Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Split's rehab helps all the dogs

Training a puppy and rehabing a dog have some commonality!

Split was taken out of agility Mid-January due to a Hip Flexor pull. He was allowed to jog on leash with me, but really not much else. We gave him 8 weeks of rest and then began to work him back really, really slowly. I guess the nature of this injury is that the dog can re-injure it fairly easily.

First I started with really low jumps, about 8 inches, 4 jumps in a row. We would do that 4-5 times and that was the sum total of his agility. Gradually we worked the jumps up higher and added another repetition. I have gradually worked in other equipment as time has gone on. Maybe one rep of the weaves, a couple tunnels, low teeters, low dog walks and now a low AFrame.

Since all the equipment was low for Tangle, it was perfect to work Split and Tip got to come along for the ride.

It has helped Split gain his confidence back (from the injury) and the performance hasn't been a strain on him. I even sort of think that this has helped Tip, but I am not clear why. For our past two trials her contacts have been stellar (it has been a life time challenge). Her teeter has been amazing, her dog walk 2o2o is worlds better. I might play with this concept more because it intrigues me!

Also, I have had the 2 by 2 weaves out working entrances with Tangle. So, I started working those with Split has well. When he was injured he was avoiding the weaves as a part of the injury. The 2 by 2's have helped work on his entrances and get those back in shape, but has kept the strain of doing a full set to a minimum.

I am really liking this synergy between the rehab and puppy training!

I started training Tangle on jumps by doing single jump work. I decided to do this with Split as well. It helps build his muscle in his rear and build back the confidence when nothing hurts!!

This morning Split got his hardest workout since January and his jumping was amazing! He had really nice collection, tight turns, and confidence back. I am thrilled.

I am re-thinking how I keep my adult dogs in shape and well trained. Stay tuned.

As a side note, Split is jumping 18 inches and doing really well with that height!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Puppy license

I have noticed in the last month the changes in Tangle as he progresses from puppyhood to adulthood (at least in growth). In the last several weeks Tangle has lost his puppy license with some other male dogs, his drive is moving to a new level, and he is beginning to show signs of the adult male that he will become!

At the same time my perspective in training him has begun to change. Up until now he has clearly been "the puppy". As such, our training has only included puppy tasks (sort of). Low dog walks, no jumps, just weave entries, no AFrame, etc... Although my criteria for him is solid, somehow it isn't the same as when you know you will have the dog in a competition this weekend!! There is puppy license filtered into the criteria.

I began to realize this weekend that technically he could be competing in 5 months. And although I doubt that I will compete with him that early it dawned on me that we would need to move from all the puppy activities to the "real agility dog" activities.

Is he beginning to loose his puppy license with me as well?

Tangle will be "the puppy" for many more years, but soon he will begin some adult tasks.