X Marks the Spot for Canine Fitness
Keeping your pet’s workout fun and interesting can sometimes be a challenge. Yet, there are so many different exercise and drill choices available, many of which are used by humans to improve their own fitness. One example is a family of drills that we call “X marks the spot”. And it’s our “X” post for the A to Z Challenge.
X marks the spot exercise drills are all about setting up visible targets that you and your pet can sprint to. Using visible targets can add variety and fun when compared to plain running. Which sounds more fun, doing laps around a track with your dog or racing back and forth from a set of prearranged targets? Some examples of these types of drills that we have written about in the past include the T-Drill and the Cone drills.
How to Create and X Marks the Spot Drill
Target spacing: when doing these drills, you want to run faster than a jog. Thus, your targets should be close enough that you can maintain a fast pace.
Target sequence: you can set up intermediate targets that force you to weave around them on your way to the end target. This adds a multi-direction aspect to the drill which is good for keeping your dog athletic and well balanced.
Use other props: one of my favorite drills uses a tennis ball and two cones. Start by setting up two cones about 3 yards apart on a firm surface. Have you (or your dog) stand at the first cone and you or a friend stand at the second cone facing the first. The person at the second cone should hold the tennis ball at eye level and then on a count of three, drop the ball. The person (or dog) at the first cone tries to sprint to catch the ball before it bounces a second time. If you or the dog can reach the ball before the second bounce, increase the distance by one yard and repeat. Keep moving further from the start cone until the tennis ball can not be reached before the second bounce.
This drill was made famous by former NFL star Deon Sanders, who reportedly could catch the ball before the second bounce from 20 yards away! Of course, you will need to train your dog to hold the starting position and to release on your count down. Although SlimDoggy Jack is not interested in balls, most dogs will really enjoy this drill and try and catch the ball as fast as possible.
In all honesty, I think when Maggie does this ‘drill’ its more about the treats than anything else – what do you think?
Use any of the above examples to create your own x marks the spot exercises to have fun and get fit with your dog.
We are joining up with the Monday Mischief Blog Hop, hosted by Snoopy’s Dog Blog, Alfie’s Blog and My Brown Newfies
We’re joining the A to Z Challenge and keeping our own Blog Hop of all our A to Z posts. Feel free to join the Hop with your A to Z Challenge post! Click here if you want to see the Blog Hop from A to L.