Tera’s Training Tip Of The Day: Utilize a mat when training your dog.
Many injuries occur when dogs loose their footing taking off from a stationary position. Muscles pulling away from bone, ligament tears, and sprained joints just to name a few common “Starting Position” injuries. Mats are a useful tool in “Place Training” your dog which can make for an impeccably “Steady” retriever.
Tera’s Training Tip of the Day: Have a warm up routine for your dog before he or she begins their training.
Over the years having dealt with pointers guiding pheasant hunts 5 days a week during MI winters and now running/training retrievers for field trials it is clear that the probability of injury is high under these conditions. However, one can 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, walking your dog on leash and requiring them to stand and sit several times, or have the dog sit up on their hind quarters with the front paws off the ground were just a few techniques mentioned.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 working up to strenuous activity. Hope this helps everyone to have great training days that provide healthy years of enjoyment.