Fitness

Discussion in 'Dog Health' started by Anneke, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Anneke Honored Member

    Jinx loves agility and so do I. But she is a barknocker. The faster we go, the more bars she knocks.
    I was talking about that with my friend, who knows a lot about the way dogs move.
    She told me Jinx wasn't extending her hind legs going over a jump. She tucks them under her body. Now that is not a real problem, it could just be her style. And she has always jumped like that, as far as I know.
    But since we promoted up a level, that means she has to jump in large dog, and I think it is just a little too high for her. 65 cm. She is only 53 cm herself.
    As long as she has to jump straight ahead, it will be ok, but when we have to do a turn right after the jump, she tends to knock the bar a lot.
    Which got us reviewing our runs on video.
    That's when my friend noticed that Jinx moves very short in her backhand. Meaning she doesn't extend her legs, but takes very short steps.
    She thought it might be a problem in her back that could cause that. Nothing serious, but maybe some stiffness. So she adviced me to go see a fysiotherapist.
    So that we did.
    The lady asked for a video of Jinx jumping, so we send her a link to one of our trials, so she could see that before we came to see her.
    We had to move around at different speeds, straight lines and circles, while she took a good look at Jinx.
    Straight away, she said, she is not extending her hind legs, it's like a little dribbel.
    Then we came inside and she put Jinx up on the table. She had to lie on het side and the lady started feeling her spine and muscles.
    The conclusion was that the midsection of her spine wasn't very flexible, around T13. This puzzled her as she thought it wasn't usual for a dog to have that problem there. She had expected the problem to be in the lumbar vertibrae.
    She treated Jinx on the spot and then showed me which execises I could do to get thing flexible again.
    Also Jinx can bend to the left better than to the right. Which makes erfect sence to me as she favors her left side. She is a lefty:D (I noticed because, Cooper is righthanded)
    She also noticed in the video we send her, that Jinx has a strange way of doing weavepoles. She doesn't have the foreward motion, but she kind of jumps up and down, barking every step of th way. And she wondered if Jinx was barking because she was feeling uncomfortable doing the weave.
    I don't think she is barking because of that, she always barks, and it is her exited bark.
    But the lady thought the up and down movement might be because she isn't so flexible.
    Now this flexibility is partly the result of the way she is build, being an aussie. So she will ofcourse never have the range of motion that most borders display, but we can improve it.
    So for 6 weeks no frisbee, agility is ok, but no weavepoles or do them very slow.
    And every day we need to work on her fitness.
    Stretching and bending, targetting the back.
    So here is the first vid of us on the fitnessball.
    As you can see, she won't jump up on it herself. There was a time when she could do this without any problems. But I haven't used it for a long time.
    At 2.31 you see us doing the execises we have to do. Stretching over the ball, bending to the right and the left and front feet stretced, reacing up high.
    At 3.49 we do the same thing on the floor, bending right and left, take a bow, with a real stretch(she does that on her own!) and a sit up. At one point you see me putting my hand on her back. That's where I feel for a warm spot. When the spine gets warm, I stop. I don't want to overdo things.;)
    The rest of the vid is about execises I added to gain more fitness and balance.
    Balance on the ball is improving fortunately. As you can see in the beginning, she is very wobbly.
    And the end shows hindleg awareness on the balancedisks.

    Now to show there was a little improvement, here is the first time on the fitnessball, the day before. She won't jump up on her own and I basically have to support her all the time.

    We are now one week later and she has found her balance a bit more. Jumping up without a problem and even standing and sitting without help. I haven't been videoing it, but I'l see if I can make another one to show her progress.
    She is still a little bit less flexible on her right side, but she is improving.

    I had no idea she was being so stiff! We do all our tricks and go for long walks, every friday is agilitytraining.
    Also the lady whispered in my ear, that it might be a good idea to cut back on Jinx her food, as she was a bit on the chubby side:oops: So she is on a diet, now:D
    kassidybc, Ripleygirl and running_dog like this.

  2. Anneke Honored Member

    Here's today's session. Progress!!
    Only, is she now having trouble with her left side???:eek:
    kassidybc, Ripleygirl and running_dog like this.
  3. running_dog Honored Member

    Really fascinating Anneke.

    I would never have guessed how much dogs that seem healthy can be seized up like that... though I suppose I should have as I know people can. LOL when I damaged a tendon in my arm I had a lopsided head - I had to really work on getting my neck muscles/tendons to work properly again, I guess they had shortened because I hadn't used them for the weeks my arm took to recover.

    So cool to be able to see progress through fairly simple exercises.
    Ripleygirl likes this.
  4. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    Really interesting and looking forward to the updates! All makes sense if you think of it in 'human' terms. Considering Yoga etc. Love the fact we can translate to dogs too!
    running_dog likes this.
  5. Evie Experienced Member

    It's great that you're looking to see if Jinx is physically ok and not just assuming that she's being lazy!

    Evie used to be a chronic bar knocker, but I did a little bit of training with her as I realised that she'd never actually been taught that knocking bars was bad, and now she very very rarely knocks any bars, even as she's getting faster or when she's tired.

    Unfortunately for me, I can't get a physio out to Evie, so if she's sore, we'll never know because she's so shy a physio would never be able to touch her.. :rolleyes:

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