Flexibility – Bad Dog Agility Academy


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  • cmespo56@yahoo.com says:

    If for some reason your dog allows you to stretch out one leg and is very resilient about the other, could it be a possible problem. I am stretching hip flexor on one side,dog doesn’t mind but on other he is resisting. Should I have vet look at him? This is one side he has been resisting for a couple of weeks.

  • Lakiemom says:

    So, I’m working on getting my dogs comfortable on their sides for this type of exam. When I stand them, they are rather squirrelly as well, LOL! So, would it be appropriate to have them target a flat or nearly flat foot target as you work front or hind to help keep them a bit focused? Or will that be a distraction for them that might lead to me missing something?

  • Barb VE says:

    June 10, 2021
    This is my video of stretching with Enzo. He has never done it on the bed before. I do the standing stretches as part of his warm-up for every training session or trial.


  • VDogs says:

    I wanted to do an intro to us and have a starting point for Monty!! https://youtu.be/BhznWElqr6U

    • Coach Leslie says:

      Your video is listed as private. If you click on the video link you should be able to change the privacy settings. Switch it to unlisted and then we will be able to see it but it won’t be public for everyone to see.

    • Coach Leslie says:

      Welcome Monty and Viveka!
      Thanks for posting the baseline. I’m glad you recognize Monty’s limitations. Your assessment of his difficulty relaxing is spot on. You like to be active, the house is active, and Monty loves to be active. I think doing this flexibility work on a regular basis (once a week) will help instill some calmness in him and then more willingness to participate in the flexibility check. You could try reinforcing some calmness on a daily basis. This doesn’t have to be you going over him or moving him but just sitting with him on the bed that you are using and taking slow deep breaths and gently petting him. Start with 30 seconds to a minute and try to gradually build time. At first you may pick times when he generally already seems calm or tired, but eventually you can use it to help relax after a very active bit of time (or even at an agility trial).
      The other thing I want every to think about is that this activity is a flexibility check not trying to actually stretch the dog or push past the limit. I think based on what you said in the video that you get that, but I think I did not make it super clear in the lecture so I want to put that information out there!
      For keeping up with all the exercises, try setting a goal to do at least one of the pre-has exercises three times a week. You don’t necessarily need to film and post all of them but if you start routinely doing them on a schedule you may find it becomes a good habit.
      I’m exciting to help you and Monty on your agility journey.

  • Elaine Myhowich says:

    What can I do to help with tightness in the hamstring?

    • Coach Leslie says:

      If you find tightness in one hamstring (or both) I would recommend having a professional check out your dog first. Tightness can be an protection mechanism for a minor injury. You can also try going through the flexibility check on the year legs more often – every other day for 2 weeks. If the tightness gets worse, stop and get it checked out.

      • Elaine Myhowich says:

        I did and no injury was found.Are there any activities or exercises to help?Just want to avoid any injury.
        Thanks for your help

        • Coach Leslie says:

          Great! I don’t want to jump the gun, but there is going to be a month on flexibility. In the meantime you can do the rear leg part of this video every other day, 3 days a week to try to get a bit more flexibility.

  • Sandy & Karma says:

    Is it important to warm up their muscles before stretching…it’s what I always here for humans!

    • leide13@gmail.com says:

      That is correct. This is also a check in to keep track of your dog’s flexibility not a regular stretching routine. I rarely manually stretch my dogs, but I do check their range of motion at least once a month.

  • Portia Purfey says:

    What should you do for a paw touch sensitive dog? We are working on it but he still stares and usually pulls away his paw.

    • leide13@gmail.com says:

      If he is only worried about paw touching, I would skip that part. You can use stepping on certain equipment to work the toes and I’ll add this to my list of things to cover. A skinny board or a wedge can be used to stretch the toes. Also standing on a steep incline can help stretch the toes. Uphill stretches the flexors and downhill can stretch the toe extensors.

  • Carol R says:

    Doing these stretches scares me. I went through an inperson class with a sheltie who trusted me to do whatever I wanted to her. I was told by the PT that I could never do damage by overstretching because she would tell me. Ended up causing a shoulder injury and have been gun shy ever since. Suggestions in getting over this?

    • leide13@gmail.com says:

      I’m so sorry that happened. Most likely there was already some damage to the shoulder joint and stretching it did not cause the injury.
      I would only do this if you are comfortable doing it. You can also have some one you trust like a massage therapist or your sports medicine vet do these flexibility checks. I try to get my dogs into a massage therapist that I trust once a month when competing and training regularly. I recommend my sports clients check in with me every 3-4 months to get checked.
      If you want to try doing the flexibility checks yourself, I recommend starting with just bending and straightening each leg and not doing any extension or abduction of the shoulders or hips.

    • Lynne Bockelman says:

      I am very careful with my Shelties too. They have incredibly high pain tolerance and level of trust. My first Sheltie had a badly broken leg, but he would let me and the vet move it without even a whimper or a head turn. Now I watch for very subtle changes like a squinting eye blink. Our current PT person is super gentle and observant.

      • Coach Leslie says:

        Yes, you do have to get comfortable noticing the subtle changes. It would be very difficult to cause an injury unless there was already a weakness or injury present. Never do anything you aren’t comfortable doing. That is when you seek out a professional just like you did by finding an awesome PT.

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