Succeeding in Dog Agility Takes Down Time
In a goal driven society it is hard to understand that down time will actually make you a better athlete. You will see it throughout all different venues of sports from football to horse racing. There is a time for training and pushing to get to the peak performance at the right time. And there is a time for cutting loose and checking out.
Dog agility isn’t any different. There are those that are purest, nothing but agility and there are those that diversify. Either way, you and your dog need to take a nice long break from agility to allow muscles, joints and minds to heal. Micro tears and damage to muscles and tendons need 6-8 weeks of rest, but that doesn’t mean bed rest. Doing cross training allows rest for the body from one set of workout while building another set.
Sometimes the weather forces a break from agility with extreme weather or constant inclement weather. Take the time off with gladness knowing you and your dog will come back stronger both physically and mentally. Yes, you may have to take time to recondition but overall you both will be better off with a rest. Again, that doesn’t mean you have to lay around. You can do other events like herding, obedience, rally, earth dog, running, or hiking to name a few.
If you get caught indoors you can do mind games with your dog like hide-and-seek, snuffle mats, food games at feeding time, and puzzles. You can work on body awareness, tricks and freestyle elements. In short, use your imagination and be creative with your dog’s training it will keep everyone fresh and loving the sport instead of getting bored and sour.