Clean Run - December 2012 - (Page 41)

10 Games to Play with Dogs That Are Recovering from an Injury By Sally Silverman, photos by Clean Run Bad news. Your high-drive dog is sidelined for three months to recover from an injury. That means no agility, no running, no jumping. So what’s going to happen to all that energy? And will his busy mind get him up to no good? In lieu of your conditioning runs and agility drills, try playing a different game. Games can keep your four-legged athlete occupied and entertained, and engaging the mind of an active canine can often go a long way toward tiring him out. According to Ann Caulfield, VMD, CCRP, a member of the Rehabilitation Medicine Department at University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, movement is essential to good health. “There’s an old saying, ‘motion is lotion for the joints.’ Our bodies are made to move, and when we don’t, we see dysfunction.” Dr. Caulfield says that encouraging the right kind of movement will be beneficial for the muscular, neurologic, pulmonary and digestive systems. And bonus: playing games and teaching tricks will keep his attention sharp and bonds strong. Here are a baker’s dozen of fun, low or no- impact activities that will be fun for you and your dog, and keep that teamwork going. One caveat: keep the nature of your dog’s injury in mind. Only choose those games that are appropriate for your dog within the context of any physical limitations the dog may have. Check with your veterinarian if you are unsure. Some of these tricks have clear applications to those who play agility, others are just fun, and may be a good way for you to keep your dog’s focus on you when you are waiting your turn to step to the start line once your dog is running again. of the wall, then call, “Come!” But when you feel he is up to the challenge, make the game harder. Make a fuss and give him a treat when he finds you. This game reinforces stays and recalls, and is great to play with multiple dogs. Remember to monitor your dog’s activity; don’t go so far away that he will run to you, if he is not yet allowed to run a small distance. 2. Beep Beep There are many ways to teach a dog to back up. Using a mat or platform as a hind-foot target produces straight, quick movement. First, teach your dog a hindfoot target. Put a small piece of matting, or something with a different surface, on the floor by the dog. If you have done any shaping with the dog, he will probably try to get on the mat. Click and reward for any interaction with the mat, then click and reward only for hind feet. If you get one hind foot, click and reward that. When the dog seems to understand 1. Hide and Seek Put your dog in a sit-stay and leave the room. (Proof the stay a couple of times by coming back to reward him for staying.) At first, hide just on the other side Beep Beep December 12 | Clean Run Weaving Between Your Legs 41

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - December 2012

Clean Run - December 2012
Table of Contents
Editorializing: All Roads
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
From Hoof to Woof: What Riders Can Teach Handlers: Identify Patterns to Gain Perspective
Challenges for Rising Stars
Power Paws Skills: Front Crosses
Agility Mind Gym: Full Circle
Training a Deaf Dog to Go the Distance
Awesome Paws Drills
Does Gender Matter When Choosing an Agility Dog?
Control Unleashed Solutions and Answers: The Overexcited Spectator
10 Games to Play with Dogs That Are Recovering from an Injury
Gait Analysis Helps Diagnose Early Lameness & Improve Performance
The F-Word: Building Resiliency to Failure!
Training with the Stars: Maureen Waldron
Building Blocks: Developing Solutions for Agility Problems
Being a Good Student, Part 2

Clean Run - December 2012