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Want to train new behaviors faster? With fewer reps? Here’s what you need!

AgiNotes recently published an overview of an international survey about the changes in agility over the past few years and where agility enthusiasts see the sport heading.

One of the (many) things standing out was that the higher demands of the sport require you to train more and more repetitions with your dog, extending the training time and also raising the concern of overuse injuries resulting from all the reps.

While it’s true that as agility becomes more demanding, it also needs more training. But maybe there’s a way to change the way we look at training, be smarter about what we train… and even reduce the number of actual sport exercises?

I have my own approach to keep the training repetitions under control. Want to know what it is? Check out the newest blog post at The Moving Canine

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What to do if your agility dog is scared of the high dog walk?

Is your dog’s dog walk performance less than perfect? And you have no idea about why that is or how to fix it?

Could it be that your dog is scared of heights, leaving him uncomfortable on the dog walk and not performing at her best?

In today’s blog post I talk about the fear of heights, why this happens, how it affects your dog’s performance and how to recognize it in your own dog.

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How to make sure that your warm up routines ACTUALLY improve your dog’s performance?

Are you already doing warm ups with your dog before training sessions? Great! Then you probably already know the benefits of warming up muscles and other soft tissues, preparing the body for work and thus reducing the risk of injuries.

However, focusing on general warm up may not actually prepare your dog for the training session ahead. Especially if the upcoming session needs precision – like most dog sport exercises do!

What kind of warm up exercises should you be really focusing on to improve your dog’s performance and make sure that the warm up ACTUALLY prepares your dog for the training session?

Read more in this blog post!

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Discover the top 3 things missing from most canine fitness routines

“Hang on! So you are saying I can fix my dog’s dog walk performance with body awareness and balance exercises? But I’m already doing canine fitness training with my dog! And he’s still struggling on the dog walk!”

As you already know, doing fitness training with your dog builds a perfect foundation for sports!

But here’s the secret: most canine fitness routines are missing the key elements that would help to improve your dog’s performance on the dog walk… and many other real life challenges!

These 3 elements are absolutely essential for transfering skills from your dog’s “gym workouts” to actual sports exercises. Like running on the dog walk without misplacing paws, losing balance or falling off.

And if you are missing any of these elements in your training routines, then you can do as much fitness training as you want, you simply won’t see improvement in your dog’s dog walk performance.

Find out what these 3 missing elements are in the newest The Moving Canine blop post!

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How to get your dog from being reckless on the dog walk to running it with precision. SAFELY

As a dog agility enthusiast you probably already know that teaching your dog to run on the dog walk can take a while. Isn’t it a well known belief that training running contacts needs lots of repetitions?!

And it quickly becomes even more challenging and time consuming with dogs who are reckless, who misplace their paws off to the side, lose balance and even fall during the training sessions.

While we may see success stories like “Amazing! She got a competition ready running dog walk in just 2 months!” on social media, we rarely see the stories of dogs who are actually struggling with running on the dog walk. Yet they are out there. And if you are reading this, chances are that you also know of a dog (and maybe it’s your own dog) who tends to have a worrying amount of dog walk incidents…

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Could this be the reason why your dog slows down on the dog walk?

“My dog is really careful on the dog walk. In fact, she slows down when running the dog walk, so I’m not too worried about her safety”

Often when talking about the problems on the dog walk, it is easy to imagine the reckless dogs who misplace their paws and fall off, making your heart skip a beat. Because falling off the dog walk when running full speed is scary! And dangerous.

So it’s easy to think that a dog who is careful on the dog walk, even slowing down a bit, is far safer. And that slowing down may be even a good thing.

It is true that with a careful dog you don’t need to worry about the safety on the dog walk so much.

But what does make me worry is the reason behind their carefulness. Would a dog who was super comfortable slow down on the dog walk? I suspect not.

Slowing down and being careful is probably coming from a place that isn’t all happy. And maybe careful dogs would actually need help on the dog walk just like reckless dogs do?

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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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Could doing things fast limit your dog’s potential? 

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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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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