Structure and Gait Analysis...The Key to Effective Conditioning
Course developed and taught by Tara Monahan OCT CPCFT SCMT
When developing a conditioning program, it's important to be able to evaluate the results of your work and establish next steps, and this course will help you develop those skills. Understanding structure and gait can help owners identify areas of strength in their dogs, as well as areas they should focus on when developing a conditioning program. It can give early warning that a dog is experiencing discomfort, and allow you to communicate with your vet more effectively. It allows you to make more educated decisions for your dog when deciding to participate in a sport or activity, track changes in your dog, and ultimately leads to you becoming a better, more informed owner.
What will you learn in this course?
Structure and gait terminology
Identifying areas of strength and areas of challenge in a dog’s structure
Assessing at a glance – what should you look for?
The relationship between structure and gait
How to identify different gaits
How to document concerns in preparation for a vet appointment
Is this the right course for you?
This isn’t an auditing course; it’s an interactive, collaborative course that benefits hugely from student participation. The only way to get better at structure and gait analysis is to apply what you learn, and there will be many opportunities to use your developing knowledge. With this in mind, the ideal student will have the time to participate weekly for the six weeks, and an internet connection that allows for the viewing and upload of pictures and videos. This is a “rabbit hole” course – you may spend half an hour a week on it, or you may get sucked into the rabbit hole of evaluation, discussion, and debate and spend more time on it than you intended.
What platform is being used for this class?
Most content will go out through Google Classroom. Quizlet, Padlet, and other apps which allow for collaboration will also be used. There will be a Facebook discussion group as well.
What equipment is required?
The only equipment you need for this course is something that will allow you to photograph and take videos of dogs. Higher quality is better (especially for the videos), but a phone will work beautifully for most people.
Do I need to have a dog to take this course?
No! You are welcome to take photos and videos of friends’, family members’, or neighbours’ dogs and post those instead (with their permission, of course). You will want access to a dog (or multiple dogs) for the anatomy section as well, but it also doesn’t have to be your own.
What is the time commitment?
This is a six week course, and because this really is a subject where you will learn by doing, to get the full benefit of it you will need to be able to keep up with the work and the homework/discussions for the six weeks. Each week, you want to be able to spend at least 30 minutes doing homework, contributing photos/videos, and reviewing other participants’ contributions.
What are the instructor's qualifications?
In addition to being a Certified Professional Canine Fitness Trainer and Canine Massage Therapist, I am also a teacher and a “tech junkie” who loves to figure out how technology can be effectively integrated to teach and guide people. I have trained dogs for over a decade, owned a performance dog training facility, competed in multiple dog sports, and I am the owner of Canine Fitness Innovations. My passion is helping people to help their dogs. For more information, you can click here see my answers to the #sixquestionchallenge so that you know #whoisworkingwithyourdog.
Will this course give me a diagnosis for why my dog is limping?
No, definitely not. Only a veterinarian can provide a diagnosis. However, this course can give you the tools to recognize a gait anomaly early, and the ability to document it effectively for your veterinary team so they can follow up with the appropriate diagnostics.