Pool or Underwater Treadmill? Which is best for your dog.

My clients and I are extremely fortunate that we have access to both an in-ground pool and an under water treadmill at the swim center where my business is located.  I know…..extremely fortunate.   Since I can offer both types of hydro therapy, I get asked this question literally 10 times a day.

I hope this chart is useful if you are ever trying to figure out which hydro therapy you would like to pursue with your canine.  As always if you have a serious illness or injury, speaking with your Veterinarian or Rehabilitation Therapist is a good place to start.

When reviewing the chart here are some things to consider.  The 10,000 foot view is that the Underwater Treadmill is better for hind end, swimming is a front end activity.  If a dog is recovering from an injury with any muscle atrophy I am going to suggest Underwater Treadmill hands down.  If economics is a factor and you just need some mild conditioning then the pool is your biggest bang for...

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Are we Exercising our Newfoundland Dogs Enough?

I would like to start a dialog in our community about what active exercise really is and if we are doing enough active exercise to achieve our summer goals?

One of the topics that comes across in my DMs and that I witness first hand; including my own Newfoundland, is that our dogs are not able to swim without life jackets.  In a perfect world, we would not have to worry about this, but for Newfoundlands and Portuguese Water Dog water titles they must compete without a life jacket.

I have witnessed first hand that the dogs that are struggling know the behaviors and to be honest like the behaviors.  In my opinion, I think we need to move beyond training competency as the issue and explore what other obstacles exist to achieve our goals.

I want to explore body conditioning as a potential issue that challenges us.  I would also like to add that I personally help condition many, many dogs each week in my own canine swim business and I see many breeds that regularly compete...

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Canine Swim Conditioning Games!

Uncategorized Apr 28, 2020
 

I know summer is around the corner and some of my clients open their pool as early as possible for their beloved canine to swim the summer away.

I wanted to give anyone with a pool four conditioning games for you and your pup to try at home.  Games keep things interesting and increase your canine’s continuous swim time for a better cardio workout.  A swim conditioning plan is also beneficial for body balance and passive stretching.  Swimming is one of the only activities where your dog cannot compensate and has to move its body through all planes of motion.

Do not fret...if you do not have your own pool, we swim clients all year around in Allentown, NJ at Marty’s Place Senior Dog Sanctuary at the Swim Center.

Here is a summary of the four games:

1. Two Toy Game

  • Dog can drop 1st toy to get second toy
  • Dog can give you 1st toy to get second toy

I created a Downloadable Training Plan for the Two Toy Game. Grab the Free PDF Here!

2. Follow the cookie

  • You...
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Three ways to increase water test pass rates!

 

One of my passions is to address the low pass rates in our breed water tests and why this cycle has been going on for so long.  I have seen pass rates for a single test as low as 10%.

I know this is a big topic to take on, but my goal is to identify what is important to the participants and support keeping these tests viable for the future owners and the water breeds that participate in them.

I have Newfoundlands.  I also have many clients with Portuguese Water Dogs.  Some of the same issues cross both breeds.  There are also Labrador Retriever and Leonberger breeds that will participate in these tests when opportunities are open to them.

I am not an advocate for making the current test criteria easier, I am in the camp of educating members on how to properly train the tasks using scientific methods.

I am a Professional Dog Trainer that spends time and money educating myself with the most current scientically supported training methods from many instructors...

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My Why.....her name is Molly

Photo Credit Louis Ruediger

I had a revelation the other day.  My stumbling 14 and a half year old Newfoundland with her cataract eyes, unkept coat, and greying muzzle looked at me.  I realized why I decided to take my training business full-time, ask a friend for a hand to live on her property, and devote my life to being an entrepreneur.... Molly.

I thought my why was my independence, owning my own business, flexibility, but that was all just added benefits.  The true reason...Molly.

My first Newfoundland, my heart dog, spent the last years of his life not sleeping near me, in a crowded space, and my devotion to something that did not serve him.  He spent his life by my side in good times and in bad.  Some of my decisions did not serve him.  

Tears are now rolling down my face....

I was not going to do that to Molly.  I got her at 10 months old.  She was scared and soft.  She made me the trainer I am today.  She has allowed me the...

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Dog Training Items I Recommend all the time!

