One of the most common questions we get asked is ‘what is the best exercise for my dog’. Well, the truth is that all dogs are different and have different needs. However, the most bang for your buck exercise for all dogs is without a doubt, SPRINT TRAINING.
Sprint training helps your dog with everything that he/she needs!
Here are the 5 key benefits to sprint training:
1) Builds strength
Sprinting stimulates the growth of the nerves that control your dogs muscles. By sprinting you are creating strong, capable canine muscles.
2) Burn fat
One of the best ways to burn fat is to increase your dogs heart rate with high intensity exercise, this makes your dog expend more calories. The most effective way to increase heart rate is sprinting!
3) Boost endurance
Regular sprinting training teaches your dog’s body to store more glycogen in their muscles and use fat for fuel instead of muscle. This means that your dog has more energy for longer!
4) Increase speed and power
Sprinting increases your dogs fast twitch muscle fibres which are the key muscle fibre type that are required for making your dog move fast and powerfully such as jumping high or moving faster across the ground.
5) Saves time
Sprinting is hard work, 10 minutes of hard sprint training is equivalent to a 1 hour walk. That means you will have a nice tired and chilled out dog in a quicker amount of time. This is gold for people who lead busy lives!
However, in our experience the ultimate way to sprint train your dog is using a manual treadmill such as a carpetmill or slatmill. Here are three reasons why:
With a treadmill you can control the intensity by dictating how much rest your dog gets. For example you can sprint your dog for 30 seconds and then force him into a 3 minute rest. This kind of control over your dogs rest is crucial as it will let your dog replenish his phosphocreatine energy stores for the next set of sprints.
This allows him to go hard and create even more damage to the muscle fibres which stimulates more muscle repair and lean muscle growth. You cannot do this as easily playing fetch as your dog can get distracted such as going to scent before coming back to you or going to play with another dog / human.
Neither can this be done cycling your dog as you may have to detour and make a forced stop such as traffic lights or if you bump into an aggressive dog. This gets in the way of the conditioning session and prevents gains.
With the treadmill you have full attention and control over your dog and will get a focused conditioning session in no distractions and make those essential gains.
To sprint train most people need a large open green space which is normally a walking distance or car ride away. With the treadmill there is no travel needed, you just set your dog on the mill and away you go, this saves time and is crucial especially for dogmen/women who lead busy lives.
We cannot control the weather but we can control how we train. Having a treadmill means your dog will never miss a conditioning session. When its too wet, cold or too hot, if you have a treadmill your dog will still be making those gains while the competition is forced into a rest day due to bad weather.