Clean Run - July 2012 - (Page 19)

it to the table! You can actually imagine yourself walking again and even running agility again. Prior to my surgery I had taken some deep water aerobics classes. We wore float belts so all the “running” and “bicycling” we did happened under water in an almost zerogravity environment. The minute my doctor gave me the okay I hit the pool, at first on my own and then I rejoined my class. It built up muscles and helped my brain and my hip/leg “reconnect.” I ran my first agility trial three months and ten days after my surgery, but found I had limitations. I simply could not run as fast nor was I able to get where I needed to be for my dog. third board slopes down.” I didn’t see a problem but when I stopped so did Audrey. “So apparently what you have trained Audrey to do is to run to the bottom of the contact zone only if you are with her.” Busted. “Imagine if you could leave her to do ‘her job’ on the dogwalk while you got in position to do the next obstacle.” I needed to train my dog to make up for my inabilities. And thus began my journey into the land of independent obstacle performance and distance handling. you locally. If that is not possible then I would suggest some training DVDs. I have taken seminars with Jane Simmons-Moake (Unleashing the Velcro Dog, book and DVD) and Kristy Netzer (Dialing Up the Distance DVD) and learned a bunch from both of them. Things Were Going So Well... When my knee started to give me trouble I headed right to an orthopedic surgeon. I had been this route before and wanted to see if there were any strengthening exercises I could do. He looked at my x-rays and suggested Advil and to call him when I was ready for my knee replacement. How discouraging! A friend directed me to Dr. Ana Palmieri, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine doctor. She explained that when the cartilage is gone, it’s gone. Only a knee replacement will fix that, but there are things we could do that should provide some relief. Among the things I did to postpone surgery were daily anti-inflammatories, quarterly cortisone injections, and semi-annual hyaluronic acid injections such as Synvisc, Supartz, and Euflexxa. A very simplistic explanation of hyaluronic acid injections is that in a normal knee there is a thick fluid, not unlike motor oil, that cushions the knee joint. When a person has arthritis the inflammation and cartilage debris in the joint breaks down the viscosity of the “motor oil,” thinning it and lessening its cushioning properties. The Synvisc is a thick liquid that mimics our natural motor oil and when injected into the joint can create the same cushioning effect. My personal experience was that my first round of injections was amazing! I discovered a new spring to my step. The effect lasted less than the six months we had hoped for but the relief it gave me was fantastic. As my knee continued to worsen the injection’s cushioning effect lessened as well. I eventually took Tramadol for pain; at first just during agility trials and eventually every day. I also used Lidoderm 5% patches, which slowly put a small amount of lidocaine into a specific area. It’s not dramatic pain relief, there is no numb19 Beginning the Dog's Distance Training I am not a professional dog trainer but I’ll share some tips that I picked up along the way. First it is way easier to teach distance to a pup than it is to retrain your current dog, but it can be done. I started by doing less “true” distance handling and more lateral distance handling. I was still shoulder to shoulder with my dog, but most times we were separated by as much as 10-15'. Take weave poles, for example. If you currently stand about 1' to the side of your dog slowly widen that margin. Start giving him 2'. In a few days when your dog feels comfortable with that and consistently successfully completes the weaves, then widen your margin until you are 6-10' away. I am a big cheese thrower. I have Corgis; to say they like food is an understatement. But I don’t want my dogs to come to me or look to me for a treat. I want them to be driving ahead. So even if I am 20' laterally from my dog, as he completes the final weave pole I throw my cheese ahead of him. If your dog loves toys, so much the better. I do the same thing with jumps. Make a jump circle. If you are used to running next to your dog slowly widen the margin, staying pretty much even with his shoulder or slightly ahead. He can still see you but you are making a considerably smaller circle than he is. Fewer steps for you! These are just a few things that worked for me when I first started working with distance. If you want to add a little distance work to your repertoire my first suggestion is to find someone to help Joint replacement does not mean the end of your agility career. in fact, for me it was the thing that allowed me to continue to run agility and be competitive. Distance Handling I was trying to run my dog the same way I had before my surgery, but I wasn’t covering the same amount of ground. Audrey was starting to slow down so I could catch up. A new agility trainer had moved into town who had been an instructor with Jane Simmons-Moake at Flashpaws in Houston, TX. In my first lesson Renee Toth had me run a simple course which ended with a line of three jumps. She asked, “How far ahead of you was your dog?” “About 6-8',” I said. “Okay, so how far ahead of you would she be if I was standing at that last jump with a pizza?” Point taken. Audrey was staying at a comfortable distance ahead of me, but not working to her full potential. Next we went to the dogwalk. “What is her performance on this obstacle?” “I say ‘walk it’ and she runs to the end of the yellow.” We demonstrated and Audrey was perfect. “Now do the same thing but stop at the point where the July 12 | Clean Run