I have been on boarding some day training clients.  I decided it was time I put onto paper all the things I use.  I am not paid to promote any of these products. This is just a list of products I have put together after a decade of observations and hundreds of clients and myself using dog training stuff.

Some of each and every appointment either at the pool or in a park is a general coaching conversation about how to help the client have a better interaction with their pet.  Some of my clients only have a vet to reach out to, so I am their life line to ask general questions.  There is so much information out in the world, most people need help to filter the information.  My team at 4 Paws Adrift strives to provide resources and information to guide our clients to good, reputable resources.

The spectrum of questions we receive is wide, but today I will focus on items to setup a productive training session for any dog owner and their beloved dog....

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Taking the Mat Challenge a step further - Building an "Off Duty" Mat Behavior

 

I have included my Instagram Live Video from today and a demo video of Jibe and I doing the training challenge.

I don't know about you guys, but these challenges are doing the job of getting me to focus and train my dog as well.  I hope you all are enjoying these challenges as much as I am!

Here is my 4 Paws script for my training clip:

Plan - food in the middle of dog's front two feet

Always Choice Based- food lure to and from bed to set up good choices

Work Dog in Front - Jibe is ready for challenge, Plan B was to go back to Day 1 challenge from last week to magnetize mat to more fluency

Strategic Reinforcement - Food thrown or placed in between dog's two front feet

Remember to look for those calm moments to throw food and set up a non working context for your dog.

Visit my website 4pawsadrift.com to get a free training video and learn about my new on-line course: 4 Force Free Steps to increase Article Hold Duration

Now...go out and train some dogs!

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Day 3 of 3 Day Challenge - Article Pick up

 

Day 3 Video Blog is up!  It is the last day fo the challenge.  I hope you enjoyed your training time with me.

Don't forget to share with your friends and tag #4pawsadrift on your favorite social media platforms so we can join you on your training journey.

Recap from Day 2 Challenge:

Be intentional and engaged to produce clean training clips!

1. Use a mat as a reset/resting area in between clips to minimize unwanted behaviors like sniffing.

2. Lure from your resting place to working space to minimize unwanted training clip behaviors like sniffing or exploring.

3. Protect your performance contexts from unwanted behaviors by using tight training clips.  Examples of contexts to protect are the obedience ring, beach front, water articles, and heel position.

My new new on-line learning center with my  first mini course: Four Force Free Steps to increase article hold duration is ready for enrollment.  I have been working on this class for a long time so I can...

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Day 2 of 3 Day Challenge - Cultivating a Competition Ready Dog

 

Day 2 Video Blog is up!

Don't forget to share with your friends and tag #4pawsadrift on your favorite social media platforms so we can join you on your training journey.

Recap from Day 1 Challenge:

Think about the 4 Paws mantra:

1. Plan to train only one thing at a time

2. Always use choice based training

3. Work the dog in front of you, even if you have to change your "P".

4. Strategic Reinforcement will get you to your goal faster.

Day 2 Challenge - Clean training clips!

1. Use a mat as a reset/resting area in between clips to minimize unwanted behaviors like sniffing.

2. Lure from your resting place to working space to minimize unwanted training clip behaviors like sniffing or exploring.

3. Protect your performance contexts from unwanted behaviors by using tight training clips.  Examples of contexts to protect are the obedience ring, beach front, water articles, and heel position.

Meet us back here tomorrow for the last day of our 3 day training challenge.

Splash ya...

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Day 1 of 3 day Challenge - Magnetize a Mat

 

Hi Dog Peeps!  I am throwing down a 3 day training challenge.  Visit https://www.4pawsadrift.com/blog/ to see our new video blog for the next three days.  Day 1 is ready to rock and roll.

There are two steps to magnetize a mat:

1. While dog is on mat, drop treats onto the mat in different spots.

2. Click when dog is on mat, throw a treat off, but near mat for the dog's next rep to make a choice to step onto mat again.

Also, while I have you.....we have so many new things to tell you about from 4 Paws Adrift!

Where do I begin?  Our website is up at 4pawsadrift.com! Check out our two locations in Allentown, NJ and Frazer, PA.  Email us at [email protected] or call Erica at 908.892.4709 to book your winter swim or wait for it.....

Our Ferno Under Water Treadmill is up and running!  We are currently booking appointments for our Allentown, NJ location for conditioning treadmill sessions.

The Allentown location at...

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