It is a good plan to learn how to support your dog throughout their lifetime and to help them reach their full potential through knowledge and physical therapy. Recently I have had several returnees after a year or more to do exactly that – looking to learn more about how to manage their dog now they are a little more mature.
November 2016 I was invited over to show Mum and daughter how to massage their wonderful Retrievers Asbie and Tor. At that time Asbie was only 1 year old while Tor was 4. The other week I was invited back to give Asbie’s Mum a refresher/top-up lesson appropriate to the fact that that Asbie is no longer a new pup. Mind you, Asbie still thinks he is a new pup. At first he was being a bit of an ‘imp’ as his Mum put it, but after 30 minutes or so he assumed the “I love you Mum” position, looking up at her with that soppy grin as she worked her way through the new massage routine.
Asbie, and brother Tor, now do agility in their garden with weaves and tunnels. But their main activity is Scent Work, once a week for 3 hours. Added to this are 2 daily walks and regular swims all contributing to the amazing condition Asbie is in at 3 years old. These activities are going to help maintain their mobility while daily massage can contribute to support their quality of life.
Asbie has now grown into his body making it easier to see how balanced he is, how strong and toned his muscles are and any areas we need to concentrate on. In fact, he was pretty much perfect and simply needed Mum to adapt the techniques we went through 2 years ago to the increased size and mass of Asbie. As dogs grow, develop and mature, the techniques they like and need, change and adapt.
Asbie adored the new bonding with Mum and her increased knowledge of his body. Just because he is not slowing down yet or showing any signs of discomfort doesn’t mean he won’t benefit from a daily massage routine. Getting it right at the beginning, making these simple changes, being aware of his body, will make all the difference as he matures even more.
The one thing that hadn’t changed over 2 years is the end result – Asbie asleep & relaxed after all that massage. Here’s 2016. Not a lot difference to 2018 really.
Looking forward to meeting him again in 2 years time and checking in with his progress.