Canine Conditioning Course Part 1 - Auditor

YOUR DOG IS AN ATHLETE! This is an important shift in mindset. Athletes are fit, have core strength, warm-up, cool-down and stretch. They have good body awareness, balance and are agile. Athletes have personalized, well-rounded programs not only to maximize their performance in a given sport but also to prevent injury. This course will cover these topics and more using a combination of in-depth video demonstrations and text.

For the AGILITY dog: shave seconds off of your dog’s course time and improve your Q rate by helping your dog to

« Run faster

« Turn tighter

« Jump more efficiently

For the OBEDIENCE dog: improve your scores and qualify more, by getting better:

« Fronts and Finishes

« Left turns

« Drops

« Jumping

« Sit Stays

For the CONFORMATION dog: present a better picture to the judge, with:

« Improved reach and drive

« A picture-perfect stack

« A rock-solid top-line

This course will provide you with the tools to develop a personalized conditioning program that will improve your dog’s performance in any dog sport including Agility, Obedience and Conformation, Nosework, Herding, Field Work, IPO and Ring Sport.

  • core strengthening;

  • proper warm-up and cool-down;

  • hind end awareness and body awareness exercises

  • components of a conditioning program;

  • exercises to improve flexibility and build strength; and

  • stretching.

How much is this course?


What does an auditing spot include?

Auditing spot includes access to all lecture and video materials. You will not be submitting video, questions or homework for feedback. You will have access to the videos for a total of four months.

Target Audience:

All dogs training and/or competing in agility, obedience, conformation, rally, herding, protection sports, nosework, disc dog, flyball, field work, etc.

What equipment is needed for this course?

Box with non-slip surface (see video below). Treats. Space Needed: Small area with non-slip footing (such as grass, dirt, rubber, carpet).

  • Although no one expects a young child to do advanced math before they can add, we ask our dogs to be athletes before we teach them the foundation of how to use their body properly. One of the key components to any sport is the strength and flexibility of the athlete. As in all sports their is an inherent risk in what we ask our dogs to do. Although some dogs make it through their careers without lameness or injury, most don’t. Petra’s belief that our dog are in fact athletes, her knowledge of the dogs body and how it moves and work, and her unique approach, is one of the many reasons I work with her.

    When I first met Petra, Britain had just returned to agility after being off for a year due to an injury. After speaking with Petra, I learned that if I continue to work the core work with Britain’s body in it’s current state, I would be strengthening her weaknesses versus building on a solid foundation and getting strong from there. She explained her foundation and I started immediately. There was one challenge in all this, I was in Michigan and Petra in New Jersey. Through videos being sent back and forth, I was able to to work on the stretches and the strengthening that Britain required.

    With Petra’s help and guidance and a lot of work, Britain is stronger than ever. We basically rebuilt her body from the ground up. I now know when she gets tight and how to stretch her out, especially in the lower back. Britain is back and she is stronger and faster than ever. My younger dogs are also getting the benefit of Petra’s wealth of knowledge.

    I am forever grateful to Petra for her persistence, patience and tremendous wealth of knowledge.

    — Jen Pinder
  • I have taken Canine Conditioning with my dog Willow from beginner to advanced. The class has taught me to not only improve my dogs overall condition, but how to properly warm up and cool down before and after competition or training. The results were dramatic and have increased Willow’s stamina and strength. In agility, Willow has gotten markedly faster and has increased her speed by 2 YPS after completing the conditioning course! Willow also turns tighter and is more focused mentally as she does not get as tired as before because of her improved condition.

    — Andrae Acerra
  • I participated with three dogs in the conditioning course that Petra created and implemented. I saw - almost immediately - a huge improvement in my dogs' ability to turn tighter, balance through landings, and control their decels into turns. It was amazing! My youngest sheltie, Bizzy, benefitted greatly with improved speed and his control into and out of turns. I recommended that all my students take the next class offered and highly recommend this class to anyone who has a performance dog. Petra understands what movements are required in performance dogs and has designed a course to strength your dog's muscles and reduce injuries. It's a win-win for you and your dog!

    — Diane Goodspeed
  • I really enjoyed Petra Ford’s Conditioning Classes and my dogs Heart and Spell were never in better shape than when Petra got us working out regularly and correctly. Border Collie Spell was in great form in agility and stayed fit and injury-free. Labrador Heart improved her sits and really shone in obedience. Whatever sport you do with your dogs, it is so important for them to be in peak condition. Everyone wants to exercise their dogs, but it’s hard to know what exercises are best for your individual dog and their sport. Petra tailored our workout program to each dog, taking into account their fitness level, structure and competition schedule. She also made sure that we did the exercises right—using the correct form to get the most benefit without straining the dog. So many people are working their dogs on exercise equipment, like balls and discs, but they don’t realize how important it is to get instruction on doing it properly. We learned how to use all of the exercise equipment and when it was appropriate for our dogs. I continue to use the lessons that I learned in Conditioning Class over and over to keep my dogs at their best!

    — Linda Brennan
  • I wanted to thank you for offering the conditioning course. It was very enlightening and gave me several additional warm up exercises I will be able to use, as well as exercises to strengthen and improve my dog’s core, balance and awareness. It is great to see with a little training they really start realizing where their back feet are. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone that wants to improve their dog’s skills.

    — Ken Erickson