On Good Form

When you work out, there is a fine line between improvement (yay!) and injury (boo!). Pushing yourself just outside your comfort zone is often where the improvement happens, right? If 5 pushups are easy for you – going a little beyond that can help you develop. But if you push yourself too far beyond your existing physical limits – so if you do 20 pushup repetitions in a row when you’ve only ever comfortably sustained 5 or 6 – your form may deteriorate. That’s when you might end up using your body in a less than optimal way and/or risking injury. Establishing and then maintaining good form, while gently nudging for progressi... Read More

Coat changes – can we spot them and why we should be checking…

Nicky Grant BSc Hons Physiotherapy, MSC Veterinary Physiotherapy, MCSP, HCPS, ACPAT A, RAMP One of the discussions I often have with my clients when they come to the Win Clinic is about their dog’s coat. Questions like “has it always been like this, has it changed?” I am often asked why this is important so for this reason I thought I would write a quick blog on it to hopefully share the information far and wide. Coat changes can often signify an underlying source of dysfunction, either with the muscle and other soft tissues or the joint or both. Often sore spots in the muscles, called trigger points can cause areas of coat change... Read More

Olympia 2018

Since I’m just beginning to plan my run up to Olympia, I thought I’d jot a super quick blog on the theme. If you know anyone competing for the first time at Olympia, this is for them :) It’s much easier to feel confident when you know what to expect… 1. It’s huge. I know you’ve seen the arena on youtube videos, but it’s bigger - even bigger! Prepare by running enormous courses once you and your dog are fit to do so. Even if you only have a small training space, make sure you set sequences which see you both travelling across the ground plenty. 2. If you’re running in an afternoon or evening event, you and your dog ma... Read More

The Ronaldo Puppy

Cristiano Ronaldo spends a lot of time in the gym. You’re not really surprised, are you? Sure he’s a footballer but he’s not going to spend all his time on the pitch – he needs to be fit to play, and a lot of that happens in the gym. I just picked Ronaldo at random, because he’s well known, but you could say the same about almost any top human athlete, right? You know what is surprising? How little dog fitness is still prioritised in agility. In agility, it’s pretty normal practice to get a puppy and then – when it comes time to do equipment with them – just get straight to it. Basic jump work, some straight tunnels, m... Read More

European Open Preparation

On 21st July, we’ll start driving out to the European Opens. The EOs are the biggest annual international agility championship. This year they’re in Austria, in Magna Racino. The event is held in Europe, but features national teams from all over the world. There are two chunks to the championship – made up of individual runs and team runs. I absolutely adore competing at international events. It’s by far my favourite thing. I will get to see so many world class partnerships. I’ll get to experience a new country and to take on an epic road-trip challenge with my beloved Shelley by my side. Plus, she’s mind-blowingly talented ... Read More

Tunnels – why they are missing from our puppy series so far…..

By Nicky Grant BSc Hons Physiotherapy, MSc Veterinary Physiotherapy, MCSP, ACPAT A, HCPC, RAMP We have had a few questions about why we haven’t introduced tunnels yet in to our puppy series even though we are now at 8 months. The 9 months is coming soon, we promise! We are a little behind, we like to blame Charlie for this as he can’t really defend himself being 4 months old but the reality is we have both been super busy, Bonny with her EO prep and me, well helping Bonny really (and running the Win Clinic in my spare time haha). We did film the 9-month video but the wind was too much of a disruption to the sound so we couldn’t use i... Read More

Self Esteem over Socialisation

What should you do with puppies? Socialise them. Expose them to loads when they’re young and they will be able to deal with whatever life throws their way later. That’s the generic advice. But is that really true? Let’s look at another species for a moment – humans. If a child has never seen a dustbin lorry when young, will the child be afraid of one later in life? If the child never goes on a plane, can that child become a teenager who flies without an issue? Children benefit from exposure to a range of experiences growing up. The same is true of puppies. But these days, I would prioritise developing a puppy’s self-esteem a... Read More

Warm Up’s – No excuses!

By Nicky Grant BSc Hons Physiotherapy, MSc Veterinary Physiotherapy, MCSP, ACPAT A, HCPC, RAMP Warm up and cool down, a subject I spend a lot of my day talking about. I find a real mixture of responses to the question I ask in clinic, "do you have a structured effective warm up and cool down routine for you and your dog?" The first camp of people have it nailed, either they've developed it with me or another professional and we may just need to make tiny tweaks. The second camp do something, not always structured, variable as to time or location, not quite sure what they are doing or in what order to do it in, but, they are doing some... Read More

In Sync

Positive reinforcement based training is the driving force of contemporary agility. Hurrah! Long live reinforcers! Toys, treats... they bring fun and happiness into our dogs’ lives and we can use them to communicate with our dogs in a motivational, confidence-giving way. But I want to touch on a different aspect of our dog-human interaction - a less tangible aspect. You may be able to relate to what I'm talking about straight away, or you may not... You see, I find with some of my dogs, I can feel that they have this huge desire to make me happy. A desire that goes beyond them wanting to access a reward. It’s usually something tha... Read More

Crufts 2018

What a great event Crufts 2018 was! It was thanks to Charlie arriving 2 weeks early that I was able to go to Crufts this year. During the third trimester of my pregnancy I used my ambition to compete at Crufts as my motivator to keep fit. As the calendar counted down I knew at the back of my mind that if Charlie was a bit late there was a high chance I wouldn't be able to go at all, but I also knew that if I could compete I wanted to make good of it... So our Crufts preparation consisted of me keeping as fit as I could pre and then post pregnancy, and Shelley working on her fitness too - through cardio and muscle-development foc... Read More