Not only does stretching and flexibility it promote better range of motion, but better circulation, and more oxygen to the muscles.
If your dog is especially sensitive during a stretch, please seek advice and instruction from your Veterinarian or Canine Rehabilitation Specialist. Special care must be taken to avoid injury.
Think Low and Slow. Stretching should NOT be rushed, and you should closely watch your dog’s response. Begin with a small range of motion, and slowly increase the range. Stop the stretch when you start to feel slight resistance and hold. If your dog pulls away the stretch may be too aggressive, or the area may be sore. Back off intensity until you can stretch the muscle for 5-30 seconds at a time. Always hold the limb you are stretching with both hands. Open palms and gently cup the limb to avoid squeezing or stressing the joint. Never force a joint or muscle.
Try this exercises to stretch the neck,and back muscles.
Repeat: 2-3 times on each side
Time: 5-30 seconds
1– The dog may either stand or sit for this exercise. Place a treat in one hand and lure the head straight up. Place the other hand gently on the shoulders to make sure you feel a good stretch through the neck.
2-Lure the dog’s head straight down between the front legs. Keep the spine straight, and strive for straight purposeful movements.
GUIDELINES: Before you stretch your dog always ensure the muscles are warmed up properly. This can be accomplished with a short walk, a gentle massage or a warm moist towel on the area to be stretched. A warm muscle stretches better than a cold muscle, and reduces the risk of injury from over stretching.
About the Author: Anthony Woerner, PTA and CCRP, FitPAWS Master Trainer develops canine training programs to help bring performance dogs and companion pets to the next level of fitness. Combining his in-depth knowledge from working with both human and animal patients, he has achieved an excellent understanding of structure and movement.
Anthony has developed the unique ability to understand breed specifics, structure, and movement. He uses his extensive knowledge and his healing hands to know how to best treat each animal. As a canine fitness instructor, his clients include dogs that compete on an elite level to the dogs that need fitness training to maintain a healthy lifestyle as a pet.