May 20, 2024

25 degrees, outdoor sports, and 5 dogs around me. That’s what I experienced with the “Fitauf6Beinen” sports program. I tested it with my dog, Cubby, and we both sweated a lot.

I was already nervous about the upcoming 90-minute workout with my dog. The reason is that Cuby and I sometimes go jogging or cycling. But in all his eight years of life, he had never enjoyed agility or targeted strength training.

But Heike Kempe is particular about the latter. she says: She said: “Many people take their dogs for walks over and over again. This is often too difficult for the dog.”

The 62-year-old is a trained dog (fitness) trainer and runs a dog training center called TeamDogLingen-Fitness with Dogs. For 15 years, she focused on classical training of dogs. But now we offer a variety of sports activities for our four-legged and two-legged friends.

Whether it’s dog power walks, dog jogs, or crime hikes, at Kempe, dogs and their owners put in the same effort.

Training is successful with some treats

This can be seen from the note she wrote to me before the lesson. She needs to wear sports clothes, give the dog lots of treats and bring a blanket to rest on.

Once we arrived at the Oestringen meadow, Cubby and I were given an explanation of today’s lesson. The first thing to do was to know the environment and always give instructions. Sit, sit, paw up, all was well for Cubby with just a treat.

But Heike Kempe says this is perfectly fine for the first hour. Kempe has repeatedly given tips on how to make practice even easier. Cubby and I particularly benefited from this on subsequent courses. Walk forward and backward up each rung of the ladder on the ground. Like crossing individual cones in slalom, both are completely new movements for the Koikerhondier Cubie.

It is important to empathize with your dog

I quickly learned how important cooperation between dogs and humans is. Because if I don’t understand the exercise right away, Cuby won’t be able to implement it.

Patience. My trainer, Kempe, says it’s important for me and the dog to be together, as are the other course participants. Some have already been taking various courses with the Heike for four years. Looking back, our first “Fit on 6 Legs” class was just as chaotic for Cuby and me.

I’ve often been too frugal with my dogs and tended to refrain from doing difficult exercises like working their hind legs with a stepper. Either way, my pride in Cuby always grew even more when I mastered these exercises.

That’s the purpose of the lesson, Kempe said. “The relationship between dog and owner is greatly strengthened.” That can be emphasized.

Then that person has to do it

After a fitness program for our four-legged friends, countless snack and drink breaks, and 45 minutes of exercise, the dogs were able to relax on the blankets. In the second half of practice, it was the turn of the two-person trio. All course participants performed exercises on a stepper. This was a full-body workout with immediate results.

During that time, I felt like I had already taken a few fitness classes. I was able to free myself up a bit and for the first time that day I was able to focus on myself and away from the dog. Cubby seemed to notice this too and seemed very rested after my sports program.

After this session we did another 1km of power walking. We left with a dog harness and suitable equipment for me. However, it only lasted for a short time as Cubby was too tired. Therefore, we ended the last additional sports session of the day early.

Conclusion: Regular training will be established in the future

The fitness program “Fitauf6Beinen” is exciting and sometimes challenging. However, the dog fitness trainer says the course is aimed at all dogs because “we meet all dogs everywhere.” After the lesson, Cubby slept for a long time and I also took a little nap. It was a completely new endeavor for both of us, working on coordination and fitness for two hours straight.

Cuby and I were able to put Kempe’s tips into practice for trying and enjoying the course. Mr. Heike advised him to use a “work harness” and to be careful about Cubby-senpai’s weight. Both are already in place, and the latter will likely be expanded in the future through targeted sports programs.

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