For those who may not be as lucky to have an instructor around to help get them started, the Get On the Ball DVDs will help get you started. It's a three DVD set that will take you through the basics and some slightly more complex moves. While I think that all three DVDs are great, the first disc is really the meat and potatoes of what you need. On disc one you have all the introductory information. What are your goals for ball work? Familiarizing yourself with the core muscles. Deciding whether or not ball work is right for your dog (in my opinion, with the variety of equipment out there for you to use, everyone should be able to find something that is right for the size and abilities of their dog). Then it gets into the exercises themselves.
The exercises are broken down into difficulty levels. The first level is the puppy program so that you can get that youngster started off right! These exercises are followed by the beginner, intermediate, and advanced level exercises.
Discs two and three are the recorded version of one of Dr. Saunders' seminars. It is interesting to see the variety of dogs all doing the same exercises. The benefit to watching the seminar portion of the DVDs is that you can see how different people work with different dogs to achieve the same end goal. I like that because it can help you to trouble shoot any problems that you might come across.
Overall, I give the DVD two thumbs up! I feel pretty strongly about keeping your dogs in as good of condition as you possibly can, and these exercises will help you get there. Plus it's just something that is so uniquely fun to do with your dog! I've mentioned in previous posts that we have half of the garage converted into a ball studio so that I can have a matted area to work the dogs and store the variety of balls that we have. I have so much fun trying new and different things with the dogs and they get really excited when we get in there.
I know that I've been remiss in my monthly conditioning posts that I was gaining momentum on. I will hopefully get back into the swing of things starting next month. I've got an exercise that Bess would just offer and I didn't really try to get Heff to do. Then I figured I might as well at least try it with him. Lo and behold, he's catching on! In the mean time here are links to some of the exercises that we've posted previously:
This past Tuesday morning, our wonderful 120 cm ball popped.:0( Unfortunately, Heffner was on top when this happened. It was rather loud and he was understandably a little weired out by it. He got over it and continued on with other exercises that we were doing and is otherwise fine. It just really sucks. Those balls aren't cheap and we got a really good deal on ours. In the mean time, I'll probably inflate our 85 cm ball until I get a replacement. My suspicions are that something on the wooden partition in the garage punctured it. I usually have a tarp up to keep anything from puncturing the ball, but we took it down to actually use the tarp a little while ago and I was lazy about putting it back up. Guess I'll be getting on top of that before we get the new ball!