Thank Dog! BOOTCAMP for pups and people comes to northeast Ohio

Bootcamp is dog obedience-owner exercise

MORELAND HILLS, Ohio - If you are the type of dog owner who considers a walk around the block after dinner a workout, think again.

Thank Dog! BOOTCAMP is a trademarked fitness program based in Burbank, Calif. Local dog owner Heidi Braun found herself frustrated with the level of energy her rescue dog still had even after a brisk evening walk, often awakening her at 3:30 a.m.

Braun decided after reading about the bootcamp program in a fitness magazine that it was exactly what she and possibly anyone else in the Cleveland area with a dog might enjoy--and pay to do it.

After a flight and a visit to Burbank, Braun was hooked on the idea. She bought the franchise for a local start-up business venture and so far it's met with great success.

Local resident Angela Wyatt was jogging with her dog recently, stopped to watch the workout, asked questions, quickly joined and is now sold on Heidi and the Thank Dog! Bootcamp.

"She's tough like a bootcamp, but knowing her and her personability, her sense of humor, and her love for dogs... It's amazing. And I think that takes the edge off," said Wyatt.

The program's press releases stress,"the bond between dogs and their owners, while giving healthy, positive results to all that join."

"The class is an hour long and broken up into 10-minute segments. Dogs should not work on obedience and training or exercise in the heat for more than 10 minutes at a time. So, the cardio segments are 10 minutes so that you and your dog are running, shuffling and practicing obedience and then during the times your dog needs to rest then you are doing weights," said Braun.

Watching for just a few minutes it's impossible not to get the impression Braun means business. She runs and works out her class with precision, getting the most out of both dog and owner.

All dogs must be evaluated before entrance into the class for temperament and level aggression. Students' dogs will learn nine commands required for the program.

This spring and summer Braun's bootcamp meets on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Fields. There are also classes at Beachwood City Park on Saturday and Sunday mornings, starting promptly at 9 a.m.

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