The Role of Positive Training in Rehabilitation

by Cathryn Adolph, LVT

A little cookie goes a long way…Kona

In our office, we use positive training to teach our patients new behaviors with specific form and proper posture.  These behaviors are targeted at improving strength, balance, and/or proprioception (body awareness).  The pet needs to pay attention to what their body is doing.  We use a combination of targeting, luring, shaping, and molding using positive reinforcement.

In rehabilitation and fitness conditioning, negative or force based philosophy of dog training is avoided.  When we use force, often the dog does not really “learn” or pay attention to what their body is doing and the form is frequently incorrect.  A fearful pet can become difficult to work with if a technician continues to force the pet to perform an exercise.  If bad enough, the pet may avoid the exercise, the people, or equipment involved all together. Continue…

The Puppy Winter Time Blues

vinny-enjoying-the-sled-rideby Janelle Allen, LVT

Winter Fitness Tips for Your Pet

Winter time brings many challenges. We tend to be less active and it can affect our mood negatively. Our pets can experience the same thing and don’t get as much exercise either. This can often lead to cabin fever, or the winter time blues, for our pets, as well as weight gain and possible injury come spring. They also lack the mental stimulation from running, playing, and exploring outside, which may cause a more depressed attitude. After a winter of inactivity, muscles can atrophy (lose tone and mass). When the weather finally turns nice, our pets can injure themselves chasing after toys or those pesky squirrels.

Think of a professional athlete; they train during the off-season to keep in shape but also to prevent injury when they get back to the regular season. Though our pets may not be high performance athletes, the same concept applies to them as well. Keeping your pet active during the winter months will help to keep them happy and healthy. To help with this goal, we’ve put together a list of tips for winter fitness. Continue…