Monday, December 22, 2008

German Shepherds

We have many German Shepherds who come to the hydro for fitness and endurance training before breed show days. Typically, if people think of swimming for animals, it is generally associated with rehabilitation and therapy. Swimming can be applied to any breed to provide a controlled exercise routine that will:
o increase stamina;
o tone up and build muscle;
o reduce fat;
o increase agility and performance;
o strengthen limbs;
o Increase confidence.
Being able to swim in laps and keep track of the time and distance enables a structured program to be developed and followed that maximizes the benefits that swimming provides.

A program is developed that gradually increases, in time and distance, the amount swum. Each time the dog swims, the distance is increased, broken up with rest periods, that maximizes the physiological changes taking place in the exercising animal. This is similar to interval training used by performance athletes to reach top physical condition. We structure programs that consider the breed, initial physical condition and normal exercise routine, how well the dog swims and frequency of swimming. For maximum benefit and fastest results, we recommend swimming at least three times a week.For retrieving breeds, the session can be a combination of controlled laps and retrieving or all retrieving, depending on the fitness level of the dog and the desired end results.

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