In fact, R and the Runner did a big run while we were in Utah. They ran up about 2000' over 4.8 miles of very rocky terrain to an incredible lookout point. Then, they walked back down, for a total of about 9.6 miles. The Runner decided to walk rather than run down because downhill running abuses joints more than almost anything else. R looked great with no limping after that outing, his longest since a year before his surgery.
We have continued R's rehab program because keeping his stabilizing muscles as strong as possible will help keep the implants inside his elbow healthy for longer. R is now 9 years old - an age when many Labs have stopped running and romping - but he's looking better and is running further than he has in years.
I included this update on his rehab as part of the Positive Dog Training Blog Hop because I could never have taught him to do all these exercises without the skills that I've gained as a positive trainer. Positive training has been a gift to us throughout his rehab. I've been thankful that I know about it a zillion times when teaching him new exercises. Quite simply, it would not be possible to teach these complicated exercises without a clicker, treats, and positive training skills. The key is to break each of these exercises into tiny parts for teaching them - and then putting the parts together for the final exercise. You are seeing only the final exercise in the video.
The toughest thing that I'm teaching him now is to walk sideways with all four paws up on his big yellow peanut (last thing on the video). I have been teaching it one step at a time. I roll the peanut a little to the side, and I say "step", which means to take a lateral step with front and hind limbs to stay on top of the peanut. If he takes the step, he gets a treat. He's making great progress.
You'll see in the short video that I still reward him with treats regularly during the exercises. The main reason is that the rewards keep him motivated. R is really tired by the end of a session, and I have to push him to do one more rep or one more exercise. I "push him" by rewarding him lavishly.
You can watch the short video either here or at Youtube.
Thanks for watching!
Good job R!! Looks like you are getting stronger and strongerReplyDelete
Lily & Edward
Brilliant work there R... and mum! Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx
The two of you work brilliantly together. Outstanding job, R!ReplyDelete
R's success is the total result of all the work you have done with him post surgery. So wonderful to have all this in the rear view mirror!!ReplyDelete
Murphy & Stanley
First reaction: Wow! I'm going to take my laptop to my next apptmt and show my Physical Therapist!ReplyDelete
2nd reaction (five seconds after 1st): Oh no...I'll look like even more of a slacker!
R you are miracle. We hoped you would get better but never imagined you would be thriving. We are very proud of you and your momReplyDelete
Fantastic. Between the surgeon and your AMAZING rehab work, R's recovery is just so strong. Congrats!ReplyDelete
This has been a long journey with you, the surgeon, all rehab research and R contributing. He is such a grand boy, and you have huge patience and determination when doing this for so many times over those months. The result must be such a delight. Did you ever think that he would be as good as this? Hope you are keeping warm , I see you have -9 Celsius, and another 10 cm of snow tomorrow!!! ( Accuweather is one of my fav sites)!!ReplyDelete
I didn't dare dream that he'd improve this much back when he was so weak and pathetic right after surgery. In fact, both of us humans wondered if we'd made a terrible mistake. Thank goodness that we didn't!Delete
Wow, R! That's great progress! I hope my PT works that well. I love Quinn's comment above :D I still say I'd respond better if I got treats for extra reps like R!!!!ReplyDelete
Cheers for the two of you for such fantastic work and results. Next one, at the end , I would like to see you and Prince R, side by side taking a big bow!ReplyDelete
Hugs,'Jo and Stella
Wow! That is really amazing to watch. Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
I've loved reading about his journey and I'm so happy to hear that he was able to have such a good run! That's incredible. Congratulations on all of your hard work paying off!ReplyDelete
Great job training! Training a dog is hard work and something that doesn't happen in an instant, but the rewards are well worth the hard work.ReplyDelete
R's trust in you is really evident! I bet your vet loves you, too! Good work, all!ReplyDelete
AMAZING!!! You have done such a wonderful job with R.ReplyDelete
Your home is gorgeous!!!
Good job R !!!ReplyDelete
Both you and R have done such an amazing job on his recovery. Well done!ReplyDelete
Crikey .... how good is that??? R has worked so hard and so have you. Just shows that hard work pays off, aye??ReplyDelete
Full marks to you for keeping up his Rehab. We think there would be many people who would have the surgery and then just expect everything to be fine. He is looking so good...and 9.6 miles is quite a feat!ReplyDelete
That is very impressive R and we sure. are happy you are doing so good!ReplyDelete
This is SO helpful to see! Thanks for taking the time to film the exercises. And what a reward for all of you to see such HUGE progress! The countless hours you've put into R's rehab have sure paid off! Well done!!! (And what a good girl, Shyla, for waiting so patiently off to the side).ReplyDelete
"Try harder" - I love it! And then his little whine. I wish I had a peanut.. and that I could get my dogs to stand on it.ReplyDelete
It is really funny that R seems to have learned what "try harder" means. He finds high fives on a peanut to be really hard and I can tell that he wants to give up. "Try harder" usually gets another one or two good reps from him :)Delete
I love that connection between the skills from positive reinforcement training to the practical applications! I sometimes find people hesitant to +R in part because they think it's just "playing games." Your story illustrates the value so perfectly! So glad the healing is going so well!ReplyDelete
R looks like he is doing wonderfully! His balance is remarkable!ReplyDelete