Monday, October 28, 2013

Dazz Week Two: Urban Agility (Dog Parkour) For Conditioning and Rehab

The last few weeks we’ve been working on leg strength and hind end awareness. Her balance has improved a ton - her hind feet are tracking closely behind her front, to have a narrower stance overall. She’s also had an easier time going up the stairs - I haven’t had to “rescue her” from being stuck halfway up, she’s been able to get up them even slowly or stopping and starting again, not getting stuck without the momentum. Here’s a few exercises we’ve been doing this week:

Walking backward. This requires a lot of strength in the rear. When she gets tired, she’ll back a few steps into a sit, so we’re trying to slowly build strength and endurance at this.

4-paws-on and stepping down in control. We worked on standing with 4 feet on a box and stepping down from it one foot at a time. Her usual method is to hop off front first and let her hind feet do whatever, so we tried to do it in control so she has to balance and keep her feet under her.

Walking along narrow objects. We also worked on walking down a ladder lying on the ground, trying to keep all four feet inside. She had to focus on not tripping on the cross bars as well.

Stepping into/out of things. We've been stepping into a round sled with raised edges as well as a laundry basket. She was able to step one foot at a time into the laundry basket - lifting her back feet up and over the edge! This requires a ton of strength and balance for her, so she was only able to do it a few times, but I was impressed!

Vet Note: Dazz is showing signs of improvement. As mentioned previously, she can often be seen walking with a more normal gait. While her back legs still go into a wide base stance if she is turning or sitting, while she is slowly walking in a straight line, they track right behind her fronts! Although she tires very quickly, she is making significantly more purposeful movements with both of her hind legs.

Article by: Genevieve Abbiss, Abigail Curtis DVM