Monday, November 4, 2013

Caleb Week 3: Urban Agility (Dog Parkour) For Conditioning and Rehab

We have been trying to find a balance between doing enough exercise that he builds strength, but not so much that he is sore and grouchy the next day. In addition to the exercises from the first week we have added a few new ones.

Walking through ladders: Slowly walking through ladders, with emphasis on rear end movement  and actually walking instead of jumping.  We did ladders flat on the ground, ladders with one end raised about 8 inches, and a ladder flat on the ground with additional challenges added. This increases range of motion and proprioception without adding too much impact.

4 feet on, 4 feet in, backing up on objects: Same as the first week. We did see some progress from the first week. The first week he would only put 3 feet on the pedestal. This week we were able to get both 4 feet on the pedestal! He could also reliably get four feet into the pink box, unlike the first week where he could only do it once. This is probably as a result of a combination of increase of training and increase in strength and balance.

Walking and running:  We  went for a long (9 miles) woods walk, a few other short walks, and a 2 mile run. He was sore after the woods walk, not surprisingly. Caleb was limping at the very end of the run so we stopped a little bit early, but he did not seem to be sore the next day. This exercise is intended to increase endurance.

Balancing on objects that move (fitpaws, exercise ball, etc) We spent some time standing, sitting, and changing positions on both the fit paws and exercise balls. This exercise intended to increase balance and strength.

Vet Note: Caleb is showing small signs of improvement over the last two weeks. The most encouraging sign is that he is no longer extremely sore after doing his exercises. He also seems to be recovering faster than in previous weeks as evidenced by his quick return to not limping after his runs and walks. His improvement on the exercises is encouraging as it points to an increase in both strength and balance, both of which are important for long term success.