Do you have a ring and show routine? Do you need one?

Routines provide us with comfort, control, and can reduce stress levels. They help us relax and can reduce anxiety. Think about how it feels for you, to be thrown out of your normal routine. It can be stressful for some of us! Now think about this happening when you are in a new and strange place. That's uncomfortable, or even scary.

It can be the same with our dogs. Routines can help provide comfort, especially in new environments. It's important to note that like everything with our dogs, this is an individual thing - routines can be less important for some dogs, and have more of an impact with other dogs.

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What is flexibility, and why does it matter?

Flexibility is the ability of muscles (and muscle groups) to lengthen and move a joint through range of motion. Mobility is the ability of a joint to move through range of motion. Movement is a complex marriage of biology: joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, neurological input and control, pain, medical conditions and medications, and behaviour. So it's important that we are aware of all the different things that can impact movement. 

Here's the thing — without flexibility, and strength, bodies are not good at mobility! To move fluidly to the end of a range of motion for a joint the muscle has to comfortably lengthen to it's full extension, and then needs the strength, power, and control to shorten and create flexion.

Flexibility can be a gamechanger for sports dogs, both in the positive aspect and the negative. A dog that vastly lacks flexibility can have a huge impact on being physically able to perform some movements and skills. A dog with too much flexibility can get sore, and easily injured as the joints lack support.

Think about our sports skills. These are complex both in terms of learning and understanding, but also biomechanically what our dogs need to do with their body.

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Have a dog on crate rest? Here's how to keep you both sane.

All dogs at some time need confinement to a crate, or an X-pen for recovery. Rest and a reduction in physical movements are required to enable the body to heal, and recover.

Keeping dogs calm, and occupied over this period is not only vital to their recovery, but their mental health. We don't want sad confined dogs, or conversely dogs confined and going stir crazy.

It's important to note here that you should always consult your dogs healthcare professional if you are unsure if a certain activity is suitable for your dog and it's circumstances. 

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