dog-stretching-downWe spend a lot of time talking about how to get our dogs into shape and how to keep them from straining themselves, but sometimes it’s the handler who needs the most help!  Remember to stretch before starting agility course running, and after as well! Use the time to practice your dogs’ down and sit stays, or just talk to him, getting him quietly focused on you. It will save your joints and tendons, and you’ll get a much better work out from your agility!  

Another tip is to take a quick, brisk walk with your dog before you make your run, and after you’ve both stretched a little. (See here and here for stretches for you and your dog).  Don’t just take your dog out of his cage and onto the course!  warm up with him, but don’t wear out.  Five to ten minutes of walking with him will get him ready to go.  Then do the practice jump, stretch one last time, and head onto the course! 

You’ll enjoy your agility more, and derive more benefits from it if you simply follow these tips.  Your dog will be less likely to be injured, and more likely to be ready and rarin’ to go as he steps on course!