Report: Physio Day with Gillian Barrett!

Gillian’s annual canine physio day was well attended once again, with 15 dogs and their handlers taking part. The popularity of this training session seems to reflect how much more of an understanding and emphasis handlers are now placing on a good warm up and cool down routine for their sport, particularly in agility.

Gillian began the day with a theory lesson – are we able to spot signs of stress or pain in our dogs?

The session was followed with Gillian asking each of us to demonstrate exercises that we might use in a warm up routine before training, competing or simply before letting your dog loose for a run! Some interesting ideas came out and we picked up some new ones along the way.

The afternoon session consisted of some very hands-on practical exercises that aid our dogs in building up their core strength, balance, coordination etc. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the session, getting to play with the ‘toys’: wobble cushions, balance boards, yoga balls, paw-pods, a ‘peanut’ and even an air-bed! Most of these simple items can be bought fairly cheaply (or even improvised – think sofa cushions instead of an air-bed!), but all exercises using them help to build muscle that assists joint stability.

The training day was rounded off with a nice relaxed session with all dogs in the hall receiving some much earned t.l.c in the form of stretching exercises and massage techniques.

Thank you once again to Gillian for her expert advice and to Duke for being the perfect demonstrator and example of the results that can be achieved!

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