Without knowing it, your dog is practicing proprioception every day. The richer his environment, the more he works his gymnastics and the more he improves his reflexes. Our sports coach presents the canine proprioception guide made in Zoomalia. What is it exactly? It is the conscious or unconscious perception of parts of one’s body that exists in all animals and humans. It will allow your dog to better control your body, its movements in space, the goal being to better perceive the different body parts in order to use them better.
The majority of dogs are unaware of their hindquarters, moreover, they do not separate the front legs from the rear legs, although they control their body, they advance on their legs automatically. Your role is to help it understand this mechanism, the presence and coordination of its members. A dog well trained and prepared for the practice of a dog sport, using equipment specific to dog sports such as dog-dancing, obedience, agility, clicker training tricks … will certainly have less risk of injury. Here, the exercises offered to do at home are based on balance, imbalance, coordination, perception and fitness. To learn all about canine proprioception, follow our sports guide specially reserved for your dog.
Guide to canine proprioception: the essential role of the master
You should know that the master contributes to success some exercice. With each victory, you have to reward your dog, and especially not to do it if this one did not pass the test.
Little by little, proprioception develops with age and your animal will inevitably evolve. It’s okay if he doesn’t get the exercise right the first time, it requires regular training and a lot of patience and availability on your part.
Initiate the puppy by socialization and the exploration of different supports and textures will improve its proprioceptive functioning. He will become more agile and will have more facilities to practice certain sports activities.
Not all breeds are created equal when it comes to proprioception. Some dogs are heavier than others, more clumsy, or have more ease on the contrary. Character also influences the aptitude for proprioception depending on the excited or calmer temperament of the dog. Some will be more careful than others and will avoid crashing into a door or hitting an obstacle.
The countless benefits of proprioception
If you train your dog in proprioception, you will find many benefits on his state of health, his behavior and his obedience. She allows to :
- delay aging on the dog’s organism;
learn toilet skills faster in a puppy;
stretching, gaining flexibility and stability;
release tension and reduce physical pain;
act on motor disorders;
prevent injuries (flexion or extension of limbs, jumps);
improve physical performance (better agility, leap over a hurdle, run and manage a tight turn, catch a Frisbee in the air, slow your momentum or manage your weight on a descent).
For example, your dog may better catch up following a slip and better manage your build while climbing a mountain or descending a hill at full speed. Thus, by dint of repetitions, it maintains its muscle mass and optimizes the range of movements.
Exercises to do without equipment
You should not focus only on the legs but on other parts of your body such as the upper part. Here are some simple exercises to do without the need for special accessories.
- sit, stand, step sideways in one direction and then in the other;
Knowing how to back up on climbs, descents, and stairs helps to become aware of his hindquarters;
stay still and move your head forward only, turn right and left;
lift the legs and maintain balance;
turn in all directions or around a tree, the master, a chair;
slalom between the legs, change of direction and pace (trot, step);
show off or curtsy;
catch the treats on the fly (you may already be doing this).
It is recommended to train on different surfaces: a mattress, a gym mat, in the grass, in the water, on the sand or snow or on dry land.
A workout from head to foot
There are different types of materials for train proprioception. Here are a few well-known among experts.
the balanceboard allows you to exercise your sense of balance. After putting in a lot of effort, your dog may be able to hold on. The use of non-slip pads called fitpaws, a balance pad, a flat or inflated disc are similar accessories that work the dog’s balance.
You can equip yourself with studs, hoops, a ladder on the ground, a gym ball, a balance disc, giant mikados (bars scattered on the ground), plastic boxes or rigid cardboard boxes which consist in introducing the paw to the floor. inside or on the contrary put it on it to rotate around. These trainings are more or less difficult for the dog, the important thing is the repetition without stress.
In order to complete the prowess of your animal and to accompany it as well as possible, consider using a dressage rod or targate. This stick with a ball at the end is used to teach him to touch it with the tip of the nose or his front paws. The anti-targate is touching it with another part of its body, its hind legs for example. Finally, the click is a tool that promotes positive reinforcement of learning your dog, to associate with a greedy reward. The sound of the click will soon be associated with the fact that he has obeyed and passed his exercise followed by a delicious and well-deserved treat.
TO KNOW ! Adopt it canine proprioception guide by following our tailor-made training for your dog or by practicing in a dog club or with the help of a specialized dog trainer. Supervision by a professional is always preferable. You improve your dog’s health, its well-being and strengthen the bonds that unite you. Well done, keep it up …