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Today, the treadmill is the most popular piece of fitness equipment and can be found in homes and gyms around the world. Recently, a variety of dog treadmills have hit the market and have gathered much attention. But where did this effective fitness machine come from?

The Ancient Roman Treadmill Crane

The first treadmills can be traced back to the 1st century AD. The Ancient Romans used a ‘tread mill’ or “tread wheel” to lift heavier weights by incorporating the treadmill to replace the winch in their cranes.  Men would walk within the wheel itself and  because the treadmill had a larger diameter, they were able to lift double the weight with only half the crew.  These tread wheels were later adapted to create rotary grain mills and were also used to pump water and power dough-kneading machines and bellows.

 

Treadmills for farming and domestic chores

During the 1700s-1900s farmers were in need of a consistent source of power.  Instead of relying on natural sources like wind and water which was unreliable they found that a treadmill could capture the  “brake” power of a horse.  According to historian  Brian Wells , “the unit of measurement of force of strength necessary to operate these new stationary machines became known as “horse power” based on the average pulling power of an average draft horse.” Smaller treadmills were also created to accommodate animals like dogs, sheep, and goats in order to tackle domestic chores such as churning butter, grinding stones, fanning mills, cooking meat and separating cream. 

 

Dog Treadmills for exercise

The first dog treadmill marketed as a dog exercise device was patented by John R. Richards, of Oak Park IL in 1939. The design similar to Nicholas Potter included a harness and was not motorised.  The first human treadmill was not invented until 1952, when Dr. Robert A. Bruce got the idea to put the treadmill belt to use for humans to walk on. He used it as a stress test to monitor and diagnose various heart conditions.  It was not until the 1960s that the treadmill was commercialised as an exercise device for humans.  Since then there have been constant innovations in treadmill design and function for both humans and dogs.  For dogs, the treadmill is no longer a way to automate farm and domestic chores, it is now a very effective exercise tool that promotes health,  fitness and working dog performance. Its also excellent for solving issues like hectic schedules, poor weather, busy streets and crowded dog parks.

Although there are many different types of dog treadmills on the market today they basically are split into two main categories. Do you know what they are? Reply below if you think you do 😉

Keep them FIT!

FITDOG NATION.

PS. Click here to check out our latest state of the art dog treadmills 

This weeks FITDOG of the week reminds us that its not just the bull breeds and terriers who can look and perform good. We are pleased to announce that Jesse Cortez’ German Shepherd ‘Quddus’ is this weeks FITDOG of the week.   Heres an interview we did with Jesse.

How long have you been into the dogs?

”I’ve  been into working dogs 3 years”

What’s an average day of exercise for Quddus?

”Swimming / flirtpole / springpole”.

What do you feed Quddus?

”Quddus eats Victor pet food

What events does Quddus take part in and does he have any titles?

‘Quddus has the following titles BH, AD and we’re going for IPO1 in September’

 

Do you want your dog featured as FITDOG of the week? Contact us on our Instagram or Facebook page and we would love to give your FITDOG a feature! 

 

Keep them FIT,

FITDOGNATION.

High quality nutrition is paramount to a healthy fit dog, especially one that works. The carbohydrate debate is a controversial one in the performance dog arena. Therefore we decided to do some research and present some facts.

FACT 1:

According to the National Research Council and compared to the other two major nutrients — protein and fat — no carbs are considered essential for a healthy canine diet. Dogs don’t need corn, wheat, barley rice or potatoes, either. Yet surprisingly, carbs represent the dominant nutrient found in most dry dog foods.

FACT 2:

Most dog feeds are too high in carbs: Carbohydrates are used in abundance in most dog feeds for many reasons, but primarily they are included because they are a relatively inexpensive source of energy and can help to keep the price of dog food more affordable. Carbs are not inherently bad, but they should make up 1/3 or less of the daily calories for most normally healthy pets.

FACT 3:

Low carb feed is recommended for the average dog. Carbohydrates aren’t bad for dogs;  in reasonable amounts, they can actually provide a practical source of energy. However, the issue lies in their quantity. Using a dogs ancestral diet as a model, the total amount of carbs consumed by a dog’s evolutionary predecessor is significantly less than what’s become the norm for today’s kibbles. One sensible source estimates natural carbohydrate consumption for a dog’s ancestors at around 14 percent of their total diet. Yet on average, today’s dry dog foods contain somewhere between 46 and 74 percent carbohydrate!

