Activities For Dogs With Owners Who Like Boxing

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Introduction

Often called the "Sweet Science," the sport of boxing has become a time-honored tradition in many cultures all around the world. While some people watch the sport only looking to see who's going to get knocked out, others have long realized that there are many technical aspects and nuances to this classic sport. Many of these nuanced aspects of boxing are a by-product of the sport's age; since the times of the Ancient Sumerians, people have participated in the sport of boxing to test their physical prowess as well as their mental acuity. Furthermore, many of the methods people use to train for the sport are also canine compatible. So whether your an aspiring pro or an average Joe with a love for the Sweet Science as great as your love for your dog, here are a few activities both you and your dog can try to stay sharp and strong.

Step Runs

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Sunny Day
Free
Normal
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Leash
Water Bottle (for you and your dog)
Activity description
Alright, it's time for you and your dog to get your Rocky Balboa on! In all seriousness, step running is an incredibly effective cardiovascular (or cardio for short) exercise that gives you an intense incline workout, tests your coordination and footwork, and will help you and your dog improve your endurance over time. While this activity can be attempted in just about any kind of weather, we suggest you try it on temperate or sunny days to eliminate the possibility of anyone slipping due to accidentally stepping in a puddle of water or snow. Read ahead to see how to pull this activity off without injuring yourself or your dog in the process.
Step
1
Limber up
Stretching is something of a necessity for this exercise since your legs will be getting moving in their full range of motion. Before you and your dog head out to give this activity a try, be sure to stretch out both of your legs slowly but fully in order to avoid getting cramps during or after the run. To stretch your dog's legs, simply grab hold of their front paws and slowly pull them away from your dog and towards you. Do the reverse with their hind legs and you'll be all set.
Step
2
Start with stairs
The starts of a local library, the steps in a nearby park, anywhere that has enough room and enough steps to get a few laps of this exercise in will do the trick for this step. If this is your first time attempting an incline cardio exercise, take things slowly when starting out. The decline portion of this activity tends to be harder early on, so always descend down the steps at a controllable pace. Starting off, you'll want to run up each step individually, so try to avoid overstepping and skipping any steps early on.
Step
3
Break into bleachers
After you and your dog have logged in enough hours running steps, you'll likely be ready to try your hand (or more appropriately foot) at bleachers. Bleachers are beefed up versions of stairs, and longer strides are often required when running up and down them, but they offer a great challenge to anyone willing to put the effort into attempting this portion of the activity. As you become acclimated to this activity, try ascending up and descending down the steps sideways for an extra challenge.
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Sand Cardio Workout

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Any Day
Free
Hard
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Leash
Water Bottles
Activity description
We've already established that cardio workouts can help you improve your stamina and endurance as well as help you work up a real sweat, so imagine the challenge and intensity of running or jogging in the sand? Well, we're encouraging you not to just imagine that sort of challenge for you and your pup but to also experience it for yourself; any cardio exercises become ten times harder when you attempt them in the sand but they also become ten times more rewarding when you successfully complete them. It might seem daunting at first to try this activity, but the payoff will be well worth the effort put forth by you and your dog.
Step
1
Walk before you run
Just as the age old saying goes, we have to learn to walk before we can run. If this is your first time working out in the sand then we advise you and your dog go for a nice long walk along the sandy terrain so that both of your legs can get acclimated to the sand. You'll notice that your muscles will feel drastically different after walking in the sand than they would if you were to walk along a concrete surface. Keep working those muscles out until they stop feeling sore from simply walking on the sand.
Step
2
Run, Forrest, run!
With your calf and quad muscles fully adjusted to walking in the sand, it's time to take things to the next level; we suggest completing a few jogs in the sand with your dog by your side before the two of you attempt running or sprinting in the sand. When that time comes, we suggest sprinting for about half the distance you'd normally sprint on a solid surface early on. After enough of this, you should be able to run and sprint in the sand as easily you can run and sprint on solid ground.
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Weight Training

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
45 - 60 min
Items needed
Dog Weight Sled
Weighted Dog Vest
Dog Harness
Activity description
This might come as a surprise to some, but dogs are very much capable of completing certain weight training exercises if the proper pieces of equipment are used; dogs aren't able to place a barbell on their shoulders and complete a few sets of squatting like how humans can, but they can train to the point of being able to pull an impressive amount of weight if the drive and consistency are there. Certain breeds like Pit Bulls, American Bullies, Saint Bernards, and German Shepherds may adapt to these weight training exercises more easily than others, but all dogs can learn to complete a few weight training exercises with time.
Step
1
Acclimate your dog to the equipment
In the same way that humans often complete a few sets of squatting or bench pressing without putting any weight on the bars, we suggest doing the same thing with your pet to help them get used to the feeling of having to move around a dog weight sled or walking around with a weighted dog vest wrapped around them.
Step
2
Load on the light weight
As with all of the other activities listed in this guide, we heavily advise that you start off working out your dog with light weight. Training with light weights will help your dog build up confidence as well as muscle and well keep them from overexerting their muscles and straining themselves early on.
Step
3
More time, more weight
As your dog completes a number of sets with light weight training equipment, you can begin to add more weight over time at a gradual pace. Your dog will respond positively to the sense of progressive challenge that you've now begun to add to their routine and will be that much more inspired to put their best paw forward when weight training with you.
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More Fun Ideas...

Push Ups

Push ups have long since proven to be one of the best ways for humans to build their upper body strength. As it happens, dogs can learn to complete this activity as well, in their own way; slowly complete a few push ups in front of your dog then encourage them to complete a set or two on their own.

Jump Rope

This activity is another great way to get in a solid cardio workout. There are plenty of ways people can add their own little spins and innovations to this exercise such as getting two jump ropes and going double dutch, but for dogs, we suggest tying one end to a tree and then slowly rotating the rope so that your dog will have enough time to jump.

Conclusion

More than just a test of one's physicality or athleticism, boxing is one of the most cerebral sports out there; matches are determined less by who can hit harder and more so by who knows when and where to hit their opponents. Moreover, boxing often tests one's willpower and mental fortitude; it's easy to box at peak capacity for a few minutes. It's much harder to do the same for all 12 rounds. Boxers and boxing fans know that the sport emphasizes discipline, as well as how to throw punches and dodge them, and it's that discipline that we hope becomes embedded into your dog after completing the aforementioned activities together.