No More Running Dog Walks
Those of you reading my blog on a regular basis knows that I've been retraining Poncho's 2on2off performance on the dog walk to a running contact during the winter. You might also know that Poncho is struggling with some muscular-skeletal problems.
The retraining has been going so well. High rate of success, great speed and accuracy. The running contacts training is quite demanding though. Many reps, high speed running and when you have taught a full running dog walk you will have to maintain performance which again leads to lots and lots of running over the dog walk.
Poncho's muscular-skeletal problems is due to his rear end conformation. He has cow hocks, is sickle-hocked and splay-footed (see photo below). Those of you how has been working with horses probably knows how much this affects the animal's gait and overall performance. Poncho compensates tremendously for these disabilities mainly in his shoulders but also in his psoas muscles which are very tight and infiltrated.
Since we started our running contacts training Poncho has been visiting the chiropractor much more frequently than earlier. I have decided that the running contacts just isn't worth it. It is my responsibility to keep my dogs happy, fit and healthy. The training puts to much stress and strain on his body and I rather run agility with him for many years than have a 1.3 sec dog walk performance. Poncho's well-being is the most important thing. This means we are back to 2on2offs. However this decision does not affect his running A-frame.
I am actually quite proud that I've succeed in retraining a 2on2off dog to running contacts though.
The video below shows the last session of our running contacts on full height dog walk, plus some 2on2off training from the weekend.