I have found that the main load-bearing points of a dog’s frame – just in front of their pelvis, just behind their shoulder-blades and at this Thoracic articulation point can often be stiff or tight, even when the dog is not showing obvious discomfort. Canine Bowen Technique can help to keep your agility partner in top shape when used as a regular maintenance tool to prevent a tightness in their muscles becoming an actual injury.
The agility dog, in his or her enthusiasm, will use their body to extremes. Whilst their bodies are flexible, a fast dog will go from fully tucked under on the point of take-off. . .
The dog in the photographs was 18 months old and was not then expert at judging his distances – but he was putting everything into his work!
You can easily see the coiling and extension of his body. The following photo shows the eager young dog twisting his body whilst at full stretch in order to negotiate the jump.
Landing at speed, especially if there has to be a change of direction and the dog is asked to land short, can place a huge load on the articulation point in their spine in the Thoracic region. The photo shows how much flexibility can be required.
The final photo shows the flexibility needed for a good weave technique, with a perfect line through the body for each pole negotiated – the muscle groups along a dog’s back working overtime!