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Pawsitive Performance
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Join us today to learn how to keep your dog strong, balance and coordinated - Enrollment will open at 9am PST this morning with Bobbie Lyons, Cert CF and Pawsitive Performance at Daisy Peel .com
My class list: 
K9XTraining - progressive exercise for the beginner and advanced
K9FITbone for K9Fitness - shoulder exercise and full body work
Walk this Way (DogTread Treadmill Class) - gait and strength training
Performance Dog - body awareness exercises, shaping - getting your dog ready for performance.
Check out my classes and all the great classes offered at daisy peel.com 
http://classroom.daisypeel.com/courses-offered/

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DO NOT FORGET TO CLICK THE PUPPY PHOTO FOR A SHORT VIDEO OF "DRAMA'S" WORKOUT.
K9 Holiday Tips and Puppy Video - http://eepurl.com/9kcUn

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Blog Post - Round out your workout

Cross Training = train outside of your "main" sport to improve overall fitness, and to take advantage of other methods that address performance weaknesses.

Human athletes participate in cross-training exercises to tone and condition muscles, joints and tendons that are neglected during their regular sports activity. This improves performance and strengthens weak areas becoming an integral part of a proper conditioning program for human and canine athletes.

Clients and fellow competitors tell me how “well conditioned” their performance dog is because of off-leash hikes, runs, walks, and sport several days a week. While these activities are all good, they will not address specific cross-training activities needed to strengthen under-used supporting muscle groups. These muscle groups and tendons help to support the joints in lateral motion (side to side).

Lets look at a few scenarios in an agility dog:
1. Lateral extension of the shoulder to move through the weaves poles. 
2. Take off and turns tightly over a jump - requires core and trunk strength as well as lateral strength in the forelimb joints.
3. Deceleration and turn off the A-frame or Dogwalk into a tunnel - requires core and trunk strength as well as lateral strength in the forelimb joints.
4. Late hander call/direction that cause dogs to completely change a committed movement.

All these scenarios require use of muscles that support lateral (side to side) movement. This is the most under recognized muscle function needed in most performance sports today – not just Dog Agility. Iliopsoas, shoulder and knee issues often occur from lateral instability.

Some breeds have very clear muscle development that can be deceiving. Well-muscled and athletic dogs often rely mainly on large muscle groups but are not engaging the smaller muscles that help to support the joints and assist in purposeful and powerful movement. When a dog relies mostly on large muscles groups it causes muscle imbalance that lends to compensations, weakness and eventually to injury.

There are simple exercises you can do to challenge your dog’s smaller muscle groups that will improve:
• Stability
• Confidence in movement
• Speed
• Body awareness
• Over-all strength and performance

One exercise that can be used to assess stability is the use of two FitPAWS K9FITbones with a light-weight aerobic bench laid across the top. Seems easy right? For your dog, it’s like asking them to stand on a bowl full of Jell-O. Ask the dog to stand on the bench with front and rear legs a natural distance from one another. Many dogs shake so uncontrollably they cannot stay standing without help. Some high level agility dogs cannot stand with stability in this scenario. Some dogs do not start shaking until asked for simple head movement side to side. This shaking indicates a lack of strength in the stabilizing muscle groups in the core and around the joints. It doesn’t mean your dog isn’t strong but it shows a weakness that should be addressed with strength, balance and body awareness exercises.

Using products such as peanuts, K9Fitbones, donuts, balance discs and/or a dog treadmill while paying close attention to your dogs posture and weight distribution can help engage the smaller muscle groups used to stabilize the joints and encourage the dog to use those muscles in normal movement.

Some dogs are powerful movers and very fast, but if proper cross training and strength exercises are performed the dog can increase power and speed by using more muscle groups to fuel movement.
Bobbie Lyons, Cert CF
http://www.pawsitive-performance.com/blog/round-out-your-workout

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Staying under threshold - finding the right pieces to the puzzle

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One of the best pieces of advice I got as a student was to train with many different instructors as each one will apply information and their own philosophy to the same or similar goal. There are many many pieces to the puzzle of dog training and it is not a one size fits. Take a puzzle piece from every instructor and keep working on completing YOUR puzzle and improve your training with your dog!

ONLINE CLASSES - K9FITbone or K9Fitness, Performance Dog and K9 Cond II Enroll today to ensure you get a Participating spot in class. http://classroom.daisypeel.com/courses-offered/k9-conditioning-rehab-classes/

Specials/Puppy Lottery/New Services -
http://eepurl.com/0mzpD

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Hmm my mind has been on "puppies" lately, not really sure why. LOL

Teaching a puppy body awareness and weight distribution exercises at an early age helps the puppy grow into a confident, well balanced and coordinated dog. I start teaching my clients these types of exercises when their puppies are just 8 -12 weeks old. I adjust duration of exercise or repetitions to the age, ability and attention span of the puppy I am working with and I mix in PLAY as much as possible during the sessions.    

Body awareness programs for puppies teach them how to learn through shaping and luring.  It will also increases the human/dog bond.  Many exercises can be shaped as independent movements but some exercises require you to physically maneuver your dog to achieve the correct position.  Handling all body parts of your puppy at an early age helps them to be more tolerant of it as they grow older.   This is important for nail trimmings, grooming and trips to the vet. 

I focus on exercises that require balance and coordination but do not over stress the joints at an early age. I am slow and careful with puppies. Puppies get a lot of jumping, pivoting and multi-directional balance in everyday life  -- as they run around the back yard and play with pack mates.

When performing exercise with puppies, I carefully watch for movements that keep the knees in line with the hips as much as the puppy’s conformation allows.  I also watch for good posture, top-line angles and head position.   

As previously mentioned in a earlier blog, I do not recommend multi-directional wobble boards or balance discs for sustained exercises for puppies because when puppies, and some older dogs, mount these pieces of equipment their rear legs spread wide which can put unnecessary pressure on the joints. My preference is to teach the puppy body awareness and coordination on the flat first. Once the dog can obtain the correct position on the flat, then I add unstable FitPAWS equipment such as rocker boards, peanuts, Fitbones, and paw pods that improve proper weight distribution while keeping the body in alignment. I suggest putting the donut holder under the wobble board which allows it to jiggle but not to rock.  When the dog has well developed muscles and bones (at about age 12 months) then add sustained exercises on wobble boards and balance discs. 

I also like surface training a puppy with a deflated large balance discs put on top of the rocker board so you get unstable and a different surface.  Other options would be the deflated Fitpaws balance disc on top of the peanuts, donut, and under caveletti poles.

I feel it is very important to watch the amount of repetition done in any routine.  Set a time limit and stick to it, and watch your puppy’s posture, topline angle, rear leg and head position to make sure you are encouraging good weight distribution, posture and alignment.

Bobbie Lyons, Cert CF  Ph.  503-329-1235
Targeted Conditioning Programs for K9 Athletes:  Private Lessons, Online Classes, & Workshops
Online Classroom Website (NOTE:  enrollment 9/9/2014 –New classes will be offered):
http://classroom.daisypeel.com/k9-conditioning-rehab-classes/
Website:  http://www.pawsitive-performance.com/

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I have been at the International Symposium on Veterinary Rehabilitation/Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine for the past two days and headed back for more Thurs and Friday. GREAT information presented and wonderful validations of my protocols,exercises, client communication etc. It also has been FABULOUS to meet some of the professionals in the field and be able to talk with them about K9 Fitness.http://www.isvr2014.com/speakers/
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