Intense Workouts for You and Your Dog

Share Button

As we discussed last week, short workouts are a great strategy for keeping a high level of fitness, even when you are pressed for time, as long as the intensity level is high enough. In today’s post, we will share some suggestions on how to structure a short, yet intense workout for you and your dog.


If you and your dog are going to benefit from short (15 minute or so) workouts, they will need to be relatively intense so that the muscles and cardiovascular systems are stressed enough to force adaptation. Of course, everyone has different fitness levels and injury histories so there is really no “one size fits all” approach to creating a perfect 15 minute workout. Below are some suggestions for different fitness levels. Feel free to try these and other variations. The key is to create one or two routines that you and your dog enjoy, and that you can “go to” when you are crunched for time. Remember to include a warmup and cool down as part of the routine. I recommend at least 2-3 minutes of warmup and the same for cooling down. In the end, a 15 minute workout will translate to 10 minutes of high intensity training and about 5 minutes of warmup and cool downs.

HIgh Intensity Workouts

Adding Intensity to a Workout

Go faster. For those who typically like to walk or jog with their dog, the simplest way to increase the intensity is to go faster! If you are a walker, than speed walk for the 15 minutes that you have available. Try increasing your pace by another ½ mile per hour. This will get your and your dog’s heart rate up.


If you are a jogger, then try and increase your pace by as much as 30 seconds per mile or more. The increased pace will not only tax your muscles, but will also tax your cardio and respiratory systems.


Use gravity. If you live near hills, it is easy to add intensity! Simply walk/jog/run up a hill. Walk or jog back down and repeat. For the full 15 minutes. Your dog will also get the added benefit of hind leg muscle isolation, which will benefit their overall back leg strength. Choose a hill that will take 15 seconds or more to ascend at a brisk pace.


Sprint. Sprinting is one of the best forms of exercise out there. Unless you or your dog has injuries that preclude you from sprinting, use sprint drills as a go to routine when possible. Place cones or other markers at least 30 yards apart (50 yards is my preferred distance). Then, run as fast as you can to each cone, resting no more than around 30 seconds before turning around and springing back to the start. Repeat this for the allotted time.


Use athletic, body weight movements. Simple bodyweight moves can really up the intensity of any workout. Exercises like pushups, squats, or burpees can tax you and your dog, especially when they are wrapped around more traditional cardio drills (like walking/running)). For example, try the following sequence of cardio and bodyweight drills to get your heart rate up.


Set two cones, 50 yards apart (less if you are space constrained). Sprint to the first cone with your dog. Then, you immediately drop down and perform 3 burpees while your dog rests. Rest for 15 seconds. Now, sprint back to the starting cone. Have your dog do “up downs” (have them lie down and then get up) for 3 reps, while you rest. Continue like this for the allotted time. For added variety, do one set as described using burpees, than do one set using pushups instead of burpees (have your dog do a front leg down dog), and then do one set of squats (have your dog to sits). That is one round. Perform as many rounds as possible in the allotted time.


Add resistance. Any exercise can be made more intense by adding resistance. Use a weighted vest for yourself and a K9Fit Vest for your dog. The added weight will automatically add intensity to any exercise you do. Humans and dogs that are more advanced can use the vests during any of the above mentioned drills for an extra dose of intensity.


There are virtually an unlimited ways to turn 15 minutes into a kick ass workout. Try some of the above ideas, or use other movements that you and your dog are comfortable with. The important thing is to make sure that you are working hard and having fun.

Share Button
FitDog Friday Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts To Dog with Love and My GBGV Life.   Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below - lots of fun fitness tips and advice!  


  1. There’s a short, steep hill on one of my favourite walks. I love it when the bipeds sprint up it with me. I’m always keen to repeat, but they’re not always as enthusiastic about that!
    Clowie recently posted…Chocs Away!My Profile

  2. I hope we can manage to sprint together… currently easy acts like a racing horse… and I’m not able to run with mach 2… but the worst is that he suddenly stopps without a warning…we should make a video once…bet we will win a comedy prize :o)
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog SHOP TILL YOU DROP & FFHTMy Profile

  3. Thanks for the great tips!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Battle of the huskiesMy Profile

  4. Running hills is the best, but unfortunately Chicago is as flat as a pancake. The pups don’t mind running faster as an alternative though.

  5. Great suggestions ~ I particularly like the added vests for both humans & K9s, sprinting, and walking at different paces. Great heeling exercise, too 😉
    Barbara Rivers recently posted…Where to stretch those K9 legs if you don’t have a yard or park to go to!My Profile

  6. I guess our snow work out pretty much fulfilled the requirements for high intensity 🙂
    Emma recently posted…Flexibility Is The Key To SuccessMy Profile

  7. Love it when Sam has these extra bursts of energy and we both high step it in the ‘5280.’ He keeps me active and happy and always makes me smile. 🙂
    Monika recently posted…Nose PrintsMy Profile

  8. Sounds Intense!

  9. I may have to get it together here quickly because I believe Jax is going to be an intense workout kind of Doodle 🙂
    Groovy Goldendoodles recently posted…RUGER THE PEACEMAKERMy Profile

  10. We added a little intensity to our workout by taking the trail with the stairs down to the boardwalk on our arboretum adventure. I wish I handled the extra intensity with as much ease as Barley does 🙂
    Beth recently posted…Spring Breakin’My Profile

  11. Top notch advice there guys!! Thanks, and well done!

    Woofs from Earl, Ethel and I at Earl’s World!
    Earl Lover recently posted…Long Spring WalksMy Profile

  12. Hi Y’all!

    You wanna see hills…check out the mountainside I’m usin’!

    Y’all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  13. We are not usually strapped for time but it’s good to know we can get a good work out in 15 minutes.
    jan recently posted…Sled Dog Action Coalition has her pants on fireMy Profile

  14. We’ve got plenty of hills which help make even the easiest walk and great workout! Great suggestions!
    Diane recently posted…Four Words You Never Want to Say in Dog AgilityMy Profile

  15. Great advice!
    DZ Dogs recently posted…Friday Fun – Tug Time!My Profile

  16. I see more sprinting in my future. I wish they made vests small enough for Mr. N!

  17. Excellent tips on pumping up the volume! I do try to follow #1 and #2, increasing my walking speed and hiking up steeper hills in the mountains near our home when I can.
    Cathy Armato recently posted…WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Preparing for EasterMy Profile

  18. some great tips for intense workouts, thank you
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Nothing But Norman #89My Profile

  19. I really like these suggestions as I keep working on adding more exercise to my day but hadn’t really thought about adding more intensity to my dog’s exercise. Anything we can do together is a plus. Thanks for the great ideas!

  20. Hmm, I can’t seem to comment on Monday’s (3/29) post. Just me?

  21. Those are great tips. I like the idea of using the hill.
    2 Brown Dawgs recently posted…Our Old Hunting DogMy Profile

Comments are now closed on this post.