There's a saying that the most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog and I'm sure dock diving competitors would agree! Dock diving is a fast-growing sport that has become even more popular in this year of required social distancing. As trainers and dog owners we may find ourselves at a bit of a loss on how we can best prepare our dogs for the sports they do. One way we can help our dogs perform their best and reduce their risks of injury is to understand the physical demands of the sport our dogs participate in.
For many dock diving competitors, one of the biggest challenges of the sport is its short training and competition season. In Canada, a dock diving season may only have 12 weeks of good weather. This means that competitors in dock diving will need to keep up a consistent conditioning routine during their off-season so their dogs are prepared to return to the sport. In this week's blog, we'll take a deep dive (pun, fully intended!) into the sport of dock diving!
As owners and trainers we're highly attuned to the movement of our dog's tail. But have you ever really looked at your dog's tail? Chance are, in the middle of a sport performance the last thing your doing is looking at your dog's tail but you may be surprised to see just how big of a role it plays! It's easy to forget that our dog's tail is a vital part of our dog's sport performance and everyday life. Our dog's have an extra appendage that is highly flexible and capable of complex movements to convey information and complete challenging physical movements. Put simply, our dog's tail is an important physical and emotional part of their body. In this week's blog we'll take a look at how the tail helps a sporting performance and the potential ways a tail can be injured.
I see a wide variety of sporting dogs and their handlers come through my clinic doors each year looking to improve their dog's physical capabilities. Each dog is unique and whether it is helping a dog recover from an injury or developing a preventive game plan to maximize their sport potential, it is SO rewarding to help each of them work towards their individual goals. But if there is one sport that is under-represented in my as well as my fellow canine physio colleagues clinics is the flyball dog. Flyball is an intense sport and this week we're going to take a deep dive into the physical demands that flyball asks of our dogs, the potential injuries we may see, and explore how conditioning can help improve performance and reduce the risk of injury in these amazing athletes.