Gymnastricks: Targeted Muscle Training for Dogs

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Carmen Mayer
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First Stone Publishing
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In this book, Carmen Mayer, a clicker training and dog sports enthusiast, provides us with targeted muscle training for dogs. She developed the concept of gymnastricks when her 12 year old Beagle developed hip dysplasia. With the help of an experienced canine physiotherapist, Mayer put together this unique programme that combines easy to train exercises to keep your dog healthy with great tricks for you both to enjoy, stimulating for both body and mind!

Gymnastrics is ideal as a warm up for dog sports, mental and physical training for your older or retired dog, rehab from injury, or as general balance, stability or body awareness exercises. No special equipment is required, meaning it is inclusive to all.

Featuring clearly laid out, step by step guidance and color photos, this book provides a fun and easy way to improve your dog s muscle tone and fitness, and have fun along the way.

Mayer begins by briefly outlining the training methods your dog will need to understand in order to partake in the exercises featured, these being click for action and feed in position, and hand targets. She also takes us through the dog s muscle groups, explaining their function and which exercises help target each of them.

Chapter one focuses on your dog s core muscles. Mayer takes us step by step through the following exercises, providing both a beginner and more advanced version for some.
Standing on all four paws
Standing with stretched neck
Down to stand
Between your legs (with circular movement)
Standing on your feet
Balancing on two legs (sideways)
Balancing on two legs (diagonally)
Backwards Slalom
Moving sideways
Slalom (with variations)
Sit ups
Looking down
Head down
Looking through the feet
Balancing a bowl
Head to the side

Chapter two moves on to the forelimb muscles, including back muscles. The exercises featured include;
Giving paws
Lifting and holding a paw
Pushing paws against you
Down- sit and sit- down
Straight sit
Take a bow

Chapter three then looks at the following hind limb muscles exercise, also including the back muscles;
Lifting a hind leg
Sitting pretty
Standing upright with help
Standing upright without help
Walking backwards in a straight line
Down- Take a bow

Chapter four concentrates on exercises that target all the muscles groups and includes;
Balancing a bowl on the back
Going upstairs backwards
Walking consciously
Changing the pace
Looking straight ahead while walking forward
Stepping underneath

Finally, in chapter five, Mayer shows us how to intensify the exercises by teaching your dog to hold something whilst doing them, or by using weighted bandages.

A great guide that features fun, easy to follow exercises that both you and your dog will enjoy.