Show dogs rely on good static posture, free flowing movement and that extra ‘sparkle’ when in the ring.
They may have travelled a long way in a crate, waited long lengths of time on the bench waiting for their class and generally coping with a stressful environment.
When holding a pose, the muscles are in a state of concentric contraction – it’s actually hard work maintaining a static pose (try yoga or Tai Chi yourself!!) Imagine trying to hold a pose if you are carrying even a minor injury.
To maintain free flowing movement, the muscles need to be able to slide and glide over each other to be at their most efficient.
So muscles can become tight and sore and greatly benefit from a pre and post performance massage.
Things you may have noticed:
- Lack of drive from behind
- Lack of reach from in front
- Intermittent lameness
- Change in actions, e.g. pacing, turning toes in or out, hackneying
- Lack of focus in the show ring
- Change in temperament
All these symptoms can indicate an underlying issue, and having regular massage can help prevent these issues becoming a chronic problem.