The Canine Athlete

Most breeds of dogs were developed to work, whether to hunt, herd or protect. In our modern times, we may not ask dogs to do these jobs, but dogs continue to use their natural talents in athletic activities from obedience, agility, and rally to hunt trials, and free-style dancing.

These activities keep a dog's mind and body active and continue to deepen the human-animal bond as we work together.

To ensure that our canine teammate is capable, both physically and mentally, to train and compete in any of these sports, we use the increasing knowledge of canine nutrition, physical conditioning, training, and stress response.

Dr. Hunter has been training and teaching dog obedience and agility since 1981 and is a member of the American Canine Sports Medicine Association. Her own dogs have earned seven obedience titles and numerous agility titles. She has traveled the world over to study and work with herding, hunting, lure coursing, free-style dance, canine drill teams, search and rescue, military and police work, therapy, and assistance dogs.

In all of these pursuits, the physical conditioning of our canine teammate is crucial to their ability to work at their full potential and enjoy their work. With physical examinations, lameness evaluations, and X-rays, Dr. Hunter can determine the suitability of a dog for sport, and areas that can be improved. When a dog's performance changes, it is important to determine whether it is a physical or training issue; with Dr. Hunter's experience, she can find the source of the problem and plan for a return to training and competition.

By working with specialists in veterinary surgery, physical therapy, and alternative medicine, Dr. Hunter can help get an injured athlete back in the game.

Images Courtesy of Great Dane Photo