Do you know what minimizes the risk of injuries and improves your dog's performance on the field? Just like the human athletes, they need a proper warm-up. It increases their heart rate and warms up the muscles. And, when it's sport specific, it actually warms up "the right muscles" , those same ones that will be used most during your training session or the trial routine!
Way too often, I watch handlers hang on the sidelines, wait for their turn, go to the car to get the dog ready and... They put on the gear, and take it for a walk to the nearest tree!!! Can you even imagine a serious athlete not warming up or stretching? All you need is 5-10 minutes TOTAL, including putting on the gear and a bathroom break, to prepare your dog properly, and to get him engaged and happy to work with you. I keep my warm-ups fun so focus and excitement become a natural part of the game!
I want to share this short video I made this winter,...
Conditioning the Canine Athlete
The body of a canine athlete should be physically toned to enable him to perform and excel in whatever sport or task required of him. Though all dogs need daily exercise, ones who regularly work or perform need a more expansive exercise regimen to maintain top physical form. Physical conditioning involves not only exercise, but also stretching, and warm-up and cool-down exercises. Most dogs do not exercise themselves with peak conditioning in mind, so it is important to make exercise part of your dog’s daily routine to maintain top body form.
Before beginning any exercise program with your canine athlete, have your veterinarian perform a full health check to detect any physical problems that could be aggravated by the activity. Extra weight means extra stress on bones and joints, so make certain your dog is at his ideal weight before leading into activities that may be too...
Bernd Föry is one of the most renowned tracking experts in Europe and worldwide. He took the time to talk to us.
A light question first: what was the funniest thing that happened to you in connection with tracking?
I have more than one funny story to tell. But let me tell you one of my favorites: Giving a private class, I asked the handler to hold her dog’s eyes closed after indicating an article. We didn't want the dog to see the food we put down on the track that he would get for starting on the track again.
We had done this many times. One day she rewarded her dog for indicating the article. No further action from her end. „Don’t you remember?“ The handler looked at me guilty, pulled out some food out of the pocket and the next thing I notice: she’s closing her own eyes with her hand ..
One of the most difficult problems you encountered...
Applying rehab and physiotherapy techniques to an injured dog should be preceded by a proper consideration of how the injury developed and progressed,
and how it affects the health and function of the entire body.
The care of the canine athlete in performance and working disciplines is finally getting much-needed attention and awareness. While this seems to be a new and rapidly- growing aspect of veterinary medicine, working dogs have needed extra care and consideration since humans first started using them over 2,000 years ago. The selective manipulation of natural canine behavior and body types to produce dogs that perform specific tasks for humans has created various problems often not recognized by current conventional orthopedics. And with the recent growth of agility, fly-ball, obedience, herding,...