Agility Dog Training, an Up Close Look: Part 2
We had a great response to last week’s post on agility dog training. This week we present the second part of our interview with Roy and Lilyan Carew, long-time agility dog trainers and competitors in Southern California.
In this part, we hear Lilyan’s philosophies on proper maintenance of the canine athletic body. Just like with humans, a program incorporating proper warm up, cool down, and maintenance are keys to staying in sport for the long haul. Knock on wood, but over the course of the past several years, Lilyan‘s dogs have remained essentially injury free despite the rigorous training and competitions.
Some of the techniques that Lilyan incorporates into her training programs include:
Cool down after agility training
Lilyan takes this seriously, both in terms of lowering the intensity at the end of her training and letting her dogs run around under the sprinkler to literally cool their bodies. Reminds me of what we do after our own hard workouts except we put ice on the worked /sore body parts.
Massage for agility dogs
Massage is a great way to mobilize tissue and break down knots and scar tissue. Just like with people, regularly scheduled massage treatments can really help an athlete stay in sport.
Stretching for agility dogs
Again, like us humans, elongating the muscles and other soft tissues can do wonders for both performance and injury prevention. These agility dogs are going full speed and their muscles are forcefully contracted during the course work and their tendons and ligaments are put under tremendous relative loads. Keeping the soft tissue long and strong is worth the effort.
FloJo on the Course
FloJo Cooling Down
Cooling down, especially in the heat, is also something that the Carew’s take seriously. Watch how FloJo cools down in the sprinklers after a workout. What a riot – looks like fun huh?
Frequency of agility training
For those wondering, we asked Lil about the frequency of training. A normal week will include 4-5 days of agility work and 2-3 days off from the agility specific training. On the off days, she keeps her dogs active with some “chuck it” (fetch) or yard play. The lower intensity off days keep the body moving and the blood flowing while providing adequate rest for both the body and the mind of her canine athletes. I suspect Lilyan need the rest as well. 🙂
Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!