Part of our “Spotlight On” series – a look at individual exercises available on the CYC platform; their benefits, and how they can help your patients in their rehab programme.
The balanced lead walking exercise pyramid is made up of 2 videos. The first video demonstrates how to fit a double clipped lead to a Y shaped harness, how to hold the lead, and how to encourage your dog to walk forwards and stop. The second video demonstrates how to use a proprioceptive track whilst walking your dog in a balanced way over the track.
As practicing therapists, the CYC team often recommend balanced lead walking as it can be so helpful for a multitude of issues, both physical and training related. Walking a dog in this way avoids pulling or straining the sensitive structures in the neck which walking on a collar and lead can impact. It also places a dog in a more balanced body position, encouraging correct movement initiation and gait patterning. For dogs which have opted to place a lot of weight over their forelimbs, for example after a hindlimb injury or surgery, it can help them to find a better weight distribution. It also activates the thoracic sling and caudal core musculature, helping the dog to support themselves better in active motion. These are just a few of the many benefits of using this technique.
However, practicing walking like this can take time to master, and we often find time is limited during consultations to demonstrate this fully and allow owners to practice it. Having access to these two videos on the CYC platform means owners can regularly refer to how to set up the balanced lead walking, what the hand positions should look like and how to encourage forward movement and a stop. This frees up valuable time during consultations.