Jill Bowers, president, co-founder, Thank Dog! Bootcamp, in California created Thank Dog! Training (a private in-home dog training company) in 2002 after completing a year of training and working under military dog trainer, John Van Olden. They now offer bootcamps for you and your dog. Jill shares with HellaWella readers the benefits of working out with your four-legged friends. See our story on keeping fit with your dog here.
How did you come up with the idea of Thank Dog! Bootcamp?
I’ve been a dog trainer for almost 10 years and preach about exercising your dog on a daily basis. At one point, I got to be 40 lbs. overweight. I tried tons of diet and exercise programs but would get bored and then I wouldn’t stick to it. I finally tried a bootcamp and loved it. I lost 40 lbs. While this was all happening, my Doberman Pinscher needed exercise and I would be too exhausted to give her what she actually needed. So, with my new love for fitness and my devotion to my dog, I created Thank Dog! Bootcamp.
What do the classes entail?
Everyone must complete the one-on-one consultation/obedience lesson before starting. The class is run by a personal trainer and dog trainer everyday. Each one-hour workout is a mix of intervals involving cardio/dog training and weight training/go to your place.
What feedback do you receive from human participants?
Once they start, they don’t leave. Thank Dog! Bootcamps becomes a lifestyle more than anything just because you need obedience training and fitness training on a daily basis. We’ve had the same people for more than 2 years now. It’s crazy! Their feedback is that they love the class and their dogs won’t let them sleep in anyway, so, off to bootcamp!
How do the dogs like the classes?
The dogs love the class as they get stimulated both mentally and physically. Even if a dog isn’t doing all of the commands we use in the class, they are still running around with their owners where they prefer to be 24 hours a day!
What are the benefits of working out with your pup?
Working out with your dog helps to prevent behavioral problems and health problems while also motivating you to keep on your own exercise regime. All the while, it creates a bond that you can’t really compete with anywhere. Its’ pretty awesome!