Strength and Conditioning for Sport Dogs

RMVR delivers smart strength and conditioning programming as well as periodization training for your sport dog’s long-term health and success

RMVR’s professionals have the training and background to develop a tailored strength training and conditioning program to maximize your agility dog’s performance. We also strive to reduce the risk of injury. Research has proven that strength and conditioning programs meet these goals in human athletes. While we’ve not identified similar research about canine athletes, agility participants and industry experts communicate regular success stories that indicate the benefits of these programs, as do our clients.

Your first visit and progression at RMVR includes:

    1. A vet-conducted, hands-on initial evaluation to assess your dog’s condition to clear them for training. This includes a review of muscle condition and flexibility, strength, body awareness, and posture.
    2. An analysis of current conditioning methods and routines with particular emphasis on injury prevention, and a vet-designed, customized workout program to build strength and power. Dr. Karyn Fein will work with you to develop a cross-training plan based on your performance goals.
    3. Progressive implementation of your customized plan with Karen Gertson, our Certified Canine Rehabilitation Assistant and agility competitor, who will work with you to attain your immediate and long-term goals. Her experience includes 20+ years as an agility competitor and more than five years as an exercise and rehab specialist.
    4. (Ongoing): As your team’s individual goals are being met, we will continue to challenge and advance program skills to keep you on your path for long-term success.


Please note that we don’t train to improve performance using specific obstacles like weave poles. We build strength, speed, and body awareness so your pup can master them at your specific sport training sessions.

©Ken Gee Photography

Periodization maximizes specific performance

We are a vet-based, progressive practice offering periodization training. But what is it? Just like a marathon runner adjusts their training schedule to peak on race day, we develop strategies to make sure your canine athlete is in top form for your most important events.  We will adjust volume, load, and intensity of the program based on your competition schedule.

The periodization training team includes you, your canine athlete, Dr. Karyn Fein and Karen Gertson. Beyond her vet training, Dr. Fein is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, which provides a specialized perspective encompassing cross-training and periodization principles for our canine athletes.

Injury Detection + Prevention

You’re here specifically to train for performance improvements and to prevent injuries. As rehab vets, we examine prospective injuries differently, and with your collaboration, we will work to identify even the most subtle deficits. If something isn’t obvious, we will brainstorm with you to come up with solutions to remediate the problem or to dig deeper to find its root cause.

Many canine athletic injuries are not discerned easily because of the dog’s drive to carry on training and competing regardless of pain. Problematic signs may not even include an obvious limp. You may notice changes through slower course times, dropping bars or hesitating on contacts. Oftentimes, we can identify the reason – muscle development asymmetry or strength imbalances, for example – that may be hindering your dog’s ability to complete an obstacle or to train effectively. Should we detect any deficits, we will develop customized program elements to resolve the problem safely.

©We Picture This

Injury Treatment

Early intervention keeps your athlete in the ring. Joint, muscle and tendon injuries can happen due to repetitive impacts, or slips and falls during training or competition. RMVR uses multiple modalities to treat injuries, such as cold laser, acupuncture, manual joint mobilization and shockwave therapy in combination with specific therapeutic exercises.

Beyond Agility

RMVR’s customized strength and conditioning programs help agility dogs as well as dogs that engage in other physical activities, including flyball, cart pull, course luring, cani-cross, obedience, competitive frisbee or dance, protection sports, and working trials.

What clients are saying:

I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Fein and her team at Rocky Mountain Veterinary Rehab. I came to Dr. Fein with big goals: increasing my dog’s strength, flexibility, and endurance in dog agility competition. She has exceeded my goals in our 2023 competition season, and we continue to raise the bar for my dog. She has developed a completely customized plan for Avy and me that is evidence-based and practical with my busy work schedule. Together, we have worked on periodization, whole body workouts, targeting weaknesses, and injury prevention. I appreciate her dedication to keeping up with the latest research in the field of canine sports medicine. She is remarkably innovative where data does not yet exist. I highly recommend anyone considering or competing in dog sports engage the expertise of Dr. Fein and her sports medicine team. Working with her is truly the highlight of my training routine!

Emily Levy and Avalanche 

©Ken Gee Photography