Elite K9 Athlete Program
Helping dog trainers, handlers, and owners create highly conditioned dogs that excel at home, on the training field, at work, and in competition.
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How Bacci's injury led to a K9 athlete movement
My name is Erica Boling. Back in 2010, I was heartbroken when my Belgian Malinois Bacci developed an iliopsoas groin injury. We had just started competing in French Ring, and this injury could have led to an early retirement!
Veterinarians and I both missed his subtle signs of soreness and pain. When he was finally diagnosed, right after our first competition, we started a year-long journey to rehabilitation.
On that journey, I realized Bacci was giving me clear signs all along the way that he was hurting. If I had caught the signs earlier and given him the proper support, he could have healed within just a few weeks. The problem was… I wasn’t educated and didn’t know what to look for!
That’s when I began my journey learning all that I could about how to keep our canine athletes fit and injury free. And this is what inspired my vision to create Northeast K9 Conditioning and help spread knowledge and awareness of canine fitness.
I became dedicated to learning as much as I could about canine fitness to help my own dogs and others avoid a similar fate. I then set out on a mission to educate as many people as possible so that they can help their dogs live long, happy, and productive lives. Our mission to help improve the lives of others (and avoid injury!) is why I collaborated with a team of other canine professionals to develop the Elite K9 Athlete Program.
Benefits You'll Receive By Joining Us
Enhanced Fitness & Performance
Identify and implement exercises that improve your dog's strength, power, stamina, speed, cardio, endurance, flexibility and body awareness.
Decreased Risk of Injuries
Gain expertise in assessing fitness needs and designing customized programs that improve performance while minimizing the chance of injury.
Customized Fitness Programs
Discover how to design and implement customized fitness programs based on the unique needs of sport and working dogs.
Advanced Fitness Training
Discover when and how to safely challenge your dog during training and when to allow time for rest and recovery.
Enhanced Knowledge & Awareness
Develop a "critical eye" for evaluating a dog's strengths and weaknesses and identify how structure can positively or negatively impact performance.
Expanded Credibility as a Fitness Expert
Stand out as a leader in the canine fitness world, enhance your credibility, and help others by continuing your education and becoming a Certified Canine Athlete Specialist (CCAS).
Our vision of partnering with higher educational institutions was realized in the end 2020 when we partnered with Colorado State University Pueblo. This means the curriculum and syllabi for our programs have gone through an extensive review process by numerous canine professionals, program and training directors, and university professors in order to receive a “stamp of approval” from organizations and institutional partners that are leaders in education and the dog world. What enabled this marked achievement was a combination of our development team that included decades of experience in program design and education along with individuals who had expertise in veterinary science, canine nutrition, and decades of hands-on experience in the sport and working dog world.
As a result, the Elite K9 Athlete Program has been approved for CEUs from Colorado State University Pueblo and multiple professional organizations such as the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) and Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). We are also recognized for the work that we do through the United States Police Canine Association (USPCA). Our expertise in the field of canine fitness is also acknowledged through our regular contribution to Working Dog Magazine and USPCA’s Canine Courier magazine. Our work has also been highlighted in other places such as IACP’s The Canine Professional Journal and the HITS K-9 podcast.
Take the Next Step
As a graduate of the Elite K9 Athlete Program, you will have the option to stand out as a leader in the canine fitness world, enhance your credibility, and attract new clients by becoming a Certified Canine Athlete Specialist (CCAS). Our certification was designed for those individuals who want to demonstrate to others and/or to themselves that they have mastered a deep understanding of canine fitness.
By becoming a Certified Canine Athlete Specialist*, you’ll be in the position to design fitness programs for a wide variety of dogs. You’ll have the knowledge and skills to teach canine fitness to others. You will also acquire expertise in designing innovative, profitable programs that distinguish you from other canine professionals.
As a Certified Canine Athlete Specialist, you will have the knowledge and skills to:
Elite K9 Athlete Program Modules
Using video lecture, demonstration, templates, worksheets, and exercises, our Northeast K9 Conditioning team will help you acquire the confidence, knowledge, and skills that you need to positively impact your life and the lives of dogs for years to come. Program modules include the following:
MODULE #1: What it takes to be an elite athlete
Recognize common sports and jobs that are performed by canine athletes and identify the unique mental and physical demands placed on their bodies; Understand what is needed to design a conditioning program that meets the unique mental, physical, and psychological needs of sport and working dogs.
MODULE #2: Create your elite athlete
Identify essential information that should be collected prior to starting a canine conditioning program and use this information to assess a dog’s fitness needs; Identify a dog’s individual strengths and weaknesses and how this information informs program design.
MODULE #3: How to reach peak performance
Identify the effects of exercise on the elite canine athlete’s body and understand their unique exercise needs; Identify common injuries of the canine athlete and how to prevent them; Apply principles of exercise science and functional anatomy to design effective conditioning programs
MODULE #4: 6-step process to program design
Apply the 6 Step Process of Program Design to canine fitness; Identify ways to assess a dog’s strength, flexibility, balance, body awareness, cardiovascular endurance, and working performance.
MODULE #5: Advanced Program Design for the K9 Athlete
Discover how to train for speed and power while minimizing the risk of injury; Discover how to safely implement circuit training and high intensity interval training for the canine athlete
Our canine fitness programs range from $197 to $4997. Our more comprehensive programs that include a full year of 1-on-1 coaching and mentoring start at $1297. Your total investment will depend on your goals, your interests, and the degree you want to apply the canine fitness best practices. Once you submit your application, our admissions team will review your information and reach out with suggested next steps. This may be a one-on-one consultation with one of our canine program specialists or a recommended next step curriculum via email. We are here to help you decide on the perfect next step based on your goals and budget.
What’s Your Return on Investment?
For dog owners, your knowledge of canine fitness will help you avoid expensive injuries, promote optimum health, and ensure you have a happy, healthy dog for years to come.
For dog trainers and other canine professionals, you’ll be able to deliver uncommon value to your clients, solidify your competitive advantage, and be confident in the fitness advice you are offering your clients.
Ivan Balabanov, Ot Vitosha Malinois
"Anyone who is involved (seriously) in dog sports is aware how easy it is for a dog athlete to get injured and how abruptly an amazing career can come to an end. Learning how to prevent injuries is crucial if you want to be successful. Every time I get the opportunity, I invite Erica to give presentations and share her work at my workshops. She's amazing!"
Francoise Massart, Marvel K9 Dog Training Academy
"This is a must take program for all individuals interested in maintaining a healthy canine. Both working and pet dog owners/handlers will obtain a vast amount of knowledge and techniques that will allow them to properly maintain peak condition for their dogs at all life stages. I highly recommend Erica’s programs. Learning from her will equip you with the opportunity to provide your dog with an even healthier life."
Paul V. Anthony, A&B Canine Training
"Thank you as always Dr. Erica Boling for helping me with workout ideas yesterday. As many of you know Fin and I have been chosen as alternates to represent the USA and the World Cup in France. I know that Fin will have to be in the best shape of his life to compete at such a high level so I contacted Erica who I believe is one of the best in the country at not only getting your dog in peak condition but also keeping them there. No matter if your dog is a pet or elite K9 athlete, Erica is the one to see!"
Your Next Steps
If what you’ve learned sparks your interest, submit your application today! Our admissions team will review your information and reach out with suggested next steps. This may be a 1-on-1 consultation with one of our K9 specialists or recommendations sent via email. We're here to help you decide on the perfect next step based on your goals and budget!
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Decide on the Right "Next Steps" For You