Norm is a highly successful agility dog, competing locally and at the national level. (Picture by Kelly Bove.)
Lately, his performance has not been up to his normal level. In fact, his right rear leg has been hampering him a bit (though, you do need a trained eye to see it).
Lots of the local agility people know Norm's person, Donna, because they train with her.
Norm had his first rehab session at KVet this past week.
Since Donna is an accomplished dog trainer, she wanted to be involved in the session too.
So, for starters, we used only the equipment that Donna and Norm have at home.
A Bosu ball. This allows us to train a wide variety of strength and balance exercises by incorporating the Bosu ball into many different activities that Norm was ready to offer. Norm is VERY cheese-motivated!
A stability disk. By adding this inflatable disk to the activities we started with the Bosu ball, we could really get Norm to concentrate and work much harder. It is always a challenge to work with such a fit patient to find ways the will challenge and engage him.
Lastly, we used a set of Pods. These small, domed balance devices allowed us to start to engage Norms opposite side front and rear legs (i.e. left front with right rear). Again, here we are finding ways to improve Norm's strength, coordination and performance.
By using this limited array of equipment, we are able to design a program for Norm that he and Donna can work on at home.
It is not always about using the most exotic equipment. It is, however, always about designing a program that will get the patient to a better place.
I am looking forward to our continuing work with Norm. I am confident that we will see a notable improvement in his agility performance!