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Sofie says Happy New Year!

Have you noticed your dog’s behavior change after adding a new dog to the household? After a traumatic event? Sofie experienced both when a new vibrant puppy, Hunter, joined the family.

Happy New Year from Sofie
Happy New Year from Sofie!

Let’s meet Sofie

This graceful 7-year old Standard Poodle is primarily a house pet. She loves to practice Lure Coursing, Agility and Herding. Sofie aims to please her humans, showing off all the tricks she knows. She’s so spoiled that she actually gets her hair braided daily by Grandma. Sofie also has a wardrobe, because what poodle doesn’t?!

Is your dog shy or aloof?

Behavior changes can take many directions. A sweet dog can become reactive, shy, aggressive or aloof. Behavior changes may come on slowly. These dogs often have areas of pain that may not show up as lameness. Back pain. Old trauma.

Seeing changes in your dog’s activity level or behavior?

Hunter, being a young playful pup, body slammed Sofie awhile back. The physical injuries including trauma to her thigh have visibly healed but since that experience she has not wanted to play. She remains aloof.

How do you read Sofie’s Body Language?
How do you read Sofie’s Body Language?


New Year’s Resolutions for 2015

 Resolution #1: The Examination

Don’t ignore behavior changes in your dog. A thorough examination by a veterinarian passionate about behavior, soft tissue injuries and overall pain management may provide answers.

My examination of Sofie revealed Lumbo-Sacral pain, gluteal & lumbar trigger points as well as pain over her right rib cage (area of Hunter impact).

 Resolution #2: Goals

Set realistic and obtainable goals. Think in progressions. Take your time. I have two immediate goals in mind for Sofie:

  1. Decrease her Pain
  2. Increase her Self-Confidence

 Resolution #3: Behavior Modification through Exercise

Sofie is starting an Exercise Program created to enhance her confidence. This canine exercise program will also add strength and balance components to her routine. Much needed for this awesome dog who used to play hard but now limits herself to short walks.

 Workout of the Week: Cookie Stretches for Confidence Building

Sofie warms up on DogTread Dog Treadmill
Sofie warms up on DogTread Treadmill

Warm Up: Walk on DogTread Treadmill x 10 minutes

Main Set: Cookie Stretches* x 5 repetitions
Lure head to shoulder and hip.
Lure head to elbow and stifle (knee)
Lure head to front foot and hind foot
Repeat to other side
Lure head between front legs.

Sofie will progress to learn this exercise without luring.

Equipment: FitPAWS K9FITbone and Giant Disc

Cool Down: Walk on DogTread Treadmill x 10 minutes

*As always, encouraging good form enhances return to function

Move through each position slowly.


Sofie - in gait

Stay tuned for Sofie Updates

Our FitPAWS and DogTread exercise program will challenge Sofie over the next several months. Often dogs attempt to do more than their body strength is ready for. Keep that in mind when starting exercise programs with your dog. Encourage good form during each exercise.

 January is National Train your Dog Month.

What a great way to bring in the New Year! As a member of The Association of Professional Dog Trainers, I encourage you to better understand your pet’s behavior and behavior changes.

 For further information:

Sofie’s New Years Resolution Behavior Modification through Exercise


Dr-Kerry_FisherAbout the Author: Kerry Fisher, DVM, CCRP ~ your Canine Fitness Expert. Throughout her career as a veterinarian, Dr. Fisher has focused on “Pre-hab and Rehab” for animals, pioneering therapeutic & conditioning exercises with FitPAWS Equipment. She owns Canine Rehab ~ Canine Fitness Unleashed!, a Colorado based Canine Gym with Injury Prevention and Canine Rehabilitation services. She has a passion for and experience with Sports Medicine for sporting, search & rescue, performance, working and hunting dogs. Dr. Kerry also has unique concepts for working with senior canine fitness, weight management, pain management, and behavior modification through exercise. She provides educational hands-on seminars and workshops worldwide. Do you want to take your dog’s fitness to another level? Let’s Get in Touch for a Fitness Assessment and Coaching for your dog. Dr. Kerry uses the DogTread Treadmill-Gait4Dog integrated software system for early Lameness Detection and monitoring the progress your dog is making during the course of rehabilitation. Injury prevention is key! Dr. Fisher is an athlete herself, enjoying endurance triathlons, mountain biking, bicycle touring, backpacking and telemark skiing. She biked, camped and toured 4,000 miles across the Northern Tier of the USA with her yellow Labrador, Mr. Mitchell. 2015 brings some challenging events to her plate: Ironman Arizona (140.6 mile event) and Leadville 100 mountain bike race (103 mile race at 10,000 feet+ elevation). As founder of Grit Gals, Kerry blogs to share her training tactics for these intense races. Human Fitness and Canine Fitness intertwined – to help you and your dogs reach your goals.



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