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'Bootcamp' offers training for pooches, masters

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JENNIFER NOBLIT/THISWEEKNEWS
Dublin resident Naomi Hoyt, with her dog Bacon, will offer Thank Dog! Bootcamp classes starting this weekend. The hourlong classes combine cardio and strength training for people and obedience classes for their dogs.

A new Dublin fitness business is hoping its "ruff" sessions change body and behavior for participants.

Thank Dog! Bootcamp will start offering classes for dogs and their owners Saturday, April 26, in Glacier Ridge Metro Park, 9801 Hyland-Croy Road in Plain City, and Homestead Park, 4675 Cosgray Road in Hilliard.

Dublin resident Naomi Hoyt discovered the exercise and obedience classes that launched in California after her family adopted Bacon from the Humane Society of Madison County.

She took the 2-year-old dog for walks in the morning and evening while still hitting the gym. A friend in Boston told Hoyt about exercise classes for dogs and their owners and she was intrigued.

"I thought it would be great in Dublin," she said. "When you go out, you always see people walking their dogs."

After doing some investigating and finding Thank Dog! Bootcamp, Hoyt attended a session in Cleveland in January.

"It was inside, but it was so heartening and so encouraging to see," Hoyt said.

"The interaction between owners and their dogs was so positive and the dogs were so happy," she said.

"You could tell the dogs understood the owner is the leader. The dogs were working hard. The people were working very hard."

As part of the classes, dogs learn nine commands such as stay, down, sit and heel.

"They're very typical commands you'll be able to use throughout the day," Hoyt said.

For humans, the hourlong sessions offer a bootcamp-style workout of cardio and strength exercises.

"Not only do people see progress with their own bodies, but they see changes with their dogs," Hoyt said. "The dogs are better behaved, happier and tired."

With the help of her personal trainer, Jamie Friday from the Dublin Community Recreation Center, Hoyt will offer classes from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturdays in Homestead Park, and 7 to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Sundays at Glacier Ridge Metro Park.

"We'll make adjustments as we go along," Hoyt said of class offerings and times.

Before anyone can join a class, they must go through an hourlong consultation.

"We do health questionnaires for the humans, sign paperwork and evaluate the dogs for obedience level and temperament," Hoyt said.

At the outdoor classes, mats, water bowls for dogs and resistance bands are provided. People should bring hand weights, water and a leash.

By the time the warm weather fades, Hoyt is hoping to have an inside location to continue classes through the fall and winter.

"I want people to feel where ever they are in their fitness lives and where ever the dogs are in obedience training, we want them to come try it," Hoyt said. "People get hooked. It's a good experience for the person and the dog."

For more information on Thank Dog! Bootcamp or to purchase classes, visit thankdogohio.com.

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