FACT 4:

A low to moderate carb feed is recommended for elite performance dogs such as greyhounds. Dr Ben Holding a greyhound nutrition adviser recommends a 25% Protein / 40% Fats / 35% carbohydrate based diet for elite performance dogs such as greyhounds.

What’s your take on Carbohydrates?

REFERENCES:
1) Lindblad-Toh K, Wade CM, Mikkelsen TS, et al, “Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog”, December 2005, Nature 438 (7069): 803–19

2) Brown S., Taylor B., “See Spot Live Longer”, 2007 Creekobear Press, Eugene, OR USA, pp 51-61
National Research Council, National Academy of Science, “Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats”, 2006 Edition, National Academies Press, Washington, DC, p 317

Keep them FIT,

FITDOGNATION.

We are pleased to announce that this weeks FITDOG is Matt Rogers Ace. Heres an interview we did with Matt.

How long have you been into the dogs?

”I’ve  been into dogs my entire life but professionally 15 years”

What’s an average day of exercise for Ace?

”I run him, we do weight pull, hand walk and he also does spring pole”.

What do you feed Ace?

”Ace eats earth-borne kibble’

What events does Ace take part in and does he have any titles?

‘He is titled in the A.P.P.D.A which is a personal protection dog event’

 

Do you want your dog featured as FITDOG of the week? Contact us on our Instagram or Facebook page and we would love to give your FITDOG a feature! 

 

Keep them FIT,

FITDOGNATION.

The single most important trait for a FITDOG to have is DRIVE and anyone whos seen Lorockmors PACO in the flesh can attest that he has plenty of it. Heres an interview we did with Lorockmor working dogs.

How long have you been into the dogs?

”I’ve had  dogs all my life”

What’s an average day of exercise for Paco?

”30 minutes off leash free running first thing in the morning, then 30  minutes  on the treadmill, around 40 minutes of bite-work training and then 20 minutes running of an evening”.

What do you feed Paco?

”I feed him a raw diet which is a mixture of chicken, tripe, lamb and salmon with some cold pressed barca biscuits mixed in’

What events does Paco take part in and does he have any titles?

‘Paco enters most bitework competitions in the UK and as recently as 3 weeks ago won the AVD Night Trials Gold Class which is regarded as the biggest hardest competition in the UK’

 

Paco {left} and Kimi Paco {right} after Paco won the gold class and Kimi won the silver class at the AVD night trials.

Do you want your dog featured as FITDOG of the week? Contact us on our Instagram or Facebook page and we would love to give your FITDOG a feature! 

 

Keep them FIT,

FITDOGNATION.

Fit dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Our definition of fitness is the ability of a dog to perform a specific job or function. One dog that embodies this to the max is Kyra De Vil, the Yorkshire Terrier from Croatia! This weeks FITDOG of the week is awarded to her and the great work she does with her owner. We are excited to share an interview we done with them this week.

How long have you been into the dogs?

”I’have had dogs my whole life and I have never had  less than two dogs (I now have 4)”

What’s an average day of exercise for Kyra?

”Kyra is a very active dog. She is a big dog in a small body. Every day she requires some action so I try to provide her a different kind of exercise like running with a bike, swimming, weight pulling, tow, nose work, long walk etc”.

What do you feed Kyra?

”Kyra usually eats raw meat  and kibble twice a day, but if you ask her she could eat all day every day haha’

Do you want your dog featured as FITDOG of the week? Contact us on our Instagram or Facebook page and we would love to give your FITDOG a feature! 

 

Keep them FIT,

FITDOGNATION.

This is one working dog duo that you cannot miss on social media.! This weeks FITDOG of the week award goes to Dale Anderson and Bane

How long have you been into the dogs?

”I’ve been into working dogs for 10 years and loved dogs since forever”

What’s an average day of exercise for Bane?

”I have many tools to condition him from a weight sled, spring pole, flirt pole, slatmill, weighted vest with parachute, fetch with ball on the rope, swimming. We walk a minimum 2 miles a day everyday”.

What do you feed Bane?

