Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Caleb Week 5: Urban Agility (Dog Parkour) For Conditioning and Rehab

We seem to have found a better balance between what will make Caleb really sore and yet still doing enough to see the benefits. This is probably helped by the fact that he seems to be recovering from being sore or tired faster than when we first began. Also, this last weekend he spent three nights away from home at camp and seemed to recover from this pretty well. As of the posting of this, Caleb is on a 3-day 30-mile backpacking trip, so stay tuned to see how well he recovers from that. Here’s what we’ve been working on:

Walking through ladders: We had a ladder at camp made of 6-8” flyball jumps and pool noodles. He did well at both picking up his feet and at placing them in the appropriate location. This exercise is designed to increase his range of motion and proprioception. We will continue to use this exercise in the future and will change up the ladders to make them more difficult.

4 feet on, 4 feet in, backing up on objects: Same as the previous week. We did see some progress from the previous weeks. He will now back onto an object with either of his back feet which points to a more equal balance of strength between the two back legs.

Balancing on objects that move(fitpaws, exercise ball, etc) We moved between stands and sits while on an object that was wobbly. We also used a treat to change Caleb’s balance to force him to readjust his weight distribution.  This exercise intended to increase balance and strength.

Walking.  We  went for a couple long walks, but did not have him run as he seemed to be sore after his run last time, and was tired the day that we wanted to run. This exercise is intended to increase endurance.

Jumping. At our training class on Wednesday, one of the exercises included jumps. In the past Caleb has been hesitant to jump and very sore afterwards. We set the jumps to 12” and he seemed to willingly take the jumps after a warm-up and was not very sore later.

Vet Note: I’m happy with the improvement Caleb is showing! It will be interesting to see how he does on the backpacking trip, which will likely include a lot of walking, jumping, and sleeping on hard ground. We have prepared for him becoming sore on this trip by including an NSAID for Caleb in his supplies.