When dogs show abnormalities in gait, it is often difficult and lengthy to improve these non-physiological movements. Particularly after operations or chronic diseases such as osteoarthritis, lameness, malpositions and relieving postures develop suddenly or insidiously. The longer these persist, the more difficult it is to train healthy movement patterns. This is because the brain considers the current movements as normal and “healthy”. In addition, everyday movements are automated, i.e. without the dog thinking about it. Improve gait in the dog
Step training is an integral part of my online courses and I explain why: Improving gait in dogs
With the step walking the gait of the dog is sustainably improved. Movements are perceived more consciously. This is due to the fact that everyday movements are reeled off automatically by the brain. If they are performed at a slower pace, the brain perceives this and thus movement sequences can be improved step by step. In dog physiotherapy, this is often used for diseases of the musculoskeletal system and after operations.
Step Training – what does it mean exactly?
Step Training looks extremely boring at first glance. But it is not. For our dogs it is even very demanding. It means that he goes slowly and step by step. Since step training is very strenuous for your dog, you should start with very short sessions – 10-15 seconds is enough in the beginning. To do this, lead your dog on a leash next to you and make sure that he really walks at a pace. Dogs rarely and unwillingly do this, because it is exhausting – for the body and the head. The surface should be level and non-slip. Asphalt, however, I would avoid as it is rather harmful to the joints and dogs with joint problems often feel pain in their joints there. Improve gait in the dog
The self-test – try it out for yourself!
You are welcome to test it yourself and consciously move very slowly step by step. It’s pretty exhausting, or so it is for our dogs, and that’s why I urge you to regularly do small sessions of step training with your dog – whether during joint fitness training or on a walk. Improve gait in the dog
For whom is the step training suitable? Improve gait in the dog
Basically, I recommend it for any dog. Practicing conscious movements regularly has a fundamentally positive effect on the dog’s movement patterns. It is especially recommended after surgeries to encourage the use of a run again, or if the dog shows lameness or relieving postures for other reasons. Improve gait in the dog
Additional benefit of this exercise: As a dog owner, you can detect abnormalities in your dog’s movements at an early stage.
Why not try it out with your dog right now and let me know in the comments how it worked out!
All the love, your Tina