As requested by our friends at Pitlandia, here are some of the stretches we learned:
Donut Stretch: loosens up the spine, back muscles and core
1. Have your dog sit facing away from you. I found it helpful to put my feet at either side of Ed's back end. Taking a treat in your right hand, put it in front of your dog's nose.
3. Bring your hand down in an arc to your dog's bottom.
4. Reward and repeat on other side.
Figure-Eight: loosens up the spine, back muscles and core
1. Have your dog sit at a "heel" on your left side.
2. Taking a treat in your right hand, put it in between your legs, lure your dog through and around your right leg.
3. With a treat in your left hand, lure your dog through and around your left leg.
4. Reward and reverse.
What I found really interesting is that each dog had a strong side and a weak side. As most of you probably have a "side," we always walk Ed on the left. So whenever he checks in with us, he looks over his right shoulder. Over time, the muscles on the right shorten and the muscles on the left elongate, causing limited flexibility in their "short side."
For agility purposes especially, our trainer suggeted practicing walking the pooch on both sides. We've been trying this with Ed & Tess, but we end up looking like a comic strip with the amount of tangling that occurs.
Do you do any pre-activity warmups with your pooches?