Dogs become workout partner in new doggy bootcamp offered in Lakeland

Bootcamp to get dogs and their handlers active

LAKELAND, Fla. - People aren't the only ones working on their new beach body this spring.

Dogs are now getting in on the action thanks to a new doggy boot camp designed for people to workout with their dogs.

"We incorporate both cardio and resistance workout, with dog training," said Noelle Blessey, Vice President of Thank Dog Boot camp out of Southern California.

Her team is spending the week at SPCA Florida in Lakeland training new trainers. The dog loving volunteers will then pass the knowledge on to new and current dog owners.

"It'll eliminate having to go workout and then go walk your dog. You're able to do it all at the same time," said Jeff Heinhuis, one of the many volunteers at SPCA.

The activity for the dogs in the boot camp is jogging.

The rest of the time they're listening to commands, like sit, while their handler does a more intense workout.

"So we're really establishing that bond right away and making the dog an important member of the family, and we hope it's forever," said Sean Hawkins, CEO of SPCA Florida.

Hawkins said they're offering two free weeks of the doggy boot camp to anyone who adopts a dog at SPCA Florida.

In May, they plan to start offering classes to the general public.

The boot camp has already caught on in larger cities in California and in the northeast, but Lakeland is the first in Florida, and SPCA is the first shelter ever.

"She did so great," said Pamela Moreman about Fawn, her new workout partner. "She's very responsive to commands and she's very eager to please."

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