Skill A Day: Day 11 Toto Fit Week 1 Challenge

As it’s now Sunday and now definitely feeling like winter around here, I thought it would be a perfectly good time to start some indoor fitness exercises.  I came across the Toto Fit 6 Week Challenge and thought to myself “Hmm, this might be a great winter program for the dogs and I to begin.”  I have accumulated a couple of balance disks and physio balls over the years, and use them often for myself with exercises I’ve been given in PT.  I’ve found exercises like these are good both mental and physical exercise for the dog (assuming dog is physical able and vet oks such), which when it’s freezing freezing cold out having indoor exercises to well exercise the dogs are a blessing.  I generally find myself teaching the dogs some indoor fitness type program in the winter.  Last year I taught them how to use a tread mill.  Based on how excited the dogs were when they saw me bring the balls and balance boards down to the cellar training room, I think it’s pretty safe to say they enjoy these winter programs.

The Week 1 Challenge exercises are all done on the ground.  And the week 1 video that the powers that be at Toto Fit post gives a nice demo of the skills to practice.

Here is part of the video of our morning practice from today.  It was interesting to realize I’ve never really taught the dogs to stand or stand stay on cue.  Also apparently forgot to teach Zora how to back up on cue. It was comical to start:

Tom week 1 Toto Fit Challenge Exercises

Zora week 1 Toto Fit Challenge Exercises

We  plan to practice these exercises a little bit each day.  And hopefully progress through the challenges over the next six weeks.

0 thoughts on “Skill A Day: Day 11 Toto Fit Week 1 Challenge

  1. Hi! I just watched one if these videos on facebook where people put their babies next to (or on top of) their pitbulls to prove how perfectly lovely and child-friendly the dogs are. I find this really disturbing and alarming. I want to reach out through the screen and grab those babies. I was wondering what you think of that? Remembering our conversation a while back about kids and animals! X

    1. Oh those videos and photos horrify me and just about any professional dog trainer/behavior person I know. Regardless of breed. If I see such photos with a lab, papillon, border collie, pointer, spaniel, corgi, don’t care the breed or mix, I find my jaw clenching, myself holding my breathe and thinking, “I hope that dog is never pushed completely over threshold.” I have said it so many times, “Every dog has 42 teeth, every dog has jaws strong enough to crush bone, and every dog has a tolerance level.” Why push a dog when it’s completely unnecessary? Why play with fire? Especially when it’s the dog and kid who would pay the price in the end. I don’t get it.

      1. I’m glad you said that! I always feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t go “oooh that’s so cute!!” I suppose it’s what you said before about “Disneyfication” of animals… I know people who have a huge Bernersennen dog and they think it’s funny to let their little girl ride on his back. Their command for “lick the baby” is “eat her”! It really scares me,! The dog seems very friendly but he’s so big! He could do serious damage if he was in a bad mood one day. I just hope it never happens. 🙁 I don’t know anyone who has pitbulls to be honest. Are they really more dangerous than other dogs?

  2. Like with any living creature nature plus nurture comes into play. With dogs, we look at both the history of the breed (so what has this type of dog been bred to preform/do/behave as for generations of selective breeding, what are the genetic tendencies of that breed), the tendencies of the individual dog, and the environment the dog has been raised in. So take a terrier that has been bred for generations to have traits that make it more likely to want to chase, bite, shake and kill small rodents, so chances are that dog is more likely than say a labrador who has been bred for generations to have traits to make it more likely to want to find, chase, and gently pick up and return to the handler a bird be it shot dead, or partially alive still, chances are that terrier dog is more likely to have a lower bite threshold than that average lab, since that terrier’s genetics when confronted with a threat are more likely tell him to want to meet the challenge and kill the rodent, than the average lab would. Now take an individual terrier who was born from parents who were used for hunting and go to ground (so this particular dog is from proven hunting terriers), and raised isolated with his litter till age 10weeks in a barn with minimal human contact, now is purchased by someone who lives in the city and has 3 young kids under the age of 6. Chances are that pup is going to have a lower bite threshold than average, and more likely to be fearful of people. The dog has a higher chance of biting a human than a terrier from a sire/dam who really didn’t care about chasing and killing rodents, and who were raised in a sensory rich environment building positive associations to people. Now between those 2 pups, maybe you get the statistical outlier and your hunting parents pup raised isolated in a barn is the most temperamentally stable, human social, outgoing pup on the face of the planet. Great! But I wouldn’t have gotten a pup from that nature/nurture betting on that. Or maybe you got the other outlier from the pup raised in a sensory rich, social environment and he’s the most fearful, scared, high bite risk dog ever. But chances are from that litter, you’d be less likely to get a dog like that, than from the 1st in the barn isolated one. Apply this to any breed be it pit bull, lab, border collie and you can generally figure out bite risk more or less likely compared to other breeds. And then weigh in the individual dog and his or her life experiences.

    1. And if you did get a dog who might have a higher chance of bite either more likely due to breed or individual tendencies, then you take management, training and behavior modification approaches proactively to help that dog learn safe coping skills and you learn how to proactively lessen the dog’s risk of bite as a responsible dog owner.

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