Good form describes the correct and most balanced body positioning of the dog when they are in stand, sit, down or any other static posture. When an exercise is carried out in good form, the dog’s body will activate the specific muscle groups we as therapists are looking to target, ultimately leading to the dog using their body in a balanced and efficient way.

Everything a dog does physically becomes a neurological pattern. We always want to strive towards building correct neurological pathways, to increase muscle memory and enable the dog to position their body in good form naturally and with ease. Canine rehabilitation exercises target specific muscle groups to help with proprioception, balance, strength and power. When a dog carries out an exercise in good form, they will be making use of the full potential of their body at that current time.

Working in good form means that the dog will also be less susceptible to injury. When the dog’s body works out of their natural balance, their body becomes misaligned putting added pressure on tendons, muscles and joints which could lead to a secondary issue.

Good form requires training. We as therapists should be training the owners and the dogs under our care to perform certain movements in species specific patterns with good form. This is not easy, as most dogs will want to follow the path of their movement patterns with the least resistance i.e., what feels most familiar and not necessarily what is actually correct.

As well as training our owners, we also need to help them to train their dogs to perform these movements correctly. An owner’s experience with dog training and level of ability will play a big role in how easy it is for your canine patient to benefit from the home exercises you recommend.

However, for all the aforementioned reasons, training for stability and balance and therefore good form, are essential to the success of the rehabilitation exercises you give to the dogs under your care. Conditioning Your Canine (CYC) considers good form to be the most important part of canine exercise rehabilitation. The CYC platform endeavours to provide you the therapist, the dogs and their owners under your care the best support in achieving good form.