Just because your dog is not vying for a spot on the World Agility Team does not mean you should let them be a couch potato. The new K9FITbone™ is something every dog owner should own, and Krista Wickens, Owner/CEO of PetZen Products and President of Ball Dynamics International is going to tell you why.
Why did you create the K9FITbone™?
We created the K9FITbone™ because we wanted to develop a product that was fun, safe and easy for dog owners to use in the comfort of their own homes, as well as useful for veterinarians and rehabilitation practitioners, and canine fitness trainers to use with their clients. Bottom line: we wanted to offer the K9FITbone as a solution for everything from everyday fitness to rehabilitation.
The bone shape is unique and fun, but the lateral movement that the K9FITbone provides encourages engagement of the abdominals, the muscles along the spine, as well as the stabilizers around the hips and shoulders — all of which are very important for strengthening the “whole dog”.
Why the bone shape?
The “science” behind this product (i.e. why a bone is better than a disc):
- balance is key to all movement. Training on unstable surfaces has been documented to help strengthen the body’s hard to reach core and stabilizer muscles, as well as aid in developing body awareness.
- The low-impact platform of the K9FITbone makes it a versatile tool that works for dogs of all ages and breeds; from puppies to seniors. The elongated shape encourages a flat back. For a larger dog – two bones can be used.
- The unique shape has been especially useful in teaching proper foot positioning to keep knees and rear feet tracking forward. Varying the inflation will increase difficulty levels from easy to challenging. More air creates a rocking side to side that is very helpful in developing lateral stability and strengthening major muscle groups which support the dog’s joints.
- The low-height makes it easy for dogs learning balance to step up on and push into the bone to find their center. On each side we added sensory bumps for neural stimulation. One side is less pronounced than the other for more sensitive feet. These bumps also enable the bones to be stacked vertically for more challenging exercises.
What are the benefits?
Balance work with dogs is so important – not only does it build core strength to support the back, but it also helps strengthen the muscles that support the joints. This is especially important for dogs with joint diseases like arthritis and for puppies developing muscles to support their growing joints.
Other benefits include:
- Improved Coordination
- Puppy Confidence Building
- Senior Strengthening
- Behavior Shaping
- Stronger Bond with Your Dog
How To Get Started
Okay, so now that you are hooked on the K9FITbone, you may be wondering how hard it is to get started. Well, it’s not too hard!
“The first way to acclimate dogs to the bone is to use a smelly, nutritious treat to lure the dog to step on the bone,” explains Wickens. “Once the feet touch the K9FITbone provide the reward. It may be easiest starting next to a wall. Reward positively when the dog touches the bone, progress to both feet on the bone and eventually the whole body. Moving the treat will enable you to eventually get the dog’s entire body on the bone if the dog is under 50 lbs., for larger dogs two bones would be required.”
In addition, the K9FITbone also comes with 5 detailed exercise cards to teach exercises at home. They are also launching a CanineGym.com membership website which will feature more opportunities to learn other K9FITbone exercises.
Can’t wait? Bobbie Lyons, Cert CF (Canine Fitness), has been teaching K9 Conditioning since 2006 and she has an entire online class just on the K9FITbone! Her upcoming enrollment dates are: 9/9, 10/29, and 1/6.
Want to wear your dog out this coming winter but the weather is awful outside? Try the K9Fitbone! My dog sleeps for hours after his K9FITbone workout, and considering he is a high-energy 15-month-old sheltie, that is saying something!
About the Author
Based in Wilsonville, Ore., animal lover Kristina N. Lotz is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and works as a full time trainer. She is the founder of, A Fairytail House, a unique all-positive all-sport dog training facility that helps rescue dogs in her area and provides free seminars and training classes for the community. In her spare time, she trains and competes in herding, agility, obedience, rally, and conformation with her Shetland Sheepdogs. She smartly married a Veterinary Technician, who helps keep the fur kids happy and healthy, and provides a quick resource for articles.
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