Interval Training with Dogs

I hope everyone has a safe a happy 4th of July!

This week’s post is about interval training with your dog.  Interval training is great for weight loss or good for cross training for athletes.

Interval training is a form of exercise that involves alternating short bursts of intensive exercise with slower activity.  It is popular among people because interval training boosts metabolism and helps burn fat.  Athletes use interval training as part of their cross training because it helps improve cardiovascular fitness.

Interval training is also good for dogs.

Overweight Dogs

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than half of our pets are overweight.  And most dogs spend most of the day relaxing at home.  They need to exercise to improve their health.  Interval training provides a way to start exercising your dog, as you can vary the intensity of the workout according to your dog’s fitness.  And it is an efficient way to burn excess calories.

Competitive Athletes

This study concluded that interval training improved cardiovascular fitness in agility dogs and could be used to improve athletic performance.

This study showed that interval training could be useful to improve endurance and to avoid overtraining in sled dogs.

So if your compete with your dog in a sport such as agility, herding, or dock diving, you might try interval training during the week because it might make him faster and improve his endurance.

Viva loves to play fetch!

Viva loves to play fetch!

How to start interval training

All you have to do is alternate intense activity with slower activity.  Usually there is a 1:1 to 1:2 interval, meaning that if your dog does the intense activity for a minute, he gets 1-2 minutes of slower activity.

  • Sprinkle short runs into your regular walks.
  • Sprints – go for a short run (200 – 400 meters) with your dog and walk back to the start.  Repeat.
  • Play fetch for the active interval.  Practice strengthening activities for the slower interval.  These activities might include sit-to-stands or balance exercises.

Look for activities that both you and your dog enjoy.  Aim for 20-30 minutes, two to three times a week.

Whether you have a pet dog who needs more activity or an athlete that needs to stay in top shape, interval training could be a fun way to improve the health and fitness of your dog!




  1. Great tips – we love interval training – it’s good for our seniors to do things in shorter spurts. THanks for joining the Hop. Happy 4th!

  2. Wonderful tips. It sounds like a good way to boost endurance.

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