Canine Sports Conditioning
If your dog participates in sporting competitions you want your dog to be in the best physical condition.Conditioning, strengthening and cross-training several times a week have many benefits:
- Improved reaction and control
- Increased trunk and core strength
- Stabilization of weak areas
- Improved balance and proprioception (awareness of the body's position in space)
- Increased range of motion in joints & elongation of the muscles
- Improved sensory & body awareness
- Preventing sports-related injuries
Agility competitors need core strength for better performance and injury prevention. They need strong hind-end muscles for more efficient jumping, strong core and shoulders for weaving, and body awareness and muscle memory for the contact obstacles and for clearing those jumps. Start your foundation program when your dog is a puppy and continue through its life.
Flyball competitors need a strong, sound hind-end for the fast starts and a strong core, back, and shoulders for injury prevention.
Dogs competing in obedience need great core strength and body awareness for their tight turns and straight sits. A strong hind end will help develop those square sits. Shoulder strengthening will help prevent issues from turning the head for proper heel position. A strong core, front end, and hind end will improve gait and body awareness.
Herding dogs need a strong core, body awareness and coordination to keep their stock under control. Herding involves a lot of twists, turns, and quick stops on the field. A well-conditioned dog will work more efficiently and with less chance of injury.
Lure Coursing dogs race chasing a lure and are very prone to many sports-related injuries. Specific exercises for coordination, increased core strength, and body awareness will help prevent injury.