When it comes to dog training, practice makes perfect. But what if your dog doesn’t have the stamina to keep up with frequent training sessions? This is a common problem that Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear’s in-house expert dog trainer Matt Rouse tackles regularly. This is his step-by-step guide to helping your dog trainer harder and for longer…
- Get your dog weighed
A few extra treats here and there can quickly see the pounds pile on, and carrying extra weight is guaranteed to slow your dog down. Plus, being overweight can lead to all sorts of health issues. We recommend getting your pooch weighed around every eight weeks to stay on top of things. Depending on the size of your dog, it might be easier to pop to your vet and use their scales than trying to weigh him or her at home.
- Work out a nutrition plan
Just like an athlete needs a specialised plan in order to compete at the top level, so does your dog. Any old dog food picked up off the supermarket shelf just won’t cut it. If you want to improve your dog’s stamina, you need to provide the right nutrition. It’s essential to have the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins. A good vet should be able to advise you on this. Be aware that you may need to make dietary changes gradually and consider the timing of your feeds in relation to when you train in order to get the best results.
- Increase the amount of cardio you do
If you want to train for extended periods of time, building up your dog’s aerobic ability is essential. As well as plenty of enjoyable walks with lots of running around, introduce some daily games that will get your dog’s heart pumping. At Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear
, we’re big advocates of playing tug of war with your dog because it taps into their instinctive desire to play and is guaranteed to be a great workout. Using one of our specialist tug training toys can give you something to focus on when trying to improve stamina outside of the training ring. If you’re new to playing tug, start with something like our Chaser Tug
that’s made with real sheepskin. Or if your dog loves nothing more than a ball, our Sheepskin Ball Bungee Tug
will be perfect.
- Don’t rush things
When you love your sport, it can be very tempting to want instant results. But it’s very important to work on building up stamina gradually. Pushing your dog too hard, too soon, can make them lose all motivation and even be damaging to their health. Try to think long term and set yourself small targets such as training for just a few minutes longer each session, rather than focussing on the overall goal. It’s also vital to work with your dog’s personality. You might find you get better results when trying to improve stamina by spreading short training sessions across the day rather than having one long one.
- A word of warning
Most healthy dogs are able to improve their stamina over time, providing they are given the right food and follow the right training schedule. But if your dog is elderly (usually over the age of eight, breed depending) it is normal for stamina to wane and these dogs should not be pushed beyond their limit. Also, if your dog suddenly shows signs of lethargy, it could be a symptom of something being wrong, so see your vet for a check up.
Would you like to share your story of how you improved your dog’s stamina on the Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear blog? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.