Fitness for dogs

When participating in activities with a dog, including tricks, agility obedience and other dog sports, it's important to ensure that your dog is fit enough. This will minimise injury.


The fitness for dogs programme enables the handler to anticipate and avoid potential problems and will help to achieve a healthy and happy dog.




The aim of Fitness for Dogs is to achieve Canine Total Health for our best friends. This incorporates:


  • Mental fitness, bringing motivation, persistence, self-confidence and a wagging tail;
  • Cardiovascular fitness, allowing better use and delivery of oxygen to muscles and tissues;
  • Balance, helping to prevent injury. Developing good balance also improves agility and encourates control of body movements;
  • Strength, which enables muscles to work with less fatigue and more power;
  • Flexibility, to encourage the full range of motion for joints, without injury.




I became a FitPAWS Master Trainer in 2015 and can therefore create a fitness programme for individual dogs and can also provide group fitness classes. 


There are several different levels, scroll down the page to see more details.


If you would like to know more, please contact me for information.


Here you can see some of the equipment used during fitness classes. There are cavalettis, targets, donut, fitbone, peanuts, stepper,  balance discs, board, paw pods, platforms, wobble board and floor mats.

A simple down and stand uses a wide range of muscles when performed on a sloping board

This programme can be tailored to sit dogs of all ages, temperments and abilities.

There are exercises suitable for puppies through to seniors.  

FitPAWS Levels

Pre-Level 1

This is the foundation level which covers behaviours including:

  • Tuck sit
  • Stand to down (folding)
  • Recall
  • Nose touch

There is no body test for Pre-Level 1 but three out of four of the above must be completed before moving on to Level 1.


The video below shows Brandy demonstrating the Pre-Level 1 exercises.

Level 1

Behaviours include:

  • Kick back stand from sit
  • Down to stand
  • Target front feet
  • Shake a paw

There is a 'body test' for Level 1 which will cover:

  • Front legs on FitPAWS disc
  • Stand and give paw
  • Sit to kick back stand (on wobble board with donut holder to stabilise)
  • Incline down to stand 

The video below shows Brandy demonstrating the Level 1 exercises.

Level 2



Behaviours include:

  • Target hind feet
  • Pivot with hind legs
  • Walk on leash
  • Walk backwards

There is a 'body test' for Level 2 which will cover:

  • Back up on K9 FitBone or balance disc
  • Pivot with hind legs
  • Walk backwards
  • Walk outside or treadmill
  • Trot outside or treadmill
  • Hold position for 5-10 seconds 

Level 3

Behaviours include:

  • Four feet up
  • Turn right/left circles
  • Sit pretty
  • Lateral stepping

There is a 'body test' for Level 3 which will cover:

  • Stand on two K9 Fitbones or donuts
  • Four feet on a peanut or similar
  • Sit pretty (hold for five seconds)
  • Turn right/left circles (three each way on wobble board, treadmill or peanut)
  • Front feet lateral stepping on K9 Fitbone or treadmill. Hold position for 10 seconds 

Level 4



Behaviours include:

  • One hind foot up
  • One front foot up
  • Crawl forward
  • Hop forward


There is a 'body test' for Level 4 which will cover:

  • Front and rear feet (targeting paw pods)
  • Same side feet up (slanted rocker board)

  • Crawl forward 10-12ft (cavalettis height dependent)

  • Hop forward (6 hops, balance pads or other equipment)

  • Hind feet lateral steps on the treadmill (0.5mph - 30 sec) 


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© Kathleen Tepperies