Many thanks to Lisa Blanchard from The Animal Rehabilitation Center of Michigan, who joined us for a short presentation in Feb. 2011, to discuss injury prevention and ways to help keep your dog "competition ready". Lisa is a licensed veterinary technician and has been working and training with dogs on rehabilitation for over 20 years. Her presentation included:
Lisa stressed the importance of proper warm-ups to increase oxygen supply and stretch tissues. Stretching, walking, trotting, and low jumping were recommended. Don't forget cool-downs! This helps to eliminate excess waste products and reduce stiffness and soreness. After jumping, cool down by walking, stretching and massage.
Lisa also touched on the importance of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and propulsion exercise.
Cardiovascular Exercizes: Swimming, treadmill, bicycling, and sprints help build endurance and stamina.
Strength Training: Playing on boards, with balls, walking up hills, and doin tricks help dogs build up the strength required for speed and acceleration, while helping to prevent injury and increase joint stability
Propulsion Exercises: Propulsion exercises like plyometrics (muscle specific exercizes that help target muscles for vertical leaps, reaction time, and explosiveness) and hill walking.
Swimmer's Tail: aka Limber Tail, Cold Tail, and Dead Tail, appears as a crooked, bent, stiff tail, and can be very painful. The best prevention is proper drying using plenty of towels, a chamois cloth, fans, or hair dryers, especially before going outdoors in cold weather.
Scores are sorted into divisions after dogs have jumped all splashes.