Dog Participates In Workout

His dedication to fitness is inspiring
By Karen B. London PhD, October 2018, Updated June 2021

Whenever I watch videos of dogs, I’m always curious about what motivates the behavior I see. In this case of a dog apparently exercising along with a group of cyclists he usually joins during rides, I had several thoughts about why the dog is doing what he’s doing:

  1. This dog is imitating the people. That is certainly what it looks like at first glance, and it’s also what makes the clip so amusing.
  1. He is simply rolling around on his back while playing with his leash and his movements look much like the exercises that the humans are doing.
  1. He has been trained to perform this behavior specifically to match the actions of the people.

My final thought was that I should just enjoy the adorable nature of this video without dwelling on how it came to be. I watched it a few more times just for the fun of it and then couldn’t help myself and went back to contemplating what was going on. What do you think is happening in this video?

Karen B. London, Ph.D. is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral issues, including aggression. Karen writes the animal column for the Arizona Daily Sun and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of six books about canine training and behavior, including her most recent, Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer’s World View Can Improve Your Life