Strong abdominal, back, and pelvic muscles are important for your balance, among other things, and can prevent some injuries. It turns out that this also applies to dogs.
One of the most common knee injuries in dogs can be compared to a cruciate ligament tear in humans. A study of more than 1,200 agility dogs, you know, dogs that can slalom and jump through hoops, showed that any form of exercise reduces the risk of this injury in dogs. Also for dogs that participate at the highest level.
Turns out the best moves were balance exercises. Exercises to strengthen the muscles of the abdomen, back and pelvis. So the core. Running or walking short distances increases the risk of knee injury, especially in dogs with untrained core muscles. The exercise that made the most risky was volleyball: the dog jumps over four fences, then grabs a ball from a machine and back again. Dogs practicing this sport were twice as likely to have a knee injury.
Then there were the breeds with higher odds, such as the Australian Shepherd, Labrador, Rottweiler and Australian Cattle Dog. For a complete overview you should take a look at the site, there is a link to the research, but what we can learn from it at least: Building muscle the right way is also very important for sport dogs.
Read more: Core strength can help dogs avoid knee injuries†