Clean Run - July 2012

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

Clean Run - July 2012
Contents
Editorializing: Children at Agility Trials
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
The History of the Virtual Agility League
Agility Mind Gym: See Success
Agility After Joint Replacement
Power Paws Drills: On the Diagonal
Higher Than a Kite: Training the Over-Aroused Agility Dog
From Hoof to Woof: What Riders Can Teach Handlers
Not Your Normal Agility Dog
Building Blocks: Building Hands-on Confidence and Control
Principles of Self-control on the Agility Course
Chute Straight
Small Dog vs. Large Dog Handling
I Decided to Be Happy... and Then I Was! Tips on How to Get a New Attitude
Footwork for Agility: Front Crosses
What’s in Your Toolbox?
Clean Run - July 2012 - Clean Run - July 2012
Clean Run - July 2012 - 2
Clean Run - July 2012 - Contents
Clean Run - July 2012 - 4
Clean Run - July 2012 - Editorializing: Children at Agility Trials
Clean Run - July 2012 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run - July 2012 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run - July 2012 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run - July 2012 - 9
Clean Run - July 2012 - 10
Clean Run - July 2012 - The History of the Virtual Agility League
Clean Run - July 2012 - 12
Clean Run - July 2012 - 13
Clean Run - July 2012 - 14
Clean Run - July 2012 - Agility Mind Gym: See Success
Clean Run - July 2012 - 16
Clean Run - July 2012 - 17
Clean Run - July 2012 - Agility After Joint Replacement
Clean Run - July 2012 - 19
Clean Run - July 2012 - 20
Clean Run - July 2012 - 21
Clean Run - July 2012 - 22
Clean Run - July 2012 - Power Paws Drills: On the Diagonal
Clean Run - July 2012 - 24
Clean Run - July 2012 - 25
Clean Run - July 2012 - 26
Clean Run - July 2012 - 27
Clean Run - July 2012 - Higher Than a Kite: Training the Over-Aroused Agility Dog
Clean Run - July 2012 - 29
Clean Run - July 2012 - 30
Clean Run - July 2012 - 31
Clean Run - July 2012 - 32
Clean Run - July 2012 - From Hoof to Woof: What Riders Can Teach Handlers
Clean Run - July 2012 - Not Your Normal Agility Dog
Clean Run - July 2012 - 35
Clean Run - July 2012 - 36
Clean Run - July 2012 - 37
Clean Run - July 2012 - 38
Clean Run - July 2012 - Building Blocks: Building Hands-on Confidence and Control
Clean Run - July 2012 - 40
Clean Run - July 2012 - 41
Clean Run - July 2012 - 42
Clean Run - July 2012 - Principles of Self-control on the Agility Course
Clean Run - July 2012 - 44
Clean Run - July 2012 - 45
Clean Run - July 2012 - 46
Clean Run - July 2012 - Chute Straight
Clean Run - July 2012 - 48
Clean Run - July 2012 - 49
Clean Run - July 2012 - 50
Clean Run - July 2012 - 51
Clean Run - July 2012 - Small Dog vs. Large Dog Handling
Clean Run - July 2012 - 53
Clean Run - July 2012 - 54
Clean Run - July 2012 - 55
Clean Run - July 2012 - 56
Clean Run - July 2012 - I Decided to Be Happy... and Then I Was! Tips on How to Get a New Attitude
Clean Run - July 2012 - 58
Clean Run - July 2012 - 59
Clean Run - July 2012 - Footwork for Agility: Front Crosses
Clean Run - July 2012 - 61
Clean Run - July 2012 - 62
Clean Run - July 2012 - What’s in Your Toolbox?
Clean Run - July 2012 - 64
Clean Run - July 2012 - 65
Clean Run - July 2012 - 66
Clean Run - July 2012 - 67
Clean Run - July 2012 - 68
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