About three years ago my young, sweet and rambunctious agility dog Quinn and I were getting ready to compete in our first AAC Regional Championship. Around the same time, I started my canine rehabilitation business and life suddenly became very, very busy. As a result, something had to give and my consistent conditioning program suddenly became something I did every now and then. Have you heard the proverb "the shoemaker's children go barefoot?" that was me and my dogs. I was so busy helping others with their conditioning work that I started to overlook my own dog's conditioning.
So by the time Quinn and I headed to our first Regional Championship I had unknowingly put her at a serious disadvantage and it only went down hill from there. During that competition the skies opened up and it POURED! And the ground of the agility rings very quickly turned into muddy conditions. During one of our runs Quinn came in typical Aussie style to the A-Frame and only one of her paws made contact on the down slope.
What I didn't know then...
This hard landing caused a momentary pause in the run while I stopped to look at Quinn to see if she was okay. She was AMPED UP, ready to go, and seemed fine so we continued on with the rest of the run. What I didn't know at the time was that Quinn had hurt herself and that this injury was about to rear it's ugly head after the show. Because I hadn’t prepared Quinn physically for what she needed to do in the ring, regardless of weather conditions, I had caused an injury to my dog.
What was the most upsetting, aside from the fact that I wanted my dog to feel better, was that I couldn’t compete. I love going to trials – the thrill of competition, cheering on my friends, and of course dinner and drinks afterwards to celebrate or commiserate. Dog sports and training with friends is a huge part of my social life. With an injured dog I had to drop out of everything, I stopped going to trials all together. I felt like I was missing out. I stayed home while my friends were out on the weekends enjoying the get together and having fun. It was not a good feeling to be sidelined. A feeling I never want to experience again.
Something had to be changed...
I realized that I had to start doing things differently. I hadn’t prioritized conditioning as part of my routine and I had no excuses - I knew the exercises and I knew how to design a program. What I didn't know is how to stay consistent.
I knew I needed and wanted to make a change. I no longer wanted to be on the sidelines. So, I made a plan and was dedicated to showing up for my dogs every day. I owed it to my dogs who showed up and gave their all every-time I asked it of them.
I reflected back on all the previous courses I had spent my effort and money on - and it was a lot! But I realized that none of them helped me change my behaviour over time. Nothing compelled me to take what I had learned and turn it into a long-term habit that produced real change in me and my athlete.
So, I thought to myself, how can I take my love of dogs and training and marry it with my physiotherapist knowledge of anatomy and physiology and provide a course for others looking to solve the same problem I had those 3 years prior? I wanted to go beyond what I currently saw in courses being offered and give you all something that will help you be successful with canine conditioning long term. I want to ingrain in you a new behaviour that will enable both you and your dog to become an elite athlete.
It's time for something different!
It is time to get your athletes to perform and train like the elite athletes they are! That's why I'm so excited to introduce my new online course The Winning Way - Conditioning the Canine Athlete!
The course provides you the knowledge and experience I have as a Physiotherapist and dog trainer into one course – this is everything an elite athlete would need to be successful. I have created the environment and community to make sure each of you are successful. Lifetime access to the course and community group promises to give you all the tools you need to thrive in your conditioning program.
There are so many features to help you achieve your specific goals and get your dog in shape and ready for their season. The Winning Way is designed to do everything to keep you off the sidelines – yes injuries can happen, sadly they will, but we will DO everything in our power to make sure you know how to best look after your athlete and at the same time create a routine in your fitness habits so you're not overwhelmed! I want to keep it simple for you!! So I've created 36 exercises, with progression from rookie to elite, to help build up your dog's skills.
I'm also creating a community group for those in the course to help keep you accountable and also be a place where you can share your highs, lows, and any struggles you may have with conditioning work. The community group is here for you and each person in the course will be getting an accountability partner to help with focus and follow through. In addition, I’ll be going live in FB to answer questions you may have along the way. I have truly created an environment for success, for YOU and YOUR DOG.
For those of you that might need some more dedicated help to achieving your goals, I’ve opened up 8 spots for 1:1 coaching. Between training my dogs, my clinic practice and working with Team Canada, there are only a few spots available!! If you want to learn more about this course click on the link below or email Carolyn directly with any questions you may have!