If we were to divide up this workout into muscle specific days, today’s lesson would be gluteus maximus day. In other words, we’re going to work your puppy’s booty, err hind end. Targeting this muscle group is very important because these guys are built for the task of movement AND supporting those all important joints of the hip, knee, and ankle. By building strength AND body awareness into the hind limbs our puppy is in a much better position to prevent injury and recover more quickly should it occur.

Have you ever thought about working out with your puppy? Why not? Do a few reps of a target muscle group with your pup and then do a few reps of a human exercise that benefits the same muscles for you! It’s pretty fun AND energizing! I know you’ve probably read about the benefits dog ownership has on our health and part of the reason is our dogs tend to make us more active. So take advantage, turn the tables and allow your puppy to motivate you into better physical fitness as well.

This is a fun exercise and I think the puppies enjoy it a lot as well. Begin with a default sit in front of the board and ask for a paws up. While your puppy is still in that position, ask for a sit then reward. You can even tell them you want them to keep thier paws on the board. They understand a lot more than you may think! From the sitting position, use your hand target (see lesson 4) and ask for a stand and reward. Now some puppies may go straight back into the sit and that’s ok. They will get it over time. If your puppy remains in the standing position after being rewarded, go ahead and ask for the sit again. And viola! Your puppy is doing squats!

Remember to keep working on building the hold, or wait, into these movements. Yoga practice is all about holding a position to reap the benefits. Strong lean bodies are developed over time, not over night. Check into the Facebook group often and let us know how it’s going. There are no mile markers or check points to pass, so don’t feel under pressure to make your puppy into something that he or she isn’t. Many times, you will find that puppies who enjoy routine are very focused on thier workout where as puppies who have a more spontaneous, short attention span tend to ebb and wane in their interest and response. And that’s ok. Stick with the program and they will reap the benefits. Especially as they mentally mature.