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  • Rebecca Gardea

Doggie “Style” Yoga

Updated: Jul 6

Dog Yoga Imagine yourself preparing for your daily workout at the gym or preparing to run a 10k race; what are the things you do leading up to that very moment? I was asked the question at one of the field tests that I do with my dogs, Becca "what are you doing with your dog"? It's simple, if we want optimal performance from our four legged best friend we have to condition them accordingly. Yes, that does include stretching! First things first when raising a Champion A Champion means different things depending on whom you ask, but for purpose of the article we will reference show and field Champions. Science tells us that optimal performance and proper stretching prevents several injuries, and yes our K9 friends also can get just as injured or worse without preparing them correctly. If you are raising a show/ field Champion you know how much time and dedication goes into training, so let's back up to see what we need to do before we start our training session. As you prepare to run your dog it is very important to stretch their legs and ensure they are properly hydrated. When you stretch their rear legs and hips it should be just enough to extend those back legs strait out and repeat on both sides. Next you can proceed to stretch the front legs by extending one leg at a time both forward and back. A good side note: if your dog ever appears to be limping or showing lameness avoid any stretching and training and call it a day. Make a call to your vet to make sure your dog does not have any immediate injuries that need to be addressed. Puppies under 18-24 months old Bone plates typically do not close until the age of 18-24 months old and before this time it is imperative that you take extreme caution when running your dog. Forced running

should not happen until the bone plates have closed to avoid issues such as hip dysplasia. Forced running means, running your dog on a hard surface for long periods of time, or training long distance on such a young pup or any repetitive activity (see hyperlink above for more detail). Remember that your dog will tell you when they have had enough. It's important to listen to them. So how often should you stretch Think about it this way; no matter what your doing with your dog if it requires physical activity then stretching should always happen. If your at a dog show preparing to head over to the ring, take the extra five minutes to make sure they are ready to show that beautiful movement. If you are getting ready for that Hunt test you have been training for most of the year take the time before to make sure they're ready to run and search the fields to the best of their physical abilities. Making these small commitments to your dogs will only improve their run and ensure they do not get a unnecessary injury. As we continue to grow and train the future of our breeds it's important to pay close attention not only to their natural abilities and conformation but also to the upkeep of maintaining a Champion. Regardless of how amazing your dog performs, preparing them to maintain optimal physical health throughout the process will not only provide muscle flexibility but prevent muscle injury. Written by SilverBay Weimaraners 2017 Published Navhda Magazine 

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