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Get good workout, train your dog at same time

September 19, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
There are all kinds of boot camps out there for you to get in shape, but we found one where man's best friend is part of the program.

What a way to start the day: 7:30 a.m. in Burbank and a group of people and their pets are going strong.

"I think the whole point of the program is to come here and be consistent with it," said Thank Dog! Bootcamp co-owner Jill Bowers.

Bowers, a dog obedience and fitness trainer, and partners run the boot camp. Pups and their human partners workout, while canines mind their manners.

First, there's a meet and greet with the dog and owner, plus a health evaluation and a promise to learn nine commands for class.

"Dogs really do need a routine. If they don't have one, that's when they tend to get bored, and then they get behavioral problems. They tear up your house. They go to the bathroom in your house," said Bowers.

"Anyone who's watched 'Dog Whisperer' knows it's all about exercise, discipline and affection - in that order," said Catherine Stribling of Hollywood Hills.

It's working for former shelter Chihuahua Logan and owner Laura Allen.

"It's been a lifesaver for him, because he was almost impossible to walk. It was impossible to walk when I got him. Now he's perfect with other dogs. We both get great exercise, and he's happy for the whole day when I'm at work," said Allen.

Ken Kristensen and puppy Myrna Loy started over two years ago.

"I wanted to be able to exercise her, and I had gained like 30 pounds, so I decided we should exercise together," said

Myrna learned manners while he lost 80 percent of his unwanted mass, admittedly with doggy peer pressure.

"It's the dog that incentivizes you to come workout, because you know she's going to be bouncing off the walls all day and you're going to have to deal with that," said Kristensen.

If you don't have a dog, that's no excuse, because they actually have a program where you borrow a dog. The best part is that you get a discount on the camp.

"If somebody can't come to the boot camp themselves, they'll pay us to have their dog come into the boot camp. Somebody who doesn't have a dog will put them through it," said Bowers.

The program is six days a week, and there are both a.m. and p.m. classes in four locations. Cardio is performed with pup partner, while dogs practice obedience during strength training.

"It's a really great bonding experience for you and your dog," said Stribling.


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