This week we pulled out the cavaletti poles and agility ladders and got the dogs moving, specifically, getting them to walk while avoiding an obstacle. It may sound simple but since dogs are not able to critically look at themselves and decide to move their feet and where to place them with each step, it is challenging for them to work on body awareness skills. We try our best to make it fun for them!
One of the exercises we used was to take small cones and place one end of a thin bamboo pole into the cone, continuing until the poles were placed all around at varying heights, as pictured to the left. Our Havanese friends, Lucy and Bandit were actually quite good at moving around the poles, while avoiding them with either back or front feet.
Lucy thought that this activity was OK, "hey, look at me , get out of the way, Bandit". Bandit and Lucy spend a lot of their time at our enrichment center in each others way, but they would not have it any other way! Bandit thinks that most of the activities are fun and will try stuff, especially if there are no dogs looming over him. "Look at me, I am walking over every single one of these poles,no problem. I like this, how long do you want me to keep doing this?"
Ruger, the Boxer on the left, was feeling very confident and pain free so consequently, the agility ladder was fair game for him to walk through multiple times. He normally needs to be jollied through the activities but he said, "this is kind of fun, I don't want to get too carried away, but this is kind of fun and I think that I look really good as I stand here in the middle of this agility ladder, don't you?!"
Teddy, a Labradoodle, was almost excited to show his stuff walking through the agility ladder, "I like this and I think that I am doing a really good job walking back and forth, don't you?" I like walking over poles and through the ladder, even if I keep dragging my back feet a bit and touch them a little, that's OK, isn't it?"
Some days we bring out different cavaletti poles and configure cones differently, as well. It keeps things novel for the dogs and hopefully entertaining as we get them to have fun discovering that they have four legs and they can have control over them with some practice and focus.
Thanks for stopping by to read about what we are doing to enrich the lives of dogs with fun and challenging activities because "It Is What Dogs Want".