Today, we are participating in the Positive Training Blog Hop. This month, I want to tell you about R's progress since his CUE elbow surgery 5 months ago. The overwhelming message is that we are overjoyed. He's like a new dog!!!
It was a scary decision to make - having CUE surgery on his elbow - because it's a fairly new surgery with a long recovery period. We both felt very worried for the first 3 months or so, fearing that he'd never recover. Now, we just SMILE when we see him walk and sprint without limping. We still see an occasional limp but it's getting less common.
I made a video of our newest exercises. We still do many of the older exercises (walking forward/backward with front paws on the peanut, standing on the peanut, high fives, pushups, crawling under NINE chairs!). However, a video of every exercise we do would be way too long.
Most of the exercises that I show in the video focus on side-to-side strength in his left front limb. Some of them are silly looking but important. For example, he stands on the peanut, and I gradually give him less and less support so that he must use his muscles to stay balanced and prevent the peanut from rolling to the side.
|The peanut is in a trough so it's stable for this photo|
I use a clicker for the newer exercises that he's still learning. My rule is that I click and give him a treat as long as he is *trying* to achieve the goal of the exercise. For example, when he's balancing on a wobble board, he gets rewarded when he is shifting his weight around in a controlled way that will eventually lead to him balancing. If I waited for him to be 100% successful before rewarding him, he'd get much too frustrated to learn.
Without further ado, here's the video that you can watch either here or at Youtube.
Believe it or not, walking or running in water is one of his exercises. We can't do that one with him everyday but we did when we visited a lake recently.