A Simple Core Exercise for your Dog: Touch Drill

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touch drill

We often talk about the importance of a strong core, for both you and your dog.  Today we will share a simple core exercise for your dog that requires no equipment and is a lot of fun as well.


Benefits of a Strong Core

A strong core can benefit your dog (and yourself) in many ways including:

  • Improved strength and athletic performance
  • Improved balance
  • Reduced injury risk
  • Improved muscle tone
  • Improved support of vital organs
  • Improved digestion


Even with such a great list of benefits, many people do not regularly program core work into their dog’s exercise routine because it often requires equipment or some training.  The Slimdoggy Touch Drill can change that.


Slimdoggy Touch Drill

We learned of this exercise at physical therapy while rehabbing our own athletic injuries.  We were working on rebuilding our core and balance coordination after lower body injury but we were not quite ready for the stability cushions.  The therapists wanted to challenge our core and balance in a safe way and used the touch drill to accomplish this goal.



Standing in assorted athletic positions, the therapist would gently poke/push my body in an attempt to upset my balance.  The idea was not to knock me over, but rather to force my body (mostly my core), to compensate to remain steady and in stance. The therapist would come at me from many different angles, pushing the shoulder, chest, abs, legs from the front, back, and side.  I was instructed to engage the abs forcefully to provide the stability needed to remain on my feet.   We used a similar drill to help rehab a shoulder injury where the shoulder was forced to engage to keep my arm from moving when pushed.


We do a similar drill with Slimdoggy Jack.  As shown in the video, we gently push against Jack’s body, from all angles, to provide a stability challenge.  His core is required to engage in order to keep him stable, even if he doesn’t consciously know it!  One of the great things about this drill is that you can do it anywhere.  We often do this in the evening while sitting in the living room.  Jack loves to sit next to us for a pet and we mix in the touch drill with the rest of our affection.  He doesn’t even realize that he is working!


Touch Drill Tips

When doing the touch drill for your dog’s core, keep in mind the following:

  • Don’t push too hard.  You are trying to slightly perturb their balance, not knock them over or hurt them!
  • Work different angles.  Move up and down his body on both sides so that his muscles are worked evenly.
  • Turn it into a game.  We make it fun for Jack so he thinks of it as a game, or in the case of our evening sessions, part of his nightly affection.
  • It’s a full body exercise too.  When doing the Slimdoggy touch drill, you will actually be working your dog’s entire body.  As you move your touch points, different muscles besides the core will be forced to assist in keeping stable.


Give this core exercise a try for 1 month and see the difference in your dog’s posture and running form.

fitDogFriday_avatarPlease enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!

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  1. That is a great tip. I loved how Maggie followed the equipment with her eyes as Steve tossed it off to the side. I hadn’t thought of this type of core exercise but I can definitely see the benefit!
    Jodi recently posted…This ‘N That Thursday and Advent Calendar for Dogs Day 5My Profile

  2. I hadn’t thought of this as a core exercise either… it’s something we’ve always played as game and a way to get pups fired up and motivated too! Good to hear there’s other benefits too!
    Your pals,
    Diane and Rocco
    Diane recently posted…Fido’s Freebie Friday: Holiday Shopping!My Profile

  3. I was talking with our SAMP this week about regular, easy tricks dogs do that are good for the core and neither of us thought of “touch.” Our dogs love this one!
    Bethany recently posted…Santa Pet Photo Tips From a Santa Photo AddictMy Profile

  4. We do this a lot with Jeffie and Rudy as a part of “focus” play. Never thought about it as exercise for the core. (Always nice to learn we’re doing something good! 🙂 Great video. Loved the moment when Jack decided to lay down… thought for sure he’d roll and give up his belly for a rub 😉
    Sue at Talking Dogs recently posted…Basenji, Basset Hound, Beagle, Bearded Collie Jewelry Gifts OrnamentsMy Profile

  5. I think daddy and I will have a go at this 🙂
    Misaki recently posted…Dog biscuit heavenMy Profile

  6. We’re going to have to experiment to find the right amount of force so we don’t knock the pups over by accident. Much easier with Jack than with our lightweights!

  7. It must be core fitness day today on the blog hop 😉 Nice idea, we will give this a try for sure.
    emma recently posted…Set Adrift | GBGV | FitDog FridayMy Profile

    • Loved your FitDog Friday Emma – that Bailie has the fearlessness of a pup doesn’t she…plus she has a lower center of gravity, so I think the balance is a little easier. Thanks for joining the Hop!
      mkob recently posted…A Simple Core Exercise for your Dog: Touch DrillMy Profile

  8. Great video, I hate to say this but if I did this drill with Gman he would go nuts and jump up on me and have other things in mind. When I play with my dogs like this not realizing that I am helping to strengthen their core they get all excited and go gonzo on me and then I have to get out before I am mauled.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Follow-Up/FitDog FridayMy Profile

  9. Hi Y’all!

    Learned something new today! It’s usually me pushin’ into my Human, not the other way around.

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog
    Hawk aka BrownDog recently posted…Fit and Fun and Follow Up on FridayMy Profile

  10. Very cool idea, I’ll have to try it out with Eko.

  11. I hadn’t thought of this as a drill …. But we do this with our dogs all the time – it’s totally one of the games we play …..and I always wondered why their cores were so solid …. Now I know ! Thanks for the awesome tip ……

  12. Great tips as always Slim!!
    Thanks so much for sharing! I have learned a ton from you!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Tasty chews!My Profile

  13. I love how Jack looks up at you intently and wants to please. And then when you poke/push he’s like, What the heck are you doing Dad? Oh well, I love you anyway!
    Peggy Frezon recently posted…FitDog Friday- Get Fit when it’s Cold OutsideMy Profile

  14. Aww, the dogs are so cute in the video wondering what the heck you’re up to! I will do this exercise with Ace this afternoon.
    Lindsay recently posted…Beamer in the windowMy Profile

  15. Sounds fun and good for you too. Happy Fit Dog Friday and have a great weekend! X TH

  16. What a great fitness tip! Will definitely be trying this out with Kate. Want to work on her stability for getting her out in the boat this summer (summer in Australia!) so can only see this helping! Thanks!
    Jen recently posted…DockDogs AustraliaMy Profile

  17. This is great….something we can just build into everyday routines is right up our alley!
    Jan K recently posted…This ‘N That Thursday – Catching UpMy Profile

  18. That looks like a fabulous exercise. Thanks for the tip!
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Tasty Tuesday–Smooches Product ReviewMy Profile

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