Any athlete requires three foundational elements to be successful: genetics, nutrition and a conditioning program.
The end state of any working dog conditioning program should be to increase the effectiveness of the canine. The success of the conditioning program depends upon achieving two main objectives: improving the overall conditioning of the animal and improving their effective working pace.
Improvement in overall conditioning means an increase in Power, Sprint (Anaerobic), and Aerobic performance.
Power/Force development increases the strength and ability of an animal to produce force. A working dog that can safely and forcefully initiate contact with a combatant will reduce the likelihood of the combatant posing further threat. Strength and Power training also insures against injury, extending the canine’s working life.
Sprint conditioning improves the animal’s capacity to produce energy without burning oxygen (anaerobic metabolism) and extends the period of time an animal can support work that requires anaerobic metabolism.
Aerobic conditioning has two benefits. It increases the intensity of sustainable work (work that can be performed for long periods of time) and also his or her ability to thermoregulate during exercise, significantly reducing the risk of heat casualty.
The other primary objective of a conditioning program must be to improve the canine’s effective working pace, which includes not only the amount of work that the dog can perform before needing to recover, but also how long the dog needs to recover before they can resume working. A canine that begins working at an unsustainable pace reaches exhaustion sooner and is less effective in the detection arena as it begins to rely upon breathing with an open mouth.
The common theme in the current working dog community is that we improve the canine’s effective working pace during the normal day to day operational training. This is true to a point, but an animal with a solid foundation of conditioning performs more work and recovers faster than an animal without conditioning. Ultimately, increased working pace means the job gets done sooner.
The Advanced Canine Athletic Program, or ACAP for short, focuses on the objectives stated above: improving the overall conditioning of the canine and improving their effective working pace. The ACAP was developed by veterinarians, canine trainers and handlers from law enforcement and elite military special operations units and draws on their unique experience forged in the crucible of thousands of K9 deployments.
The ACAP app provides two (Basic and Premium) structured conditioning programs for both Patrol and Detection canines, complete with a daily schedule, videos, instructions, and educational content.
The Basic version is for beginners. It explains every 15 – 30 minute workout in detail and includes instructional/educational content videos from experts in the veterinary community.
The Premium version provides a stepped progression from the Basic version to more difficult workouts that take your dog to the top level of desired fitness. The Premium program workouts range from 30 – 90 minutes. Along with more difficult workouts, the handler accesses additional educational content with the Premium version.
The educational content videos provide information that every handler should know. This educational content is based on scientific research from experts in the veterinary community. Topics include:
Heat injury prevention
The ACAP is based on thousands of hours of research and development, resulting in a program that is guaranteed to provide insight and education for you as well as athletic results for your canine.
With our new ACAP App, all the knowledge you need to professionally condition your canine is at your fingertips.