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Boot camp helps you, your dog get fit

April 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Thank Dog Bootcamp is an exercise program that allows your four-legged best friend to become your workout partner. While you're both getting in shape, your dog is also learning to obey. The camp is run by veteran dog trainer turned fitness trainer, Jill Bowers and her sister, Jamie.

During a consultation, dog owners are taught a series of commands that insure they maintain power and control of their dogs during the entire class.

"The reason why we call it out like that is because the command can't from the personal trainer because they have to listen to their owner," said Jamie. "When we say command one, the owner knows that it's heel, and then it's a heel or sit or a down."

The Bowers say the program works because it uses both mental and physical stimulation to train the dog.

"We found that mental stimulation is just as good as physical, and so when you combine the two, and you're also training in a high-energy environment, your dog is willing to do any command in any crowd of people," said Jill.

The training is working well for a normally high-strung 7-month-old Pomeranian. Her owner Gary DeRosa tells Eyewitness News he and his wife are happy with the program because not only is their puppy learning discipline, they're getting in shape as well.

While the owners work on their strength training, the dogs learn to stay in their place.

"Not only does their dog get trained, but we've had a lot of people losing weight from it. We take the workout seriously," said Jill.

Riley is one example of how well the program works. The Chihuahua has a sweet tooth that caused her to pack on the pounds, but after six months of boot camp she's a svelte pup again.

"She's lost about six pounds and I've lost some weight too," said Riley's owner Gina Turley.

The program is no stroll in the park, it's a strenuous hour of cardio and weight exercises with a personal trainer to keep an eye on the humans too.


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