Building Better Athletes...because our dogs deserve it.
Course developed and taught by Tara Monahan OCT CPCFT SCMT
This conditioning course is designed for handlers and dogs who are working at an intermediate/advanced level and have a clear understanding of proper form. Dogs in this course should be older than 18 months, healthy, injury-free, and have a solid foundation in conditioning. 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 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.
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?
Each Monday, for the first six weeks of the class, 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. This set up allows 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 email@example.com.
How and what type of feedback is provided?
Detailed feedback is incredibly important, and I work hard to make sure I can support you and your dog in every way possible. This course is all about knowledge and skill development; the goal is to bring together dogs and handlers with diverse skills and knowledge, and by the end of the course have them all experiencing the same level of success. I strongly encourage people to post each exercise at least once, even if you think your form is perfect – it’s always good to have confirmation. If everything is perfect, I’ll confirm it for you and you don’t need to post that specific exercise again. More often, I’ll provide next steps that may focus on your form, your dog’s form, the equipment type or placement, or anything else that may help you get the most out of the course, and your dog get the most out of the exercises. I do cover far more exercises than the average class, so in order to make the most out of the feedback, and to ensure all participants have equal access to the same quality of feedback, I’ve put some feedback guidelines in place.
1. Feedback will be received within 24 hours, with the exception of Sundays. Please wait until you have the feedback and can apply it before posting your next video – otherwise you’ll be making the same mistakes.