With obesity rates on the rise among Americans and their pets, two Californian women have come up with an all-in-one solution - a doggy bootcamp where dog owners and their canine
friends work out together.
Thank Dog! Bootcamp is the nation's first outdoor fitness program where both humans and dogs get a full body workout while the pooches also learn basic obedience
Founded two years ago by identical twins Jill and Jamie Bowers, the program has grown to include classes at various Los Angeles and Orange County locations and most recently in Northern California.
Classes begin as early as 6 am with instructors in urban-camo pants yelling out drill-like commands in the traditional bootcamp style.
The difference here is that instructors are certified in both fitness and dog training, and each bootcamper happens to have a four-legged partner by their side at all times. "People need to exercise, and dogs need to be trained and exercised," said Jill Bowers.
The class takes place on a field in a public park with 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weight training. Each person has a mat with weights and bands. Their dog has its own mat and water bowl beside their owner.
portion involves bootcampers running around park trails and zigzagging through pylon-marked obstacle courses on the field with their leashed canine companions. Various squats
, lunges, jumps and sprints are incorporated
for the humans.
Meanwhile, dogs are told to engage in a series of numbered commands ranging from "sit" to "down" to "come."
"A lack of exercise and training causes dogs to have behavioral problems," says Bowers. "If they don't have enough activity to expend their energy, they take it out on your favorite couch or your designer shoes. With bootcamp, your dog is too tired to be bad."
Latest statistics show that in 2009 about 28 percent of Americans aged 20 and over were obese, up from 19.4 percent in 1997, while it is estimated that about 43 percent of US dogs are overweight or obese.
take it out on
: To unleash one's anger on [a person or thing other than the one that caused it]（向...出气）
狗; 雄兽; 雄狗
犬, 狗; 犬齿; 犬科动物