Targeting your dog’s back legs and core with specific exercises is a smart strategy. You can prevent hip dysplasia at early age by improving your pups performance, coordination and posture.
Ali is a little bit lazy on her back legs and core. She tends to sit on one side or goes down from a sit stay very fast. I am starting early with some exercises that will prevent her from having injuries associated with osteoarthritis and other soft tissue issues.
Canine core and back leg strengthening has many benefits. A strong core is crucial for active athletic dogs or long backed dogs such as dachshunds or corgis to help prevent injury.
Hind leg exercises:
Walking with two legs:
A healthy dog will jump or get on its two back legs for his favorite treats.
Get your dog to stand by luring him up. If he tends to jump don’t reward him until his back legs are on the floor. Work on this for a few sessions and then add a name to it, like “walk”. Slowly build up to walk forward and back by luring him to do so.
1. Make your dog sit against a wall facing you.
2. Present his favorite treat, put it against his nose and move it back.
3 As soon as he gets up with his front legs without standing up mark it with a yes or good boy and reward him.
4. Repeat until he does it repeatedly and then you can aim for endurance and distance.
Make your dog stand up in the middle of two chairs lure him back and walk towards him. When he takes one or two steps mark it using a clicker or good boy! and reward him. Repeat until he takes three or four steps consistently.
2. Backing up on a wood board
Once you have a solid back up place a strong wood board on the floor (preferably bigger than your doggie size). Make him back up on top of the board.
3. Going up
Start by placing a board down on the ground next to a wall and lure your dog to do a backup onto the board. When your pup is successfully backing on top of it start bring the wall upwards. You can secure the wall with your feet and lure your dog from that position or place and object under the wall to make it higher on the side that is next to the wall.
In this step it is important to be very gentle with your dog and understand this might be a very scary thing to do so be patient. If he is scared back up a little bit. It is going to take him time to go up backwards with the square board next to the wall.
Once your dog is doing a backup with the wood board all the way up add a word to your trick and then slowly transfer to the actual wall. After that work a few steps away from the wall so he starts doing the handstand without it.
Teach your dog to sit by placing a treat next to your dog’s nose and moving it back. Reward your dog when his hips touch the ground. Once he is comfortable and he is consistenly doing it add a word to it. Then do a sit, take one big step back with a treat on your hand luring your dog to stand up. Work on this until your dog is fluent in the exercise. Then you can add a word to your stand command.
Practice this from a down too. This exercise may be incorporated into every day activities, such as asking for five sit-to-stands before eating dinner or going outside. The number of repetitions may be increased as the dog is able.