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Thread: Warm up exercises?

  1. #1
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    Default Warm up exercises?

    Some posts on a few threads regarding soundness, touched on the importance of good warm up before running a dog. As a once horse person, I surely know I would not take a horse out of a trailer and run a cross country course without a systematic and focused warm up. Yet you see all the time, dogs taken off the truck, put on the line to run a big triple or quad, or even in the case of very young dogs a double over hard ground. Because we are having to move slowly with our young chessie and in order to keep Indy as sound and fit as he is, I really would like to learn some "warm up" ideas. Are there any books, specific exercises that have worked, that might demonstrate a routine? Or is a good walk at heel good enough?
    Carol,
    Owned and handled by Cruisin' with Indiana Jones, JH
    Alternate Handler: Westwind Buffalo Soldier
    Apprentice Handler: Snake River Medicine Man, JH
    http://newhoperetrievers.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bud Bass's Avatar
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    Fun bumpers are always a good start. Bud
    Bud Bass, aka akblackdawg

    "Your life today is a result of your attitude and the decisions you made yesterday. Your life tomorrow will be the result of your attitude and the decisions you make today." unknown

  3. #3
    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    I have a consistent routine each dog does when coming out of the van. After the mini-exit part which leads to having an e-collar and leash placed on them at the van, the dog does a quick OB drill. This consists of one step heel & sit, two steps heel & sit, three steps heel & sit. Then, the dog is heeled (loose leash) to an airing area at varying walking speeds. The leash is taken off as the dogs sits quietly until released. If any part of the routine is not done correctly, they start over.

    Once at the "area", the dog is allowed to run free and air for a minute or two. After airing and stretching their legs a bit, the dog is put back on leash and the "one through three" heel/sit routine is repeated. At this point, the dog moves to holding blinds (most of the time) and works toward the running line.

    I train twice a day quite often. Since I train alone, there is no rush. I spend a considerable amount of time "getting to the line". This routine is the beginning of every session.

    note: I do not use multiple holding blinds for most drills.
    Last edited by KwickLabs; 04-19-2009 at 10:37 AM.
    Jim Boyer www.kwicklabs.com
    MPR UH HRCH Kwick Taffey of Joemac's MH
    HR Kwick Daisy's Spirit Keeper SH
    Kwick Kooly Dew It Allstar SH
    HR Kwick Draw McGraw SH (June, 2007 - May, 2014)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    There's a lot of articles about warming up agility dogs, stretching, etc. A more general one and similar to what I do at tests, inserting fun bumpers for the short fast movements if I can find somewhere along the road to do it, off test grounds, otherwise, just walk/jog/walk, helps the nerves too.

    "Warm up your canine
    before heavy exercise
    WE can take a racing greyhound as an example. When the race starts and the dog is released from the starting box it reaches a speed of 60 kilometres an hour in a few seconds. If the dog has not warmed up and the tissues are not prepared for exertion there is considerable risk of strain and other injuries. Working dogs, agility dogs and regular family dogs are also often exposed to sudden, extensive pressure in their work or during lively play in the exercise yard. Another example is putting the dog into a cold car in the winter and then letting it out to run around and play.

    By warming up we mean getting warm through activity and increasing the temperature in the musculature. The increase in blood flow allows the muscles to absorb nutrients more easily. The speed of nerve impulses causing muscles to contract increases and the dog is able to run faster. A sound warm up does not tire the dog but rather increases blood circulation and warms up the muscles ensuring that the joints are lubricated and more supple. The dog is then ready to perform more demanding physical exertion without running the risk of injury.

    How to do it
    Warming up (regular family dogs) can involve walking with the dog on the lead for 15-20 minutes before allowing it to run freely. In this way the muscles soften up and and are ready for physical activity. Competive and working dogs could warm up in a more goal-oriented way. Here is a check list that could be used before the exercise:

    Let the dog walk slowly for a while and then increase the tempo for 2-3 minutes.
    Let the dog trot for 2-3 minutes.
    Let the dog gallop for one minute.
    Then let the dog make some short explosive moves.
    Let the dog wind down a little by going back to trotting and then walking. (I also strongly recommend that you allow your dog to wind down after the exercise before any stretching activities.)
    As a dog owner there is nothing we can do to prevent all accidents. However, we can prevent muscle-related problems and strain injuries by warming up our dogs regularly.

