What is dog fitness?

Canine conditioning can play a huge role in keeping dogs healthy but is especially important for working or sport dogs to reduce the risk of injuries and enhance their performance. Appropriate exercises can be started even with young puppies to teach them how to balance and control their bodies while working their brain with low-impact, safe tasks.

Specific exercises can help with body awareness, balance, flexibility, mobility, speed, and muscular strength, leading to improved performance and reduced risk of injury. While regular exercises like long walks or running in the backyard are great for maintaining large muscle groups, conditioning exercises focus on areas prone to injury. Neglecting deeper muscles, which activate when dogs balance or try to avoid slipping, can lead to injuries.

These exercises benefit dogs physically, work their minds, and strengthen the bond between dogs and their owners.

Dog Fitness Starter Kit | Dog Gear Review

Before you start

It is always recommended to do a vet check and discuss exercises with a professional before getting started with canine fitness. Doing the wrong exercises or not doing them correctly can cause more harm than good for the dog. We also need to recognize that different dogs have different needs - they especially require tailored exercises if they’re young or old or recovering from injuries.

Even if you cannot consult a professional in person, you can arrange online consultations and/or take online classes to learn about the importance and proper execution of each exercise.

I took a few in-person dog fitness classes before, and in the last three months, I followed Clean Run’s Power Up with Platforms and Pads online class with Zulu. Still, I am not trying to make an impression that I am proficient in dog fitness; with Zulu, we just did this as an occasional hobby rather than a regular fitness routine.

She just turned one, so I was careful not to overdo it, but the class helped her to be more aware of her body, learn new positions, and follow detailed instructions. Plus, it was fun doing something different with her! The class includes videos of each exercise, which were really helpful in making sure we were doing them right.

What is a Good Dog Fitness Starter Kit?

Here are a few versatile pieces of canine fitness equipment that can be combined to perform a wide range of exercises and help your dog get started on their fitness journey.

Flexiness SensiMat & Stacking Bars

The SensiMat & Stacking Bars combo is excellent for various dog fitness exercises like balance training, muscle building, and core work.

The pink StackingBar is a perfect choice for smaller dogs or dogs that are advanced in their fitness training. Meanwhile, beginners and larger dogs that need more stability should start with the purple StackingBar. The bars are sold individually so you can combine the two different types.

Dog Fitness Starter Kit | Dog Gear Review

The Stacking Bars have two sides: a flat one and one with a wave pattern to support a parallel posture. These nubs also interlock for stability when two bars are stacked on top of each other, and if you really want to keep things secure, they also work with their SensiMat V1 or V2 which keeps them firmly in place!

Dog Fitness Starter Kit | Dog Gear Review

FitPAWS Balance Disc

Zulu’s favorite fitness equipment from Clean Run is the FitPAWS Balance Disc that can be used as standalone equipment or in combination with others.

Dog Fitness Starter Kit | Dog Gear Review

With a 14" working surface, the Balance Disc can be used for weight-bearing, balance, or core training. It has two surfaces: a flat side with ribs and a textured surface with bumps for added sensory stimulation. The side with the bumps works very well with the Flexiness SeniMat - ensuring the disc is not sliding when the dog steps on it.

Dog Fitness Starter Kit | Dog Gear Review

Keep in mind that the disc is shipped uninflated, and you’ll need to purchase the needle pump separately. Inflating it with different pressure allows you to do different exercises/ engage different muscles.

Cato Outdoors - Cato Plank Training Platform

The Cato Plank Training Platform is a versatile and practical training equipment that we use for both fitness and obedience training.

It has a non-slip surface that is perfect for fitness exercises. The elevated surface helped us work on changing positions (like sit-down-stand) without Zu moving forward. It also helps guide Zulu’s front sit and heel work by preventing her from being at an angle, a common issue of hers during these exercises.

Dog Fitness Starter Kit | Dog Gear Review

The plank is designed for indoor use due to its rubber surface that can get hot in the sun; however, it’s also available with a turf surface that makes it suitable for outdoor use. For added functionality, the plank is available with or without a tilt stand, which allows you to transform it into a multi-height teeter with settings for 2", 5", and 10" heights.

Dog Fitness Starter Kit | Dog Gear Review

FitPAWS Cavaletti Set

The Dog Agility Hurdle or Cavaletti Set of 12 Cones and 6 Poles is another versatile fitness equipment that can be incorporated into many exercises - and of course, used for a variety of cavalleti practices.

Each cone is 18" tall and has 5-hole placements at 3", 6", 9", 12", or 15", so you can easily adjust it to the training application and size of the dog. Plus, you can lay the cones on the ground, so the poles are only raised slightly off the ground. The bars are 36" long but can be unscrewed and folded in half for storage.

Dog Fitness Starter Kit | Dog Gear Review

Zulu struggled with back leg awareness, so I mainly used them to teach her body awareness and coordination. However, there are countless other exercises you can do with this set!

FitPaws Youtube channel has a video showing and explaining different exercises that can be done only with this set.

