3 Exercises Your Dog Should Do Every Day

See examples of normal postures!


I'm Dr. Marie


Here to share the secrets to health that we seem to never have enough time for in the exam room.
So glad you are here!
Read on.

hey there

Want to know which joint supplements I give my dogs? 

Gimme that

Learn exercises that prevent injury

TOp categories

Specific info about medical and physical conditions

The essential tools I use every day from supplements to leashes!

The good stuff

It is truly amazing to me how many athletic dogs can run agility but are lacking foundational strength in the core and spine.

You will find these dogs have less power to jump and so will have less optimal form, will sometimes knock bars, and will be injured more frequently.

 Older dogs with pain prohibiting use of all their legs in transitions have a harder time getting up off of the floor. These are going to be your go-to exercises for life!

Exercise #3 - Spine extension - standing and laying + pelvic rocking

Spine and hip stretch + rear limb weight bearing

you will need a book, ottoman, or step that is about 25% of your dog’s leg length to start with.
Put it on a stable surface where it will not slide. You will want some great treats for this – get a handful or a frozen treat.

1. Ask your dog to put “Paws up” and lure them up on to the step with the front feet on it
2. Lead them into hip and spine stretch
3. Start with 10 sec and work up to 60 sec hold (it will take a few reps and even a few days to improve flexibility)
4. Then shift the food backward at a head neutral height to encourage stable standing on the back feet. Work up to standing there for 60 sec per session.


Lower spine extension and hip flexion

A handful of good food or frozen treat

1. Ask your dog to slowly lay down and the lure them forward to flatten the lower back
2. Ask them to stretch for 5-10 sec but give them a break after that (think about difficultly from you trying to touch your toes), then start again
3. Work up to 30-60 sec hold and 2-3 repetitions

1. If they kick a leg out or roll to the side, know that it means something is not comfortable or is tight in the spine or pelvis, you may need a little help with pain relief and flexibility for them –see your rehab vet.
2. If we have managed any pain by exam and planning and we are working up to this exercise, proceed slowly and know that some days may be better than others.
3. If your dog can’t do this due to hip issues or other, practice the stretch in standing or with a tall elevated stand (see Louie Above in pictures). Come see me for more directions.

Independent leg strength + core strength Prep: scratch your dog’s belly from armpit to groin to engage the core muscles

Communicate to your dog:
Ask your dog to “Stand” for you while you work on their balance
Make sure your body is in a good position, try not to lean over your dog, sometimes I even sit behind them on the ground.

1.  Start with the front feet!  Lift each foot to have your dog balance on three feet
2.  Hold for 5 -15 seconds increasing time over a week or two as your dog gets stronger.
3.  As this starts to be easy, repeat the exercise three times.
Need a video?

 1. No need to hold the foot high to start with
2. Dogs who hate having their feet touch will sometimes accept a washcloth to “clean their feet” – use that as your daily tool.
3. Dogs who can’t do this are pretty weak in their ability to stand up well, please see your veterinarian and rehab team!
4. If this is too hard for your dog or your own body to do – we will consider some mattress exercises. If so, move on to the next exercise for now.
5. If your dog is squirmy – use a snuffle mat or lick mat to feed them treats, but put it at neutral head height to keep the spine in good posture.

We forget that while running and walking are good for your heart and metabolism, but not necessarily whole body strength!  We need to cross train with strength exercises for our joint stability and overall strength in movement to be physically fit!!

 This is true for your Super Dog too! I will give you a few you should do every day after a walk to get into a good routine!

Exercise #1: The 3 legged stand

Exercise #2: Elevated stands

Steal this!

My Guide to Seeing Pain in Dogs From a Distance

Is your dog hurting? Here are some things to look for!! 
Sign up with your email to get a downloadable checklist to fill out and take to your vet!


Email Address

"Margi's guide was kick-ass indeed and quite literally changed how I show up on social." - Jen Olmstead

oh la la!

Get Our Free Guide to Kicking Ass on Social

Taiyaki occupy farm-to-table swag fashion axe four loko. Church-key palo santo selvage helvetica iceland tumblr.




Dr. Marie Healthy Dogs – focused on integrative canine health: nutrition, fitness, pain management, injury. prevention/recovery & optimal physical function.

A Word About Marketing and Product Use
Any opinion shared on my website or in my blog articles is strictly my own. I only invite companies I respect and adore to be partners in affiliate marketing or sponsors for my podcast. Any revenues I make are used to deliver this free content to you!

Please know that all dogs are different and what I have used for a specific dog may or may not work for your dog.  Please also know that I can not give any specific medical advise over the internet - all my patients have to see my for yearly exams in person. 


© Dr Marie Healthy Dogs. 2021. All rights reserved. | Legal | Design by TONIC

Shelter dog makeovers: help a dog become pain free!