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#38019 - 01/13/12 02:01 PM Moxie's Conditioning Program
Jim Garvie Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/02/05
Loc: Florida
Our girl, Moxie, has just turned 2 years old and she's matured very nicely. Physically smile. She's still a little pooky when it comes to new experiences but she's getting much better and with that in mind, we discussed completing her AKC Conformation Championship with our best friend and handler, Kimm McDowell. Kimm was here for the Eukanuba Championship (she lives in Michigan) and had a chance to both work with Moxie and show her and she feels that Moxie would have an excellent chance to finish in the mid-West. So, reluctantly, we are planning to send Moxie with Kimm at the end of February.

I say "reluctantly" because we hate to have our dogs away from us. On the other hand, we've stayed with Kimm, know how the dogs are treated, and realize that getting away from us might be the best thing for the maturation of Moxie. However, Kimm's caveat was that Moxie had to be in better condition. Easy to say but not so easy to do.

Moxie is a very athletic 90 lbs. She can run like the wind and she can run all day. I'm a very un-athletic 64-year-old guy with bad knees. I can't run at all smile. I can bike. Moxie is afraid of the bike. With all that said, this week we embarked (pun intended) on Moxie's conditioning program. On Tuesday, she and I trotted for over 2 miles. She found it refreshing. I found it exhausting. Yesterday, with my knees aching and my back in spasm, I decided to bring in my conditioning assistant -- Sundance. Sundance adores Moxie and they play in the yard constantly. Usually with Moxie hanging off of Sundance's cheeks. Yesterday, I employed a soft frisbee into the mix and here's how it went.

As usual when I toss the frisbee, Sundance is the one who gets to it first and he's the one who tries to bring it back to me.



But whatever Sundance has, Moxie wants. And the tug-of-war begins.



Sundance always lets his girlfriend win and it's off to the races.



Moxie is very fast and Sundance is 130 lbs. So she flies and he chugs along after her.



But eventually, she stops and he snatches the frisbee away.



And the game starts again!



After 30 minutes of this type of activity, both dogs were ready to call it quits. As was the soft frisbee which was given a decent burial. Moxie got more pure exercise in this half-hour workout than I could possibly have given her in an hour. Plus, it was fun for both dogs. Not to mention the photographer smile. After these guys finished their session, I took out the puppy, Scampy, and played ball with him for about 20 minutes and then spent another 20 minutes practicing stacking for his show debut in early March. So stay tuned for Moxie's excellent adventure to the Heartland.

Jim
_________________________
Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz

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#38021 - 01/13/12 03:42 PM Re: Moxie's Conditioning Program [Re: Jim Garvie]
DonParrot Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/09/11
Loc: Barienrode, Germany
Hi Jim,

no chance of getting her used to the bicycle?
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#38024 - 01/13/12 06:16 PM Re: Moxie's Conditioning Program [Re: DonParrot]
Jim Garvie Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/02/05
Loc: Florida
We're working on it smile. Problem with it is where do you ride it? I prefer to have her run on grass than on concrete or asphalt so finding smooth, flat places with grass is the hardest thing so far. Soccer fields work well as does the infield of a track at the local highschool. I'm checking out the land that runs along the power lines which is always kept nicely mowed and it's a long, straight run. We'll check that out this afternoon and if she's comfy with the location, we'll bring the bike over the weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

Jim
_________________________
Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz

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#38025 - 01/13/12 08:09 PM Re: Moxie's Conditioning Program [Re: Jim Garvie]
DonParrot Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/09/11
Loc: Barienrode, Germany
Hmmm - I often go inline skating with mine and I taught them to mostly run on the gras next to the tarmac/concrete. Will take you/her just three to four trips (after she lost her fear from the bicycle).
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#38026 - 01/13/12 11:58 PM Re: Moxie's Conditioning Program [Re: DonParrot]
Jim Garvie Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/02/05
Loc: Florida
Uh huh. You obviously don't know Moxie. However, the objective is to keep her at a trot and not let her move into a gallop. For Conformation showing, she needs to be a trotter and she needs to be comfortable trotting at various speeds which is why both the bike and inline skates might be a bit much for what I'm trying to do. The key to conditioning her is distance and not speed. When she wants to go, she can really GO. But to build muscle, and cardiovascular conditioning, she needs to trot for reasonable distances. Today, it was 3 miles.

Jim
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Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz

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#38027 - 01/14/12 08:47 AM Re: Moxie's Conditioning Program [Re: Jim Garvie]
DonParrot Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/09/11
Loc: Barienrode, Germany
Ah okay. Thanks for the input. I thought it was just about getting her in a better shape.
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#38028 - 01/14/12 01:59 PM Re: Moxie's Conditioning Program [Re: DonParrot]
Jim Garvie Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/02/05
Loc: Florida
Don,
conditioning a dog for the show ring is different than simply getting them into better shape. Moxie is actually in amazing shape for running, jumping, etc. But, she's a little heavier than ideal and the show ring is all about what the dog looks like when they trot -- whether it's going away from or back to the judge in a straight line (coming & going) or trotting around the ring so the judge can see their sidegait. By giving her two different types of workouts -- aerobic as well as anerobic -- I can harden her topline, get some weight off of her and train those trotting muscles so that she won't break down if a judge asks her to go around the ring a dozen times or so. And judges will ask the dogs to do that because it is a great indicator of how structurally sound the dogs are. Keep in mind that Rottweilers were bred as drovers -- cattle and sheep -- and they were expected to be able to trot all day without getting tired. So, the workouts with Sundance are great for building muscle and the long sessions of trotting are great for building endurance and muscle memory.

It's no different than when I was running a lot. I'd do lots of miles (70 a week) at reasonable speeds to build endurance and cardiovascular fitness but to run fast you have to train your body to run fast. So, I'd do speed work on the track at 220, 440, 880 and mile distances so my body would know what it was like to run 5-minute miles. When I raced, I would try to combine the speed with the endurance and see if I could maintain that pace for the entire race distance -- 10K for example.

Jim
_________________________
Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz

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#38030 - 01/14/12 05:09 PM Re: Moxie's Conditioning Program [Re: Jim Garvie]
James Morrissey Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/05
Loc: Manhattan, New York, New York
Hey Jim,

Is it possible I will see them in Feb, here in e City?

James
_________________________
Manhattan, New York, NY Pet Photographer


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#38031 - 01/14/12 10:29 PM Re: Moxie's Conditioning Program [Re: James Morrissey]
Jim Garvie Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/02/05
Loc: Florida
Not this year, James. She has to finish her Championship first and then we'll see.

Jim
_________________________
Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz

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