    Under these conditions the dog can access optimal gait and stretch to its full length. This keeps the dog well- balanced physically and psychologically, allowing it to retain the agility of the young dog to an advanced age. Warming up should be an automatic element in the health care, a complement to your dog's daily exercise, obedience training and diet, and are suitable for all dogs regardless of breed, age or size. - Jörn Oleby, author of the book Canine Massage and Stretching – A Dog Owner's Manual. www.amazon.co.uk or www.amazon.com."
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs

  5. #5
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    I would think that throwing fun bumpers would tend to cause a dog to burst after it before it has warmed up. I like what Kim posted.

    I know that Bobby George does a pretty good pre-run warm up with the dogs on his truck. Maybe one of his groupies could elaborate?

    John

  6. #6
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    Good stuff Kim. I do not do fun bumpers with Indy, due to control and excitement issues. I have run several short blinds prior to running a set up, but that is not really a very systematic warm up, and besides, the younger dog isn't doing them yet. I like the start and stop idea, walking at different speeds, but how can the dog gallop for one minute under control? I sure can't run that fast!
    Carol,
    Owned and handled by Cruisin' with Indiana Jones, JH
    Alternate Handler: Westwind Buffalo Soldier
    Apprentice Handler: Snake River Medicine Man, JH
    http://newhoperetrievers.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2tall View Post
    Good stuff Kim. I do not do fun bumpers with Indy, due to control and excitement issues. I have run several short blinds prior to running a set up, but that is not really a very systematic warm up, and besides, the younger dog isn't doing them yet. I like the start and stop idea, walking at different speeds, but how can the dog gallop for one minute under control? I sure can't run that fast!
    Neither can I, trot is the best we do on lead. That's why the fun bumpers after they're warmed up. Some of my dogs are pretty high and particularly ones working on steadiness, I mix in them having to wait for release or a true fun bumper, they know the difference by the keywords I use. The more wound of a dog, the more I wear them out with a bumper, they just aren't going to get enough at a HT doing 2-3 marks and a couple blinds, especially if they've had to wait forever in the holding blinds. I find it calms (I'll use that term loosely since some have seen my wild things) the higher ones, not make them more so at the line, at least none have broken yet. Some of them I was trying to keep such a tight reign on all the time because of poor line manners, it seemed to backfire, I figured we couldn't do any worse by letting off some steam beforehand. Usually, the a.m. airing will involve a lot of bumpers before we ever get to the test grounds, I find a field on the way to stop and do that, since we'll have been in the vehicle for 2-3 hours. Once at the test, before the dog runs, I take her out and do the walking/trotting on lead.
    Kim Pfister, Rainmaker Labs

  8. #8
    Senior Member ErinsEdge's Avatar
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    Dave Ward always lets the dogs warm up with a good run and air in groups before he starts training and when arriving at a training grounds. He also has no dogs on the top of the truck. I don't remember any dogs having acl surgery on his truck either.
    Nancy P



    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

  9. #9
    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    When racing harness horses, the warmup routine we put our horses through was extensive.

    I don't remember ever seeing any dogs doing anything remotely close to that at any hunt test or field trial. In ten years, I've never had a dog "go down" or any tendon, ligament, bone or muscle injury in training, testing or hunting......not even a limp. Forget I said that.

    However, I do "road" my dogs often and train most every day. I do not use fun bumpers to warm up!

    I've had dogs step on or run into things.....but those don't count.
    Jim Boyer www.kwicklabs.com
    MPR UH HRCH Kwick Taffey of Joemac's MH
    HR Kwick Daisy's Spirit Keeper SH
    Kwick Kooly Dew It Allstar SH
    HR Kwick Draw McGraw SH (June, 2007 - May, 2014)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mark Littlejohn's Avatar
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    After last year's CCL and Achilles injuries, we were advised to loosen and warm those areas up after airing (no "bursty" running), by doing a short tosses (5'), and "air tosses". That is, have the dog stretch his rear tendons by going more "up" than out to catch a soft bumper in mid-air. We're talking wasit-high here, no circus hoop jumps.

    ml

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