Tera’s Training Tip of the Day: Warm up your dog before training.
Over the years, having dealt with pointers guiding pheasant hunts and running/training retrievers for field trials, it is clear that the probability of injury is high under these conditions. Be proactive against injury by providing a good quality food, joint supplement (one with glucosamine and Methylsulfonylmethane MSM ), and warming up a dogs core.
Bruce Alhers, DVM and avid Field Trialer, spoke to me about his routines for conditioning and strengthening a dogs core muscles. Doing pile work up a hill is an option. Walking your dog on leash, and requiring them to stand and sit several times is another. Having the dog sit up on their hind quarters with the front paws off the ground is also a great way to warm up the core. Rapid Retrieving such as “Happy Bumpers” can cause a dog to twist and turn before the muscles are sufficiently warmed up putting extra stress on ligaments and joints. Whatever routine you decide to adopt, make sure it is done in a slow and controlled process – ultimately working up to strenuous activity. I hope this helps everyone to have great training days that provide many healthy years of enjoyment!