Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 41

What kind of sports retraining is appropriate for agility? The components of agility that produce the most stress on an injured canine body are: • Sudden stops, such as fast two-on/ two-off contacts, particularly on the A-frame • Sharp turns such as threadles, serpentines, tight pinwheels, 180° and 270° turns • Twisting the spine, which happens with dogs that do fast, one-footed (also called single tracking) weave poles • It is important to also be aware of the potential for obstacle-associated reinjury, such as falling off the dogwalk, having one foot slip off the teeter or dogwalk, and so on Sports Retraining in Action Let’s look at a case study of a 35-lb Border Collie that suffered from medial shoulder instability as a result of damage to the ligaments that hold the humerus (upper arm) to the scapula (shoulder blade) at the shoulder joints. The dog has had surgery in which radiofrequency therapy was applied to the ligaments in the medial shoulder area to tighten them arthroscopically. The dog has undergone three months of rehabilitation three times a week. The rehabilitation practitioner feels that it is time for the dog to do more exercises at home and start working toward getting back into agility competition. Here’s the sports retrainer’s plan: Proprioception exercises: These exercises would focus on retraining proprioception of the front legs. The dog should do ladder exercises, first walking slowly forward through the ladder. Once the dog is doing that without any touching of the ladder, the dog can go forward then backward through the ladder. Having mastered this, the dog will then sidestep through the ladder with the front feet between the rungs. Strength exercises: Three stationary exercises will be assigned. The dog will start with sit-stand-sit exercises, progressing to down (sphinx down)-stand-down exercises. The ultimate goal is to get the dog to sit-stand-sit without moving the position of his feet on the ground. Another strength exercise is to teach the dog to wave, holding his affected leg in the air for increasing lengths of time. A third strength exercise will be to lift up the dog’s rear legs and have the dog walk on his front legs (wheelbarrow). Gradually the dog’s rear legs will be lifted higher to place more weight on the front. Retrieving as a form of exercise will be avoided initially due to the pressure on the shoulder of abrupt turning. Endurance exercises: The dog will start by going for a 10-minute trot every other day at a moderate speed. These will be increased to 15 and then 20 minutes. Swimming would be encouraged, particularly swimming in which the dog stays in the water and swims continuously. The dog should start with just two or three minutes of swimming and increase to 10 minutes a session. Skill training: The dog will start agility training, introducing the obstacles in the following order: • Straight lines of widely spaced tunnels and chutes ending at a low table that the dog just jumps onto • Straight line of jumps at 8" plus the above. • Wide circle of jumps, tunnels, chutes, tables, and the teeter • Large figure eights using the above obstacles with inside diameter of the loops at least 20'. Increase the jump height to 12". • Sequences with 90° turns on the flat, but not right after landing from an obstacle. Increase the jump height to 16". Add the dogwalk and two-on/two-off contacts only if the dog does them gently. • Add the A-frame if the dog has running contacts. Increase jump heights to 20". • Add weave poles if the dog does them with two front feet on the ground. Add the A-frame if the dog tends to stop abruptly on two-on/two-off contacts. • Add weaves if the dog performs them “one-footed” (also called single tracking). Additional notes: The dog’s shoulder should be iced for 20 minutes after exercise. At-home heat and massage treatments followed by passive range of motion exercises daily, not within two hours of exercise and icing, should be encouraged. Make sure the dog is getting appropriate levels of protein (for tissue repair), fat (for energy), and calcium (frequently out of balance in home-prepared diets). The dog should be taking high quality joint-protective nutraceuticals and perhaps antioxidants, including vitamins C and E. Discuss the potential use of chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, and so on. Discuss ways to monitor the dog’s progress including time to fatigue, muscle size and tone, evidence of favoring the leg. Remember, the above case is just an example. The specific exercises and their progression should be individualized for each dog depending on the many factors listed above. Can a consultation with a sports retrainer help a healthy dog or a dog that has completely recovered from a previous injury and is competing again? Services a sports retrainer can provide for a healthy dog can include: • Helping you to evaluate your dog’s structure and discuss his structural strengths and weaknesses to give you an idea of what sports injuries your dog is at risk for and how you might work to avoid them. • Designing a healthy dog conditioning program based on your dog’s structure and current level of fitness, the sports in which you and your dog compete, your dog’s health history, the activities you and your dog like to share in your spare time, and the amount of time (and energy) you have to exercise your dog. • Consulting on current and developing training techniques, such as the pros and cons of two-on/two-off, four-on-the-floor, and running contacts; discussing ways to train to help prevent injury; discussing things to watch for at different training sites with different kinds of footing; talking about training problems that arise and whether they might be a sign of a subclinical injury or health problem. D February 08 | Clean Run 41

Clean Run Magazine - February 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run Magazine - February 2008

Clean Run Magazine - February 2008
Contents
Editorializing: Barbarians at the Gate?
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
On Course with Annie Lehman
Basic Turns
Trainer’s Forum
Do You Have a Preferred Handling Speed?
Foundation Fundamentals: Dealing with Distractions, Part 2
Case Study: The King of the Off-course
Conquering Ring Nerves: How Do I Stop Shaking When I Step to the Line?
Sports Retraining for Agility Athletes
When Pigs Fly: What Is an Operant Dog? Why Should I Care?
Power Paws Patterns: Number Three
Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Increasing Challenges on the Ball
Spy Kids: Balance in Training
Skill of the Month
When the Click Doesn’t End the Behavior: Conditioning a Release Signal
Shelter Champs: Dunk
Distance Challenge
Letters
Agility Organization Update
Nested Courses for Mardi Gras
Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Clean Run Magazine - February 2008
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 2
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Contents
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 4
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Editorializing: Barbarians at the Gate?
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 9
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 10
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 11
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 12
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 13
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - On Course with Annie Lehman
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 15
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 16
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Basic Turns
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 18
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 19
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 20
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 21
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Trainer’s Forum
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 23
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 24
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 25
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Do You Have a Preferred Handling Speed?
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 27
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 28
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Foundation Fundamentals: Dealing with Distractions, Part 2
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 30
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 31
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Case Study: The King of the Off-course
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 33
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 34
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 35
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Conquering Ring Nerves: How Do I Stop Shaking When I Step to the Line?
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 37
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 38
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Sports Retraining for Agility Athletes
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 40
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 41
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 42
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - When Pigs Fly: What Is an Operant Dog? Why Should I Care?
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 44
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 45
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 46
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 47
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 48
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Power Paws Patterns: Number Three
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 50
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 51
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Increasing Challenges on the Ball
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 53
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 54
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 55
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 56
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Spy Kids: Balance in Training
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 58
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 59
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 60
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 61
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Skill of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 63
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 64
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - When the Click Doesn’t End the Behavior: Conditioning a Release Signal
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 66
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 67
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 68
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Shelter Champs: Dunk
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 70
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 71
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 72
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Distance Challenge
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 74
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 75
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 76
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Letters
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 78
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Agility Organization Update
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 80
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 81
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 83
Clean Run Magazine - February 2008 - 84
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