What Exactly is Canine Conditioning?
Canine Conditioning involves a targetted exercise programme to promote total fitness in dogs at all life stages and activity levels. Think of your Licensed Canine Conditioning Coach as your dog's personal fitness trainer. Whilst many people will look to Canine Conditioning to improve performance in sporting activities, these programmes can be of benefit to any dog.
As a Clinical Canine Massage Therapist, I specialise in the rehabilitation of muscular issues and injuries such as strains, trigger points and myofascial pain. But what if there were ways to help minimise the risk of them happening in the first place? More often than you may think, muscular issues and injuries can be linked to something which until quite recently, hadn't really been researched in dogs. That something, which can also prevent your dog from reaching his or her full athletic potential, is a weak core. Bridging the gap between canine therapy and training is Canine Conditioning.
Strength From The Inside Out
Overdevelopment of superficial muscles is what typically leads to a weak core. When superficial muscles work harder than they were intended to, issues such as hypertonicity, tightness and trigger points are more likely to occur. This leaves them more vulnerable to injury, such as a strain, something no athlete wants. Any of these issues can vary in intensity from a 'minor niggle' to causing debilitating levels of pain and you might see reduced performance levels, postural, gait and even behavioural changes amongst other things.
Core conditioning is well-established in both human and equine training but not so much with canines, until now. Drawing on the latest research the programmes are easily integrated into daily walks and can even be done in the house. They work by activating and ultimately strengthening the core and deep stabilising musculature. We cannot change a dog's conformation but we can improve their posture. And whilst we can never totally prevent the risk of injury, we can reduce it by ensuring your dog is using his or her body in the most efficient way. With a focus on total fitness, we also improve flexibility, balance, strength and proprioception whilst providing mental stimulation: all specific to the needs of your dog. All dogs start at foundation level, then there is the potential to progress to intermediate and even advanced.