Looking at it from above makes it seem more like a marathon-type sport, because our dogs have to stay focused for up to 20, or more minutes, at the highest competition level. But having endurance is not all there is to it!
Obedience dogs also have to consistently carry out tasks with the utmost precision and must be prepared to accelerate from 0 to 100 with the recall, send away or retrieve!
This mix of endurance and explosivity makes obedience a tough sport! Not only do we have to make sure our dogs are in excellent physical condition, but also ensure they maintain peak mental stability and focus as well.
The warm-up not only prepares the whole body system: nervous system, cardiovascular system, metabolism, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments, it also leads to an immediate improvement in performance, and helps reduce the risk of injury. To top it all off, the warm-up routine also raises mental preparation of both the dog, and the handler, and enhances our connection and focus before entering the ring.
And when you have successfully finished your competition or your training, don’t call it quits just yet! Not only it is very discouraging for the dog to be put away and ignored after a good job, a cool-down certainly serves to accelerate the recovery process, and helps the dog to relax and settle down.