Training and exercising your dog is without question, its own reward! But it is not risk-free. There are common training mistakes made regularly.
Looking at agility dogs, about one in three dogs doing sport suffer a training or sport-related injury. These types of statistics shouldn’t put you off training or exercising your dog though.
To avoid downtime in training or sitting on the sidelines, let’s look at some things that you should avoid.
5 Most Common Mistakes People Make While Training Their Dogs
1: Too many repetitive routines
Most exercise and repeat routines they enjoy. It is super tempting to focus solely on this and neglect other training.
By doing the same activities each time you’ll always engage the same muscles and joints. This can lead to repetitive strain injury and muscle imbalances over time. It can also weaken your dog’s body in areas, making your sports performance less spectacular.
Switch up your training or exercise routines. Give overworked muscles and joints time to rest and recover, preventing overuse injuries.
You need to keep challenging the body. Manipulate repetitions, sets and rest periods. Through working various muscle groups through different angles all add to growth.
2: Not perfecting form
Performing exercises with incorrect technique and form creates the potential for injury.
Always ensure your dog’s form is on-point before progressing to the next stage of an exercise. If your dog is struggling to do a movement using the correct form, it’s a sign you should go one step back.
It can be difficult to get the form right, particularly if you’re in a large class or copying what you see on social media.
It may be worth looking to a personal coach to help perfect the correct form.
3: Incorrect warm-ups
Warm-ups are is vital! Especially if you want to get the most out of your training. Too many people aren’t even doing them.
Many are performing movements that are shown to potentially inhibit performance. A muscle that has been “switched off” in a warm-up increase the risk of injury.
Tailor a warm-up around the specific activity you are going to be performing with your dog. This helps prepare the muscle and joints for activity.
(P.S. Get hold of our Warm-Up and Cool-Down Workshop and immediately you get all you need to know about proper warm-ups and cool-downs for your dog and your sport)
4: Going “all-out” all the time
A ‘go hard or go home’ training attitude has led many to believe we have to train hard all the time to see the benefits. The same is seen with High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT can be awesome, but too many back-to-back workouts can increase your injury risk as it takes a huge toll on your dog’s joints, tendons and ligaments.
Alternate intense sessions with lower intensity activities. You minimise the risk of injury but still reap the benefits of regular training.
5: Failing to rest and recover
After a 5km run or intense training or a 3-day seminar, you may get home and think the job is done. However, it’s vital to consider proper recovery when training is over.
Ensure you don’t skip your cool-down and stretches after a workout. Consider some massage to aid in your recovery and keep joints and muscles supple.
With cooling down and stretching, remember to supplement with quality products.
If your dog regularly suffers from niggles and injuries, medical-grade supplements are vital.