to get everyone motivated to stay fit over the holidays by getting out and being active.
Each week following they presented a new challenge:
Week 1: No Grain, No Gain. We had this one covered since we already feed our dogs grain free food! We pay attention to both diet and exercise, and we measure our dogs’ food to be sure they are getting the right amount. We were also getting in extra walks for that first week of October, and have tried to continue to walk more.
By far the dogs’ favorite way to stay fit is by playing fetch in the yard. That is one thing they never get tired of, especially Cricket. They each have their own way of playing the game.
Week 2: Super Food, Super Circuit. Luke already has his own circuit in our yard using what’s already there. When he wants to burn off some energy, he will run his own personal course. I wanted to get some video of him doing it, but I haven’t been able to yet. Sometimes I can get him to run, but mostly he’ll only do it when he feels like it. He has a route that includes weaving in and out of trees (you can see part of the row in the photo above), rounding the big bush in the right photo of the collage below, and running under the deck and then around another bush in the left photo. He continues around the other side of the house and through the posts of that portion of the deck and around the stairs there. His obstacles include some large balls on the ground, or his sisters! He’ll simply leap over all of those things if they are in his path!
He is fueled by the superfood sweet potato, which is a key ingredient in the food we feed now. Sweet potatoes are rich in amino acids and antioxidants, plus they are high in fiber which is great for the digestion.
Week 3: Sweet and Strong Strength Training. This is something we haven’t worked on a lot with our crew. We do try to add some hills to our walks when possible; this is good to strengthen their back legs. Thanks to the tips from our hosts I got some new ideas of ways we could work on this as well. I do a lot of training with Luke, and one trick I wanted him to learn was “Paws Up”. Putting his paws up on various objects is a great way to strengthen his back legs. He already inadvertently knows the term “Up” meaning to jump up on something, and thanks to target training it was easy to get him to put his paws up on various obstacles.
Inside the house we worked with our *K9FITbone to help him with balance, and I’ve also been trying to find various things for him to balance on with just his front paws, or even all four paws. Balance works the core muscles and “paws up” strengthens the back legs. We also have a *K9 Fitvest which I have just started using to add a little more resistance to not just these exercises but to his other tricks as well; such as “spin” and jumping up for light switches (we’re still working on both of these tricks). We haven’t added the weights to the vest yet, we are just letting him get used to wearing it at this point. Luke loves wearing things though; so the adjustment won’t take long.
When coming back from a walk recently (see how he is wearing his backpack), we walked around the yard trying to find various objects for him to practice on. We used our bench and several tree stumps around the yard, and practiced with just the paws up, and then with all 4 paws up (I didn’t get any photos of that).
This has added a new dimension to Luke’s trick training, and we are really having fun with it. We’re glad we decided to join in the #FallFitDog Challenge! There’s still a little time for you to join in as well, by sharing a post if you’re a blogger, or anyone can share photos on social media using the hashtag #FallFitDog. Most importantly, they are having a huge giveaway and you can learn more and enter that by clicking here. Hurry, the giveaway ends October 26th!
*Affiliate links. We may receive a small commission if you order through these links, but you will still pay the same price!
2 Brown Dawgs says
All our dogs do the circuit running around the yard too…lol.
that photo of him on the fit bone, is priceless. I absolutely love it!!
We do a LOT of hills in our walking and sometimes I have Sampson put his two front feet on a stair (or the second one up) but his back end isn’t very strong to begin with so I don’t push him. Delilah on the other hand, can do the sit pretty and looks like a bear doing it.
Good job on keeping them fit. 🙂
Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady says
I think your’e all doing great!!!
Nice poses Luke!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
Diane @ To Dog With Love says
Love all your paws up poses! Thanks for joining us! Love the idea of turning off light switches as a trick, too.
Barbara Rivers says
I want to get our pups one of those K9 Fit Vests, and they also need new backpacks – their old ones have made it over 3+ years, but now they’re really falling apart (we have used them on our daily morning walks during fall, winter, and spring; summer is usually too hot to wear them).
…I just checked out your post about the Light Switch Training, which I find very interesting! I might just try that one with our pups, too! Thanks for the inspiration!
You’re welcome! Let me know how you make out with the light switches. We are still working on getting Luke to actually hit the switch, but I think we’ll get there. It’s just going to take a while, and we don’t practice every day either (hopefully with winter coming we will start to though).
It might have been easier if I had trained him to “touch” with his paw instead of his nose, so I might have to step back and find a new command for that, I’m not sure yet.
Tenacious Little Terrier says
Your yard looks like a great place to run a circuit! That photo of Luke in the vest is great. I wish they made one for small dogs!
Sand spring chesapeakes says
Great job on all your challenges!
Thanks for hosting once again this week! I love entering this hop every week!
Earl Lover says
Yay Luke! Brilliant snaps!
Tiffany's Diamond Dogs says
Great job Luke with incorporating the variety into your training routine 🙂
Ann Staub says
Oh Luke has one of those cool bones! I guess Shiner is kind of doing that exercise when she decides to counter surf 😉 LOL – just kidding. What does he think of using one of those? I feel like Shiner would just think I was crazy and refuse to stay on it or something. We could probably do it with treats.
Ha ha – the counter is Luke’s favorite place to practice, unfortunately (we’re working on that)!
I actually was surprised how quickly Luke took to the bone and was willing to stand on it. I’m still working on getting him to stay on it for 30 seconds or so, but with the stay command and knowing he’ll get a treat after, he’s getting there.
Looks like you guys are in good shape!! We have been running and walking and enjoying the fall weather. I try to mix things up on our walks and Cocoa always loves wresting at the puppy park!!
It’s great to have fun while keeping fit! The photos are lovely.
Barley does lots of strength training and balance activities like that, too! I love that Luke’s taking it up a notch with his backpack, too 🙂
M. K. Clinton says
All of your dogs look terrific, but Luke is really looking great! I love the FitBone. Congratulations on your success!
Two French Bulldogs says
Oh boy mom is always making sure a diet is the best. No grain here either
Lily & Edward
What a great post! For a moment there I thought you were one of the hosts. You guys do a great job with a variety of activities to stay fit! Thanks for joining in the fun!
Thanks for inspiring us! We aim to over-achieve when properly motivated! LOL
Thanks for joining in – I love that your team participated. Way to go Luke – love the shot with the Fitvest on the FitBone…you and Jack are ready for fitness competitions!
Jack is a great role model for Luke! 🙂
easy rider says
Luke I like your fitness bone, it totally rocks. Do you think that would be a bone for me too? or would it end as bone-confetti?
I’m not allowed to play with the bone, unless the Momz is supervising! So your human would probably have to do the same with you too, Easy! 🙂