Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pooch Pilates

Sunday, the Muskoka Agility Dogs descended upon our indoor riding arena for a seminar about Strengthening and conditioning.

Tania Costa took the group through a series of exercises, including analysis of gait and posture; strains produced by various agility apparatus; basic anatomy; and conditioning and strengthening techniques.

It was a fascinating 'closer look' at our best pals. 

Tania is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practioner, among a long list of other credentials.  She is the owner of Canine Wellness Centre Inc. .

She is passionate about the recongition and treatment prevention of injuries in athletic dogs, and believes that core strengthening programs can go a long way to help keep these dogs Game Ready.
I found it fascinating to watch the cross-over between this work and what I do with the horses when we are conditioning them for competition.  I smiled at some of the similarities: Horses do Carrot Stretches, where they reach around for a carrot treat in order to stretch out certain muscle groups. Tania's dogs do Biscuit Stretches.

Then there's the apparatus -- out come the standard Pilates Exercise balls, but along with them are Dog Specific items. Peanuts (which are like balls, only longer, to accommodate a dog lying on top of them); Donuts to balance on not to eat; wobble boards.  Like anything, you need to be using the gear properly.  While the dogs learn to balance they are using all their core muscles, but there is also an opportunity for the handler to position the limbs to ensure correct posture.  Why would that matter?  Dogs running through weave poles, jumping hurdles, or tackling the A-frame in a Trial put tremendous strain on muscles. Couple that with poor posture, and it is a recipe for injury.

The equipment must fit the dog. From tiny little Bandit and Reese to the 'big boys' like Hogan and Harley, and everyone in between, Tania was vigilant to ensure the right size equipment and the correct techniques.

Like people, and like horses, dogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and not all are perfectly conformed. Agility dogs are true athletes, and anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of a vet bill knows it's better to avoid that experience when possible...

This was an excellent learning experience for everyone, two-legged or four-legged, and just one more way to have a whole lot of fun with your dog. Come winter, when the weather is not so much fun for evening walkies, there will be a whole bunch of M.A.D. dogs in the comfort of the living room, balancing on peanuts and wobble boards.

And perhaps the occasional handler as well.  After all, the handlers need to be able to keep up with their dogs!

1 comment:

  1. thanks nancy for the plug..i truly appreciate it and i am glad everyone got so much out of the seminar..