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Dog Exercises

dog6You've seen those fitness ads on TV promising amazing results from all sorts of contraptions. Well, there's no need to invest in fancy equipment. If you have (or can borrow) a dog, you have everything you need to get in shape now. The following exercises can be done anywhere, anytime.

Inner Thighs: Place the dog's favorite toy between thighs. Press tighter than the dog can pull. Do not attempt bare legged - dogs who favor shortcuts to success will just dig the toy out. You could be damaged.

Upper Body Strength: Lift the dog - off the couch, off the bed, out of the flower bed. Repeat, repeat, repeat. As the dog ages, this exercise is reversed - onto the couch, onto the bed, into the car and so on.

Balance and Coordination, Exercise 1: Remove your puppy from unsuitable tight places. If they're too small for him, they're certainly too small for you. Do it anyway!

Balance and Coordination, Exercise 2: Practice not falling when your dog bounds across the full length of the room, sails through the air, and slams both front paws into the back of your knees.

Balance and Coordination, Exercise 3: (for use with multiple dogs) Remove all dogs from lap and answer the landline before it stops ringing.

Balance and Coordination, Exercise 4: (alternate) For older dogs, attempt to cross a room without tripping over the dog. Get off your couch without crushing any part of a sleeping elderly dog.

Upper Arms: Throw the ball. Throw the squeaky toy. Throw the Frisbee. Repeat until nauseous.

Upper Arms: (alternate) Tug the rope. Tug the pull toy. Tug the sock. Repeat until your shoulder is dislocated or the dog gives up (we all know which comes first).

Hand Coordination: Remove foreign object from dog's locked jaw. This exercise is especially popular with puppy owners. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Remember, this is a timed exercise. Movements must be quick and precise (think concert pianist) to prevent trips to the vet, which only offer the minimal exercise benefit of jaw firming clenches.

Calves: After the dog has worn out the rest of your body, hang a circular toy on your ankle and let the dog tug while you tug back. WARNING: This is feasible only for those with strong bones and small dogs. Have you taken your calcium supplement today?

Calves: (alternate) Run after dog - pick any reason, there are plenty. Dogs of any size can be used for this exercise. Greyhounds are inadvisable.

Neck Muscles: Attempt to outmaneuver the canine tongue headed for your ear, mouth, or eyeball. This is a lifelong fitness program. A dog is never too old or too feeble to "kiss" you when you least expect it.

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