Dog Friendly Workout: Thank Dog NEO Bootcamp

So two things you should know about me before I discuss Thank Dog Boot Camp, a dog friendly workout option combining dog obedience with exercise for humans and dogs. First, I don’t really love working out. I’ve been a runner on and off and when I feel especially motivated (ie guilty because I haven’t been running) I’ll do Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. Second, I have a dog that is not that well behaved when it comes to things like walking nicely on a leash or running with me. I’m working on it. I can get him to walk with a loose leash through our neighborhood, but get him outside in a park where there’s new people and dogs, and his excitement takes over.

Because of these two things I really wasn’t sure that I would enjoy this boot camp. I was worried that the combination of me not liking to workout and my dog being crazy would make it an unpleasant experience. But, I knew I had to try it as another outlet for my energetic dog. And Thank Dog (pardon the pun) I did because I loved it.

There’s something about the mix of working out in the park and being with your dog that takes all of the drudgery of working out away. The instructor, Heidi, makes it so fun and casual that you feel like you’re just exercising in the park with your friends and their dogs. Everyone goes at their own pace; I never felt pressured or scrutinized like I have in some exercise classes. The workout is an hour and mixes cardio and strength training. You do the cardio part with your dog, and then they rest on a mat while you do the weight and ab work. I loved having my dog there to look at while suffering through painful ab exercises, it just made it so much less horrible. If only I could get him to do the ab work while I sit and watch him…I’ll work on that too.

And yes, as I feared my dog was crazy and not easy to control during the cardio drills. It was a little stressful at times, but overall I didn’t feel that others were bothered by it or judging me. Heidi was very patient and helpful in working with Hunter during the cardio drills forcing his stubborn little body to sit when he didn’t want to listen to me. I know we have more work to do with his listening skills, but I think the camp is helping. Hopefully after week 50 of the bootcamp, I’ll get him to sit during a cardio drill on the first try.

For a little more info on who should do this and whether Hunter really is the craziest dog to do the camp, check back tomorrow for my Q&A with Heidi (and a special offer!)

For more information on the bootcamp visit: www.thankdogneo.com. Classes are held at South Chagrin Reservation on Wednesdays and Thursdays and Beachwood City Park on Saturdays and Sundays. They also just started a Monday night class in Richfield.