”Bane is a raw fed dog, he eats primarily a complete blend from eureka called titan. I feed this blend along with venison, fish, bone broth, protein shake. ‘

Do you want your dog featured as FITDOG of the week? Contact us on our Instagram or Facebook page and we would love to give your FITDOG a feature! 

 

Keep them FIT,

FITDOGNATION.

The Ultimate key to conditioning


No matter what dog you are trying to condition, the ultimate key is to make it performance based. So many times we see dogs being stripped down to a lean state and promoted as a ‘fit’ dog. While we have no issue with lean dogs, it has to make sense in line with their function. Just because a dog is lean does not mean they are ‘fit’. Our definition of fit is for a dog to be in the optimum physical state to successfully perform a task or purpose. So the question should first be; what do I want my dog to be able to perform well at? An agility show? Lure racing event? Weight pull show? Protection dog trial or boar hunt? The next question should then be what components of fitness does my dog need and what weight does he need to be at to function at his best? Just bringing a dogs body fat % down for no reason is not good enough because that’s purely conditioning for aesthetics (how a dog looks).

the goal should always be performance 

Roy Nelson

Performance athlete.

Phil Heath

Aesthetic

athlete 

Take for example Roy Nelson (pictured left above) he has achieved great heights in the martial arts arena, he is a former winner of the UFC and is an I.F.L Champion. He is a purely performance based athlete, everything he does in his sport is based on how he functions and performs.  Now compare him to Phil Heath (pictured right above) who is Mr Olympia 2017 and a 7x Champion. He is an aesthetic athlete, his success is measured on how he looks.  Looking at them, what strikes you is the huge difference in body fat %. You would never expect to see a fighter so fat. But here’s the key, for Roy to be a winner in his sport, at his weight category and with his particular fighting style he can be successful with that % of body fat because he is primarily a strength and power athlete.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I’m not promoting fat dogs, I’m promoting function and performance over looks. You need to identify what your dogs function is and then figure out what components of fitness he needs. Only then can you experiment on what body weight your dogs should be at to perform at his best. 

Keep them FIT,

TEAM FITDOGNATION.

 

PS. Want to figure out what fitness components your dog needs to be truly FIT?Check out our Canine Physical Performance seminar and register your interest now for the early bird special!

 

Fenrir Spirit GiGi competing!

Anyone on instagram who loves working, fit and functional dogs has come across the incredible Fenrir Spirit Queen GiGi at some stage! We found the pictures of her competing and training on IG so impressive that we just had to award her our first ever FITDOG of the week award and ask for an interview with her owner. Thankfully she said yes!

How long have you been into the dogs?

”I have been into dogs since I was a kid, my father passed onto me the passion and love for the breed (american pit bull terrier)”

What’s an average day of exercise for GiGi?

”For now GiGi will have a few days of just walking, but she’s a super active dog so we do something always depending if we are getting ready for competition or just exercise as usual”.

What do you feed GiGi?

”She eats raw’

Do you want your dog featured as FITDOG of the week? Contact us on our Instagram or Facebook page and we would love to give your FITDOG a feature! 

 

Keep them FIT,

FITDOGNATION.

MISSION

Our mission is to elevate the health and performance of dogs worldwide, whether your dog is a hardcore weight pull dog, or a family pet, your dog deserves to reach their health and performance potential! Join the movement! #fitdognation

OUR CORE VALUES

EDUCATE & EMPOWER

As we march forward in our mission to elevate the health and performance of dogs worldwide we know that education is the best way to empower dog owners so that they have the knowledge, tools and strategies to support their dogs.

WE ARE ONE BIG TEAM

 We know that united we stand, divided we fall.  No matter our status, background or interest we are one big team in elevating the health and performance of dogs worldwide.

PERFORMANCE BEFORE AESTHETICS 

We believe form follows function. When we emphasise functional fit dogs, a dog will naturally look aesthetically great. If we use health and fitness as a selective tool in breeding, we will naturally achieve healthy functionally structured dogs.

CHAMPION FULL POTENTIAL

Good dogs are born but great dogs are trained. A dog can have great natural talent but it will never be truly recognised if it’s not developed. Through our training systems and tools we help you champion your dogs’ full potential.

PS.  For those of you who value the importance of exercising your dog(s) and want a structured way to plan their routines  download our free 6 week canine conditioning chart.