The Journey Continues…

April 1, 2017 8:34 pm

In a previous blog post, I introduced the start of my journey and the incredible opportunity I have to be hitting the road and delivering a series of talks on the many benefits of veterinary physiotherapy – whether that could be to improve the quality of life for your dog for as long as possible, or to enhance performance during agility training. I have definitely been keeping myself busy with two further talks at Wallingford Dog Training Club on 13th March, and Wundermutts Dog Training Club in Binfield on the 15th.

I would like to be able to say that the butterflies disappear a little more each time I deliver my talk, but it was a particularly fantastic turn out at Wallingford with the crowd being an exceptionally large one! Luckily this is a subject that I absolutely love talking about and the more I present the talks the more I find myself enjoying the whole experience.

For me, the most enjoyable element of my talks is definitely the Q&A session – I really can’t wait to hear all about your own dogs, and offer help and advice wherever possible. The Wallingford crowd asked some great questions, which led to a fantastic discussion. In particular, one member shared her experience of the challenges of managing her 6 month old Border Collie puppy who sounds like a rather adorable bundle of energy. He loves to run as fast as he can, as far as he can, and for as long as he can! Part of my talk does touch upon ‘the younger dog’ and how to keep them healthy whilst they are still skeletally immature, thereby giving them the best opportunity to develop a strong skeleton.

I tend to agree with the recommendation of using a ratio of five minutes exercise per month of age, so 15 minutes twice a day at 3 months old and so on until the puppy is fully grown. This really is important to adhere to as you may risk affecting the development of your dog’s growth plates, thereby potentially giving rise to joint problems later in life. I totally understand that this can be tricky with a particularly energetic puppy but luckily it seems that mental exercises were achieving good results, and more importantly, a tired puppy! General dog training exercises can also be your saviour here, and I show some great videos throughout my talks that can help in this situation, among others.

 

Next on our roadshow was Wundermutts Dog Training on Wednesday 15th March. A last minute change of venue meant that I needed to think outside the box to fashion a makeshift screen to show the videos using an agility dog walk, but all in the name of fun and good to keep me on my toes! The format of the talk was more of a Q&A session which was fantastic for me. Some lively and entertaining debate with a wonderful and energetic group of attendees meant that we quickly forgot how cold it was!

There were some brilliant questions relating to the agility dog and I was able to share some of my own stories relating to my experience in treating agility dogs. We also had some great discussion about developing core strength and lots of conversation around defining when a dog is skeletally mature (it really is very much dependent upon the breed of dog, but generally 15 – 22 months with smaller breeds maturing earlier than large and giant breeds).

A big thank you to everyone who attended either of the talks. In particular I would like to thank you all for your considered questions and for sharing your ideas, for bringing such great energy and enthusiasm, and of course for making both evenings exceptionally fun! I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you all.

It’s always lovely to get nice feedback, and Niki, the lead dog trainer at Wundermutts posted this on Facebook following the event:

“Thank you so much for our club talk this evening. Due to a last minute change of venue it was a bit chillier than planned but we all had such a great night. Learnt so much and opened my eyes to a few things.
All my club members loved it and are asking when the next one is!
Thank you”

The feeling is totally mutual Niki and we would love to come back for another talk soon.

After a busy few weeks, we’re not relaxing just yet though and we have more events scheduled in the coming weeks.

Keep checking back here for more updates, and hopefully I will see you at an event in the future! If you would like us to visit your dog club, then please drop me a note on kim@theralph.vet.

Thanks as always for reading,

Kim

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