Laurie's Blogs.


Dec 2012

Exercise Critique & Comment on Exercise Progression

Hi Laurie,

I have been doing the motor control & timing exercise almost every day with Dexi, as often as I could. It seems to vary: stimulating either glutes OR quads appears to help. I cannot be sure that I am doing it as a physio would, so we do the best we can. Normally I do this before my exercises; today we did it outside, after the exercises.

(Note from Laurie – I uploaded this video, with permission, to my own YouTube Channel for easier watch-ability.) 

I also added the postural exercise on the cinderblocks, as Dexi’s roach seems to be getting more permanent. Two pods, one for front and one for rear and slowly moving them further apart.

Then I looked at your video with the two heavy stones with great interest. How would you work up to this exercise? Number of minutes of air disc or number of seconds in three-leg stand?  Work on lower bricks first?

I have a collection of stools and farm feeders and discs, and both dogs have done a lot of rear leg awareness exercises since they were puppies so thankfully this works in our favor now. 

Kind Regards, 

Susanne (Dexi and Georgie)


Hi Susanne,

I am just getting around to watching your videos today.

My only comment regarding your motor control and timing exercises, would be to tap a bit more vigorously.  

You are trying to get a reflex contraction of the muscle underneath - so you need to be somewhat aggressive with your pressure.

In the video of you doing the exercise with Dexi, I would say he might be cheating.  Lifting the leg up (i.e. flexing the hip) CAN be a method of cheating for the dog (as it activates a more forceful abdominal contraction versus a slow steady postural contraction).

Try being more vigorous / aggressive with your tapping/squeezing, and work on the slow drag backwards off the ground.  

In regards to using the concrete block posture exercise - the height doesn’t matter... it is just a stimulus to not sit down or be lazy.

I think you could start this as an exercise at any time... likely a good one to get puppies used to!

As far as ’how long’... I think you’d have to try it and see when you start to get fatigue.

It’s not the kind of exercise that will cause muscle damage / micro-tearing... so your only fear is continuing on past the fatigue point.

Therefore, you could exercise in this manner up to that point and/or a point where you see that the animal is struggling / working very hard to continue.

Then stop.  You might try a few sets - getting to this point, and that would be good enough for building endurance.

In fact, when you add the air disc, you change the purpose of the exercise a bit - it becomes dynamic stability... whereas just standing on the blocks is static stability.

So, they are two different things.

To be very regimented, a dog should have static stability before dynamic stability.

So a progress would be Concrete block standing (gradually getting farther apart), progress to 3-leg stands (on land, or then on the blocks - spread a bit further apart)), then progress to 3-leg stands with an air disc / any sort of unstable object.... 

I hope this helps!