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Elkhounds - Snow - Conditioning - Exercise - Training

Nothing conditions like deep snow! ( I published this quite a few years ago - I have a brand new article up on the site about more conditioning in the mountains - offleash hiking dogs - enjoy.

Tora is a powerhouse Elkhound Female, she is so strong and powerful she goes anywhere she likes, and just muscles her way through, and thinks nothing of it. The discussion always comes up on how to train your dog, and that is a great area to work on, however an area I feel that is equally if not more important is conditioning.

Conditioning is the development of the entire dog, the bone structure, the muscle strength and tone, the flexibility, the endurance, the lung capacity and much more. A strong dog lives much longer, has way less fat, has a much larger heart, bigger lung capacity, and enhanced oxygen carrying capability in the blood.

The tougher the terrain, the better the balance becomes. Elkhounds are very agile dogs, they are square, with a well conditioned Elkhound like Mia, and or Tora well over a foot wide at the shoulders, with Tora and Mia both very strong up front. This comes from hills, and working up rugged terrain. They love the timber areas the most, they can work around and over things, they have an uncanny ability to move through this type of terrain. To watch them survey the area and pick out a trail for themselves is really something to see.

Walking and just running down a trail on a leash or off will not fully condition an Elkhound, they need to be in the natural environment, which in almost all cases for centuries has been rugged terrain and heavy trails covered in snow, exactly what you see here. These dogs absolutely love this, they can't get enough. There is a perfectly good trail to walk on, but no, they are off to the side in the deep snow and timber, much happier powering through.

Rarely will you see an Elkhound fully muscle out without the workouts they require. Ancient Elkhound photos clearly show the development and structure of the older dogs, who appeared much thicker, more defined, big thick strong bones, well they were that way because of work.

Takoda, Mia and Tora - some pretty content dogs when it's a blizzard out. Let it snow they say.

Takoda is a tall Elkhound, Swedish type, it takes some deep snow to put him in serious work mode, yet give him the opportunity and to find snow right up to his back and he is thrilled. He loves this stuff. This is a what makes a powerful dog. The front shoulders really develop, the hindquarters get massive strength to propel them right out of the snow at every jump, all three dogs can come clean out of the snow at any jump at any time.

If you want to fully develop the bone structure, and fully stress the bones to grow, bones need resistance to grow, so heavy resistance in snow, the drag if you will is what promotes the bones to grow stronger, thicker, more developed.

While your dog is developing this very strong bone growth and structure they build lean muscle mass, and pack on the power. This in turn builds the heart muscle and lung capacity. The heart muscle, or heart size of Tora would be considerably bigger than most females her size, or for that matter much larger dogs, she is such a workaholic and so busy, and so powerful she grows her heart every day.

We could see the difference when we took her down to Mate, her development and strength were clearly evident.

Here is Mia, having a great day. Try walking where your conditioned Elkhound goes, give that a try, you'll have legs of steel. Mia is content to sometimes just power along, or just simply leap right out and come clean out of the snow and just keep leaping right out, she is absolutely amazing in terms of sheer power.

You can't help but have very strong healthy dogs if you give them opportunity to get back to their roots, their instinctive habitat.


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