Last week Jinx and I attended a Balance an Coördination seminar. What that is? It was loads of fun!!! I'll explain. It comes from rehabillitation after injuries and these exercises were taken to create a workout for dogs. To enhance their balance and coördination. Very good for any dog. The exercises build up muscle strenght and core strenght. So what did we do? We started out with some floor exercises. The dog had to do a shoulder roll(wich we couldn't do, because Jinx kept turning her hip instead of her shoulder, dus to our roll over trick) The dog had to lie down in the sfinx position. Meaning on all fours, so not on a hip(like my dogs usually do when they lay down). Then we had to lure the head over the shoulder so they would turn the other shoulder on the floor. Like I said, we couldn't do it. There was only one dog that did it, out of 7 Then we had to do a twist and turn. But with luring, keeping the turn as tight as possible. So nose to butt. That was easy for us. Then a bow, but a good bow, so the muscles of the back really stretch. Then we went on to some cavaletti training. 5 jumps were set up at the lowest hight. We were told to measure out the passes of our dogs to know how far apart the cavaletti's should be. (when the dog stands, put a pole on the floor next to them and measure from the toe of the front paw to the toe of the back paw. Then use that to set up the cavaletti) We put a target mat at the beginning and the end, for rewarding on. The idea was to get the dog to trot over the cavaletti and reward on the mat. Rewarding on the target was important, because the dog is supposed to look in front of him and not up to you, causing him to twist his body. He needs to be straight. Jinx thought this was a fun game, but as I expected, she tripped a few times, as she needs to learn to pick up her feet We went back and forth 5 times, then took a little break and did another 5 runs. Then the bars were raised. the second and fourth bar were taken to the next hight. So they had to really pay attention. And then all the bars were raised, so they really had to pick up their feet. It was a real workout for all the dogs. I don't have any video of it, but I found this on youtube, which gives a good idea of what we did. We used a similar set. But in this vid, they don't raise the bars. After lunch we went on to the next exercise. Fun on the ball/egg/peanut. For this we used yogaballs or fitnessballs, I don't know what they are called. But the dog had to put his front paws up on the ball(someone else was holding the ball, so it would be stable and not roll away) Then we had to treat high up, then low. So the dog had to stretch and bend his back. Next was to have the dog rest on his elbows on te ball, then stand up on front paws. So elbow to paw, elbow to paw. Real good for the core. And then the dog had to get up on the ball with all fours. No problem for Jinx but it was hard for some dogs, just to keep their balance and you could feel the ball shaking as their muscles trembled. Because Jinx was comforable with standing on the ball, I had to ask her to sit, stand, sit, stand. No problem for her. She really enjoyed it. Then she had to sit, down, sit, down. This was harder for her, but she still did great!! So for fun I asked her to do a sit pretty. Oooh she wanted to do it!! But she had real problems keeping her balance So I helped her by letting her put her front paws on my arm for support. And Yes she could do it!! So when she was in the right position I tried to have her balance without my arm, just for a second! How my little girl trusts me, she did it! Here's a vid to give you an idea of what we did. Then last thing we did was actually a little familiar to us, but the lady took it to a whole new level. She had large containers, turn up side down, buckets and little footstools and she created sort of a trail with them. So we started out by getting our dogs to jump up and stand on a large container. Then she gave us two, so the dogs could jump on one, step on to the other and then jump off. We did great, so we got to do four. Jinx loved it! Because we were doing so well, we had to move on to the little footstools. Click the link below, to see Jinx do this with the daughter of one of the participants. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=518395381536631&set=vb.100000985222269&type=3 At the end of this year, this seminar will return and we will try to go again. The trainer promised us, she would then have some more advanced exercises for us to do, as Jinx already knows a lot and is not afraid to try new things. I can tell you we had a blast. And my girl was so tired, she slapt almost the entire evening. THe next day we went out for a long walk and ususally she will run and play, but I guess her muscles were a little sore from all the exercise, because she wasn't as playfull as she normally is It's how I would feel after a long fitness workout I am now looking around for an egg or peanut shaped ball big enough, so Cooper can use it too. I have been explaining the exercises we did, but if you deside to try them with your dog, be sure not to force him in to it. If they don't want to do it, so be it. If they are afraid, don't force it. Be sure to hold the ball so it can't roll away and as with any exercise(human or canine) don't over do it!!!