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Strength Exercise for The Aging Canine

One way to assist senior dogs is through muscle strengthening programs. By strengthening the muscles it can help alleviate weight on sore joints.

Fiona demonstrating Standing High Five using low-level therapeutic resistance vest. Senior dogs with hip or back weakness should seek advice from Professional before using resistance vest.

Golden Dog Strength
One way to assist senior dogs is through muscle strengthening programs. By strengthening the muscles it can help alleviate weight on sore joints.

There is substantial credible evidence that supports the use of resistance training to maintain muscle mass.

For some seniors body weight and gravity is plenty resistance. For others uneven surfaces, balance platforms, balls, hills, water or a low-level resistance type vest may be used to enhance intensity and increase balance skills (proprioception).

Strength exercises that target the hind limbs, front limbs, and core are important throughout the life of your dog and if done on a regular basis will help your dog approach the senior years with style and dignity.

Suggested Time and Frequency:  Start with 2-3 exercises everyday with 2-3 reps for each exercise. As strength increases add more exercises and intensity. Strive for good technique.  Keep sessions very short, between 1-5 minutes.  Aim for 3-5 days a week.

Rule of Paw:
  Encourage correct movements – they are more important than reps, intensity or speed. Build intensity and resistance gradually and progressively. Back off or try another exercise if your dog struggles with any exercise.

Recommended Strength Exercises:  High Five | Sit Pretty | Beg | Sit-to-Down | Stand-to-Stand
*For dogs with hip or back weakness seek the advice of a Vet before using a resistance vest.

Senior Dog Exercises should also consist of:

Back to Golden Dog Exercise


DogTread Canine Fitness CoachAbout the Author: Anthony Woerner, PTA and CCRP develops canine training programs to help bring performance dogs and companion pets to the next level of fitness. Combining his in-depth knowledge from working with both human and animal patients, he has achieved an excellent understanding of structure and movement.

Anthony has developed the unique ability to understand breed specifics, structure, and movement. He uses his extensive knowledge and his healing hands to know how to best treat each animal. As a canine fitness instructor, his clients include dogs that compete on an elite level to the dogs that need fitness training to maintain a healthy lifestyle as a pet.


KristaJasper_smAbout the Author:
Krista Wickens is an athlete, lifestyle fitness advocate, author, speaker, inventor, and co-founder of PetZen Products, a manufacturing and design company dedicated to designing canine fitness products and programs under the DogTread brand. She is also the co-author and producer of the first Treading for Dogs DVD and 30-day Dog Treadmill Training Program. As a former fitness product manager, Krista created best-selling products and programs used by some of the biggest names in Human Fitness, including iconic brands like Reebok, Gold’s Gym and NordicTrack. Krista’s love and understanding of animals, particularly dogs, started on a Montana Cattle Ranch where she was raised. She trained her first dog, Bear, at the age of 7. Her unique understanding of the mechanics of fitness and canine experiences have led her on a mission dedicated to helping develop healthy and beneficial relationships for dogs and their humans.


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