Exercise 10 & 11

Exercise 10
Sit to stretch forward
Super important stregth and stretching exercise for agility dogs. Helps protect their illiosopsas, which is a muscle that goes across their hips and in to lower back. It's a muscle that agility dogs very often strain so that's why it's so important to do what we can to prevent that. 
Start them up on a board in 2o2o and then ask for a sit and reward that. Make sure they sit with square hips. Then lure them as far forward as they will come, without taking their back feet off. You want to try and mark and reward at that point where they are about to come off. You might see, just one foot is still on but the other is about to come off. I add a stretch cue in while I'm doing this. As they progress and get used to this exercise, you will want them to stretch more and more forward. You need the back legs to extend right out. You need to picture the muscle they are stretching is coming from the lower back and goes down the front of the leg over the hip. So if their back legs aren't much further back than if they were standing on the ground, they aren't stretching at all. 
Dogs that are tight in these muscles, often get arched or roached in the lower back. The short muscles are pulling their hips under a bit.
Make sure when you release them off the board, they aren't in the extended position as they will have trouble getting their back feet back under in time and could land awkwardly. I always release back in the sit position.  
What is this working? 
Both stretches and stregthens the illosopsas or hip flexor muscles. 
How many reps? 
Build up to 5 - 10 reps. 
How to make this more advanced?
You can take this on to a peanut, once they are doing it great on a stable surface
Exercise 11
Opposite leg balances
For any dogs that hate you touching their feet, this is a hard one to start with. You could try just rewarding picking up individual feet at first. 
Pay particular attention, to where I tell you to hold the dogs legs and what position. Their form is super important and relies on you to hold them the right way to get it. Far too many people, hold the dogs legs out too far forwad or out to the side and it all has to be in line as I explain. Also, concentrate on you not holding them very much at all. Most of it should be them balancing and you will be able to feel that. 
What is this working? 
While this works some core, it is also working tiny stabilising muscles. Also is a great way for you to find if they are suddenly not wanting to use a particular leg for some reason, if they are great and then appear not to be able to do one side. 
How many reps?
Start out very short holds, but build up to 10 sec holds each side and 5 times each side. 
How to make this more advanced?
Once they are great on the ground you can do this on a peanut, or with a balance disc under the front and a second one under the back. Also can be done with all four feet on pods but make sure to position the pods in a good position for their bodies. 

77-85 Quail St 

Cedar Vale Q 4285

0403 295 501


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