Spot Markers

The Agility Targets or Spot Markers from Clean Run are heavy-duty, poly-vinyl, anti-slip targets with a 9" diameter. They can be used to mark locations for target exercises in agility or obedience or as foot targets on the fitness equipment. They can also be used in many other scenarios.

They are surprisingly sturdy and heavy (made out of 1/8" poly-vinyl and weighing 4.3 oz. each), so they can handle the dog running up to them without tearing and stay in place very well both indoors and outdoors.

Dog Fitness Starter Kit | Dog Gear Review


Canine fitness is important because it improves the dog’s health, increases their longevity, and prevents injuries. It can enhance the bond between dog and owner and provides low-impact physical stimulation for the dog that can be done indoors.

Suggested Articles


Have you heard about the Everything Dogs Box? They send treats and chews for your dog every month - all from a single ingredient with no preservatives, like rabbit feet, lamb trachea, esophagus jerky, etc. It is like a big sample box, so your dog can choose their favorites! You can choose between small, medium, and large boxes, and they rotate the different proteins every month to keep it fun for your dog.


Choosing the right harness for our dogs is essential to ensure their comfort, safety, and freedom of movement during walks and adventures. Harnesses come in various designs, but in this article, we’ll focus on the three-strap harness and how it should ideally fit your dog. Finding the perfect fit is crucial, as an ill-fitting harness can cause discomfort or even injury to your pet. The Basics of the Correct Harness Fit Before diving into the specifics of how a three-strap harness should fit the dog, let’s outline a few general considerations for harnesses:


As temperatures rise, keeping our dogs comfortable and safe becomes even more of a priority. Ruffwear offers two similar solutions designed to beat the heat while ensuring our canine companions can still enjoy outdoor activities. In this comparison, we’ll take a closer look at the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Vest and the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Harness, examining their features, pros, and cons to help you choose the perfect cooling solution for your dog.


Neakasa’s mission is “To simplify and elevate people’s lives by providing top-of-the-line smart cleaning solutions.” As a customer-centric brand, Neakasa is dedicated to creating innovative, cutting-edge products that exceed customer expectations. The Neakasa F1 Pet Hair Dryer The Neakasa F1 Pet Hair Dryer stands out with its high quality and packability, making it a great option for pet owners on the go. Its 8-35 minute fast drying capability (depending on the dog’s size and hair type), thanks to an impressive 62m/s airspeed at the nozzle, is 65% faster than most pet dryers, saving time and ensuring a stress-free drying experience.


PalFur’s mission revolves around the motto “Empowering pet owners with convenient and innovative home grooming solutions for a happier pet lifestyle.” With a focus on promoting overall well-being and happiness, their innovative grooming kit allows pet owners to create a convenient and enjoyable grooming experience for their pets in the comfort of their homes. The PalFur IN01 Pet Grooming Vacuum Kit The PalFur IN01 Pet Grooming Kit & Vacuum features a 350W motor and varying suction power options (4/7/11 kPa) to efficiently collect pet hair and dirt while being quiet.


Neakasa’s mission is “To simplify and elevate people’s lives by providing top-of-the-line smart cleaning solutions.” As a customer-centric brand, Neakasa is dedicated to creating innovative, cutting-edge products that exceed customer expectations. The Neakasa P2 Pro Dog Grooming Kit & Vacuum The Neakasa P2 Pro Dog Grooming Kit & Vacuum is an innovative pet grooming system designed to streamline the grooming process for dogs while minimizing the hair mess that usually comes with grooming.


When going on summer hikes with our dogs, it’s crucial to prioritize their comfort and safety. As the weather gets warmer and we explore the outdoors, it’s essential for dog owners to choose a harness that’s suitable for the season’s specific challenges. What do you need in a good dog harness for summer hikes? In this article, we explore the key features and qualities to consider when selecting a dog harness for summer hikes.


Whenever we mention dog boots, the question that inevitably comes up is, “How on earth do they stay on?” It’s a common issue that dog owners face, and today, we’re diving into this topic to discuss the factors behind boots that just won’t stay put. In this article, we’ll uncover the reasons why some boots have a tendency to slip off and, most importantly, share techniques to keep those boots snugly in place.


DogByBox’s motto is “We want you and your dog to live a great life together,” and to help with that, they offer thoughtfully selected items in each box. From toys and treats to educational resources, DogByBox is committed to creating a positive and enriching environment for pets and their owners. They focus on fostering strong human-dog bonds through activities/games you can do with your dog together. What is a Discovery Kit?


Two popular three-strap dog harnesses on the market today are the Flagline and the Web Master, both made by Ruffwear. In this article, we will compare the features and benefits of these two harnesses to help dog owners make an informed decision. Ruffwear Flagline The Flagline™ Dog Harness features a lightweight fabric that keeps dogs cool and comfortable, even on hot days. The harness also has a wide belly panel that distributes weight evenly across the dog’s body when lifting, but the harness isn’t padded.

See more articles