If I was told a month ago that I’ll be pretty much confined to home with my super bouncy Springer Spaniel called Bonnie — I would consider it a very bad joke! A positively insane one!
To make matters even worse in addition to the above — mentioned energetic canine now I also have two small kids with me 24/7 who are also full of energy.
At the moment we are restricted to a local walk once a day. Despite everything I would count ourselves lucky! At least we can come out and make most of the daily walk. Many people are on a full lockdown and can’t leave home at all.
So on my very first day with this energetic company at home I realised that we need to make a plan!
We need to come up with some exercise programme for all of us (including the dog) to stay fit and to burn off some of the energy.
Here is what we do to stay fit:
We start each morning with our walk. During the walk we do lots of running games, chasing the dog and kids games, frisbee, fetch games and social distance style football game involving one adult, two kids and a dog. It works and it’s fun and most importantly it is physically exhausting.
In the afternoon after all of the homework is done (as schools are closed and kids are on home schooling) we have another joint exercise session.
Here are our excercise ideas that you can also try together with your kids and your dog:
Squats are fab exercise and can be done by everyone together. In fact we all do it at the same time involving the dog!
On “sit” everyone squats down and on “stand” everyone stands up, including the dog.
And so it goes on. Dog gets an occasional treat for being good and kids get a regular praise for keeping up with the dog.
For extra weight the dog puts its feet on one of our backs while keeping its hind legs on the floor. We then take turns to do press-ups with the dog while the others are doing easier dog-free press-ups. Great arm, back and shoulder exercise for humans and excellent balance and back leg exercise for the dog.
3) Crunch ups
Usual crunch ups but with the added complexity of one of us having a dog lying across for extra weight. Resting time for the dog, but excellent exercise for the humans.
4) Straight leg lifts while on back
We do a straight leg lifts up from lying flat with our backs on the floor and hold it for a few seconds before lowering it down. Dog touches the raised leg with its paws
5) Straight leg lift and hold while standing on your knees with straight arms facing the floor.
Dog crawls under the raised legs.
6) Bent leg lifts from sitting position
Excellent core body muscle exercise.
Dog jumps over the raised legs one by one.
7) Mountain climber
Humans go into a facing the floor press up position supporting the weight with straight arms and on straight legs. The leg is then bent at the knee and brought forward along the floor to the chest. It is a fabulous cardiovascular exercise and you can do it faster or slower.
Dog’s role is to provide extra weight on the back to make it even more challenging but far more fun. Great body core exercise for the dog.
We have two versions of the plank with dog on the floor (raised plank) or dog’s feet on your back (flat plank).
Obviously you need to make sure that you do not accidentally flop on the dog, but we encourage dog to alternate between us and alternate between having a feet up on our backs for straight plank and being under for the raised angled plank.
We all skip over a skipping rope including the dog. Bonnie it still learning though so the person skipping with the dog is taking it slow for the momnet, but not for long.
10) Running on the spot with raised knees
Excellent cardiovascular exercise for humans. Dog in that time doing circles around us in one direction and then the other direction — making it just as useful cardiovascular exercise for the dog.
11) We finish the workout with a nice stretch and some breathing exercises
We modify the fitness routine from day to day to make it fun for everyone— after all this is why we are all doing it! Well..and to stay fit of course!
Here is short entertaining video to give you a flavour of what it might look like.
Please note the excerises here are suitable for our family and are safe to do with our dog. You might need to make some modifications to the above exercise routine to tailor it to you and your dog. Please keep safety in mind as with any other physical activities while having fun.
It is easy to include your dog into your exercise routine and it requires the dog to know some Novice-level tricks from the Athlete Trick Dog talent track.
Once you teach your dog these tricks why not apply for the Trick Dog Title — you’ll achieve another great milestone together while on home lockdown. Each successful submission will receive a rosette and certificate to celebrate your achievement.
If you found it useful please share this blog post with your friends who might be looking for some ideas how to exercise kids and dogs.
Stay safe and have fun!