Building Better Athletes...because our dogs deserve it.

Course developed and taught by Tara Monahan OCT CPCFT SCMT

This is the sister course to Intro to Structure and Gait Analysis, and the follow up course for Building Strong Foundations. Dogs in this course should be older than 18 months, injury-free, have a solid foundation in conditioning, and be comfortable working at an intermediate/advanced level. Course topics include warm ups and cool downs, an introduction to evaluating structure and gait (not as in depth as the Intro to Structure and Gait course - we'll be skimming the surface), some quick check methods of recognizing structure or gait concerns, and how to create a conditioning plan. Course homework will focus on conditioning, but there will occasionally be the opportunity to extend your understanding of the lessons through the homework as well. This is a 6 week course, with feedback available for 12 weeks.

What are the benefits of taking this course?

  • Improve your understanding of anatomy, structure, and gait.

  • Learn why and how to properly warm up and cool down your dog.

  • Understand how science can help us make better choices for our dogs.

  • Improve your dog’s strength, balance, proprioception, and flexibility.

  • Create a conditioning plan for your dog, and have the confidence to change and adapt it as necessary.



How long is this course?

There will be six weeks of detailed, scaffolded instruction with feedback, and 12 weeks total access to all materials and online feedback.

What equipment is required?

Recommended equipment includes:

  • 2 wedges

  • 2 level stable surfaces (feed pot, bricks, balance pads will work fine)

  • 2 level unstable surfaces (fitbones/discs/BISkit etc)

  • a balance beam (a 2 x 4 or 4 x 4 can work just as well),

  • an unstable surface long enough for your dog to lie down comfortably on (ie. a peanut, infinity, air mattress),

  • a solid surface, long enough for your dog to lie on (at a minimum) that can be angled. If you are in a sunny climate and have access to a slope – that will work well.

  • paw pods

    Improvisation is encouraged – a mattress can replace an infinity, pucks can replace paw pods…take a look at what you have around your house, and email if you have questions or need suggestions.

How does this course work?

Starting January 4th, you will be provided with a weekly lesson and scaffolded conditioning goals. Both the lesson document and the exercises will be posted on your personal Canine Home Exercises page. Each goal will be explained through text, video, and photos. In your “welcome email”, prior to the class beginning, you will be invited to a private Facebook group where you can post your videos for feedback. The feedback is unlimited, so you are welcome to post as many videos for feedback as you wish during the course of the 12 weeks, as long as the videos are less than 90 seconds in length. This set up also allows you flexibility; you can start the course when you like, and finish when you like, as long as it’s within the twelve weeks. The software I use is designed to document progress and encourage accountability with several “bonus’ features unique to this course. If you have any further questions, please email me at

What is the time commitment?

The format of the class allows for a very flexible time commitment. In general I encourage people to work with their dogs 3 days per week, in increments of 10-20 minutes. However, I have also had clients who can only spend 5 minutes working with their dogs twice a week, and they also have had good results. You need to do what works for your schedule, whether that’s 5 minutes every day, or 10 minutes twice a week. My only caution is to not become a “weekend warrior”; you will have greater success (and be more fair to your dog) if you work in short spurts.

What are the instructor's qualifications?

In addition to being a Certified Professional Canine Fitness Trainer and Canine Massage Therapist, I am also a teacher and a “tech junkie” who loves to figure out how technology can be effectively integrated to teach and guide people. I have trained dogs for over a decade, owned a performance dog training facility, competed in multiple dog sports, and I am the owner of Canine Fitness Innovations. My passion is helping people to help their dogs. For more information, you can click here see my answers to the #sixquestionchallenge so that you know #whoisworkingwithyourdog.

My vet recommended rehab. Would this course be a good option?

No – this course is not designed for dogs who have been injured or who have been ill. All dogs participating should be sound, and if there is any doubt, a veterinary check up is required. Instead, please talk to a CCRP or other certified rehabilitation practitioner.

Are there auditing spots?

For this course, only working spots are available. The best way to learn and progress with your dog is to actively participate in the program and incorporate feedback into your training sessions.

6 weeks of lessons and 12 weeks of feedback for $299 CDN (approximately $230 USD)

This class will re-open for enrollment in December 2021.

If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please click here.