Your protection routine at club-warm up/cool down? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Your protection routine at club-warm up/cool down?

Protection is the most athletically demanding phase, yet seems to be the area where dogs get the least warm-up/cool down period. What I have witnessed/experienced is that once a dog is finished working in protection they are allowed to carry the sleeve off the field and are immediately put up in the car/crate.

What is the though process behind immediately putting them up? Is this commonplace everywhere? What do you/your club do?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 09:17 PM
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I usually get my dog out and immediately on a toy to start engaging with me. Same as I do for OB, a trip to the park or anything we do. Then usually a short walk to a potty area and maybe a sip of water depending on how long it's been in the crate and how hot it is outside. Then we usually walk around or sit and watch until it's our turn. After our turn is over, I take my dog back to the truck. If there is a reward that it brings back with it, then it can hold it and relax as long as it wants. Once it lets go, it get's put up in the crate for a little while to settle. Then brought back out for a drink. The crate is a great way for the dog to think and take in what happened during the session. Also for me, usually the only break I get from working other peoples dogs is when I'm working my own. So I don't have a lot of time between.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 10:01 PM
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For me the reason is that it's also the most psychologically demanding area and I'm more worried about what happens inside the dog's head than with the athletic aspects.

Personally I almost never go straight to protection on a training day, so the dog had had plenty of exercise playing and doing obedience before to say he is completely cold. Protection is so exciting to the dog that unless you have the first turn you can't do a lot with the dog within hearing range once the helper is on the field and most people don't want the dog wasting energy getting overexcited by him nor want to use too much obedience calming him down when it's not really necessary. Then the easiest thing to do is just to let the dog on the car or crate.

Carrying the sleeve and owning it on the "den" is part of the rewarding experience and usually you want the dog to feel he really got his prize, I don't like to interrupt that. And once again, unless you have the last turn the dog will stay in an excited state of mind if you don't put him on his crate. Always, not only in protection, I like the dog to be on a quiet place after a learning experience. I want the experience to settle down on the dog's mind, just like scent on the track. Even if I take the dog away to a soft jog I'm missing what I consider an important part of the training process.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2015, 10:13 PM
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When it is freezing out, I'll get the dog out and do long strokes down his body as he stretches out. He is stiff from being crated. But when it is freezing out, our protection routine is not the norm...we don't run blinds because of the deep snow cover and can't do much as far as escapes either...we work on the control and transports.
In summer, I get the dog out and do the same as above but I don't notice the dog needing it as much.
I thik the cool down is more important, but Karlo wants to go to his crate for water right after we leave the field. I'll take him out a few minutes later to walk it off but only if it is really hot out. Crate fan and rest seems to work well for the cool down/processing the session.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 03:35 PM
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I generally try to get my dogs out and moving around, potty them and warm them up a bit before we start protection. Not easy where I train now because we park right next to the field. Afterwards I will let the dog carry the sleeve to the truck (if that is how we ended that round) then take them for a walk until they are not panting as hard and the muscles have cooled down a bit. I should walk longer than I do before and after just like we did with our horses. Not always time.

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