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Reducing the risk of injuries through smarter training

One of the key goals of any fitness trainer is to help reduce the risk of injuries in our canine companions. I don’t know a more torturing feeling for me as a pet parent than making my dog hurt through activities and sports that I’ve chosen for her. To me, reducing the risk of injuries is one of the key motivators for fitness training. Yet, strengthening work is only one part of it. If we don’t pay attention to the other end of the equation, we undermine our work. Read more in the full post.

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Don’t miss out on these bonuses coordination training has!

Your dog needs coordination skills in every activity he’s engaged in. Yet it’s one of the most overlooked areas of dog sports training. We often see the word “coordination” in a fitness program or puppy school program. But the reality is often just a couple of exercises for body awareness. It’s because coordination can be a bit tricky to train, especially when we don’t know it’s even a thing! Time to change that. Coordination training has some HUGE benefits. Find out what they are in this blog post.

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Balance. Surprisingly way less static than you thought!

Balance really is a very complex topic, encompassing so many different elements and areas of physical training. In dog physical skill/fitness training we often see the term “balance” being used mostly in the context of working on unstable surfaces. Where the dog has to put some effort into maintaining his body position while the surface underneath him is wobbling. But this just a tiny little part of balance. The reality is way more complex. Most of the time our dogs need to have good balance during movement! And, as it comes out, not only to stay upright and not fall over…

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Linking physical skills to poisoned cues

Imagine giving your dog a cue during training, a cue that should indicate a well known behavior to your dog. Instead of happily following that cue with lightning speed and wagging tail, your dog delays responding to the cue. He may turn his head away, go sniffing or scratching, show lip licking and then, finally, slowly follows the cue… That’s the kind of effect poisoned cues tend to have.

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How to create high resolution body maps?

In order to move well, the nervous system needs to have very high quality information about the body.
Knowing where different body parts are and how they move depends on body maps. Body maps are areas of the brain representing different body parts. In order to grow and create connections in the body maps, the brain needs information from movement.

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Why does your dog need slow movement exercises

Slow movement exercises allow the nervous system to sense even the smallest differences in muscle effort or if the correct muscles are working and firing at the right times. During slow movements the nervous system is able to work on any inefficiencies in the movement pattern and is able to correct the movement so that it becomes more efficient and better coordinated.

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3 ways handler mechanics helps to boost your training

If you’d like your dog to become better and faster learner who is motivated and engaged during training sessions, then improving handler mechanics is one of the key things to work on. You don’t have to spend more time training your dog in order to get rid of stressing high or low behaviors like sniffing, walking away from the training session, barking, frantic movements. Having clear mechanics and reinforcement delivery will almost always result in a better training experience to you and your dog.

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The #1 tip for keeping your dog in The Flow

As soon as my dogs start looking at me because of my faulty mechanics, they find it very difficult to focus on the exercises. They may miss one of the cones when looking at me. They struggle figuring out the foot pattern. And they may even trip and lose their balance during the exercises. They are no longer in The Flow mindset for coordination work, they are no longer mindful about their own movement but rather multitask, trying to keep an eye on me + do the exercise.

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Linking mindset and arousal to movement skills

When we look at the arousal states from coordination and movement point of view, which arousal state looks like the good place to be? It’s actually written in the descriptions of the arousal states, where The Flow is linked to controlled and deliberate movements with high accuracy and low latency. And The Red is linked to frantic movements with low accuracy and high latency.

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