Any movement your dog does requires energy. The way your dogs body generates energy is determined by the intensity and duration of the activity they are performing. Activities that require short bursts of high effort, such as sprinting or weight-pulling, require the body to produce large amounts of energy over a short period, where as activities like running or hunting require continued energy production over a longer period and at a slower rate. It is the energy systems of your dogs body that control these activities. That is why it is important for you to understand which energy systems your dog needs when you are conditioning them for better health and performance. As you can see from the picture below there are three main canine energy systems. The Phospagen, Glycolyctic and Aerobic energy systems
The Phosphagen energy system is important for dogs who carry out high intensity short duration activities that last between 5-10 seconds such as weight-pulling and sprinting. These kinds of activities need strength and power. An example of improving this energy system is sprint training on a High Resistance Carpetmill or with max effort Flirt Pole work.
The Glygolytic energy system is essential for dogs who perform moderate to high intensity activities for longer period of up to 3 minutes such as racing greyhounds. These types of exercises involve speed endurance such as interval training on a Slatmill.
The Aerobic energy system is critical for hunting dogs and/or service dogs who perform their activities for longer periods of time but at a low to moderate intensity. This involves aerobic endurance such as long distance jogging which can be done with your dog running along side you on a push bike or with the use of a Slatmill so you can track speed.
Having a good understanding of the energy systems will allow you to plan better conditioning plans for your dog that help them perform at a higher level. For example, if you have a weight pull dog you should only really focus on activities that involve the Phosphagen energy system. Doing activities that use the aerobic system for example will reduce their strength and power. Of course all dogs are individuals and some activities require energy systems that overlap. In these cases it helps to get some professional advice. In our 12 Week Conditioning Programs we can support you and tailor your dogs plans based on your needs.
Which energy system is most important for your dog?
Keep them fit!