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I think it is important to warm up a retriever and slowly cool him down,
just like it is with human athletes...especially us older athletes.


Warm up may reduce the risk of injury, especially with older retrievers.

Stretching by having the lab chase a bumper in a figure 8 pattern through the legs is great fun for most retrievers...that is my last routine to stretch muscles after warming up.

Cool down slowly to lessen lactic acid in muscles...


Here is a youtube video from an expert:
 

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It's just like high school wrestlers, before practice we stretch, and have started to enlist the help of the school yoga teacher to help us for an hour before practice, less injuries, the more "warm" feeling, and I get to break my camo yoga pants out. As for a cool down a mile jog around the track and some light stretching prevents that tight muscle, lathargic feeling the morning after. All of this is transferable to our dogs, when you take them of the truck, let them run, give them some happy bumpers, use the bathroom and get them get down to business. After, let them run, play, give them some happy bumpers, for the next 3-5 dogs, it does the same for them as it would for you. I find it true, if you treat them like high proformance athletes, they will preform better and save you in preventable vet bills.
 
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