08 Jul

Agility Athlete Improves Canine Fitness through Specifically Designed Swimming Sessions

Fly is a 6 year old Border Collie that has developed a high level of fitness through swimming at Canine Therapies. She originally starting swimming at Canine Therapies as part of her training to be an Agility competitor and to improve Canine Fitness levels. As a competitor Fly is a true canine athlete, and maintaining her fitness is very important as she has to be supple and have the speed and stamina to race all day.

Swimming has enabled her to keep fit all year round without excessive impact on her joints. It is a great form of exercise and also a good bonding time as I work with her individually. I get in the water with her, and we have an exciting game of me throwing toys and then racing against her to see who can get them first – she just loves this game!

She has no Idea that she is improving her Canine Fitness… It’s just a big game to her!


Swimming is benificial exercise for most dogs regardless of the canine fitness level and should not be considered just for Agility Athletes. In fact all 3 of my dogs now swim and it has been invaluable for their canine fitness levels.

When Fly fell seriously ill I thought I was going to lose her. Following an ultrasound scan the vet opened her up to find that she had a large tumour on the spleen, causing slow bleeding from the area. The tumour and the spleen were removed and a biopsy was sent away for analysis.

Fly’s high level of canine fitness gave her the best possible chance of recovery, and instead of the usual 3 days as an in-patient Fly was allowed to come home the day after her surgery. Recovery was steady and once the healing process was complete she was allowed to start swimming again, although initially in a very controlled way for just a few minutes. I could only increase it gradually, much to Fly’s disgust: she loved swimming and just hated her sessions to be cut short.

She could not understand why she couldn’t swim for longer as she clearly felt fit and energetic. It took several weeks of carefully managed exercise but, 3 months on, she is almost back to her previous level of canine fitness that is expected for an agility dog  and is able to compete again.

If you have a dog that is a competitive agility or flyball dog or you wish to simply improve canine fitness, come and discuss an exercise routine with me, I’m more than happy to help.

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