Performance is influenced by internal factors and external
Once these factors are defined then the training
and conditioning program is designed specifically to address these needs.
Design and Boundaries of Event
The external factors include: dog interaction, environmental
climate and location, housing, type of work, and work factors. The
internal factors include: anatomical make-up, physiological function, and
psychological influence. The areas that influence these internal
factors are: genetics, health, nutrition, training, and conditioning.
The best performance will come from the dog with the correct anatomical
build, that is in peak condition, and is psychologically ready to perform
its particular duties. Any change in performance can then be attributed
to an anatomical lameness, a medical illness or imbalance, or a psychological
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Body System Interaction
The body systems involved in performance are
the muscular, skeletal, nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal,
renal, hormonal, and skin. Every athletic event includes some
form of movement. Movement is a result of the muscles moving bones
according to neuronal stimulation. The other systems work together
to provide or maintain all the components needed to allow this function
to occur. Muscles are used in propulsion and navigation of the body.
The skeleton provides support and structure to the body. The nervous
system provides stimulation, balance and direction. The cardiovascular
system provides energy to the cells and removes the energy by-products.
The respiratory system provides gaseous exchange and thermoregulation.
The gastrointestinal tract produces energy and removes waste. The
renal system provides fluid balance and waste removal. The hormones
act to maintain balanced metabolism. The skin provides a protective
covering from the environment, an outer membrane to the internal organs,
and is responsible for optimal hair coat. Peak performance of the
body as a whole is a result of the optimal, balanced output of these systems.
Energy Demands of Performance
The body needs energy to maintain homeostasis, and additional energy
during physical activity. The body utilizes three systems to provide
this energy. The type of activity defines which of the systems will
be used. The immediate energy source is from the one enzyme system.
It provides energy for the first the first five seconds up to twenty seconds.
This system uses intracellular ATP, Creatine Phosphate (CP), and the ADP/myokinase
reaction to provide energy for the increased body activity. The glycolytic
pathway provides energy from five to twenty seconds up to two minutes.
Energy comes from the anaerobic breakdown of glucose. This is a more
complicated form of energy production involving multiple steps and enzymes.
The third energy source is from oxidative metabolism. It starts approximately
two minutes after the start of the physical exercise. It is the most
complicated energy system. It can use various substrates and is the
most efficient system.
Metabolic energy is drawn from different resources in the body, similar
to energy utilization by a car engine. When the engine is turned
on gas is used immediately at the piston, this is then replaced by gas
from the gas tank, which is then replaced by gas from a gas station.
When the body performs at a level greater than its normal daily routine
there is a greater demand for energy. The systems as a whole must
work together to provide energy to the areas of need and at the same time
maintain homeostasis. Therefore, the fuel resources must be at a
level to meet this demand and accessible to be used as an energy source.
Workout repetition compels the body to adapt itself to meet these demands.
It begins by pooling energy sources at the location of greatest need, i.
e. intracellular ATP, CP, and glucose. Then it increases the production
of the specific enzymes required for the most utilized energy systems.
Workout repetition conditions the body to the stresses of competition and
minimizes the chance of systemic or cellular injury.
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Anerobic vs Aerobic work
Athletic and Working dogs are defined by the type
of work or sports that they produce.
Athletic and working dogs are divided into two performance types.
Dogs that compete in events that require a single burst of supra-maximal
energy are called strength events. Some examples include dog pulls
and dog long jumping. Dogs that compete in events that last
less than one minute are generally referred to as being sprint athletes.
Some example include oval track racing, agility, flyball. Canine
sprint and strength athletes are grouped together because they both utilize
the immediate and glycolytic energy systems. Dogs that compete
in events that last longer than four minutes are called endurance athletes.
Most of the energy that they use during their workout comes from aerobic
metabolism. Examples of endurance dogs are the pointing breeds, foxhounds,
Understanding the type of work or competition your dog performs is important
when designing the dogs workout program. Endurance dogs require a
different conditioning program than sprint or strength dogs.
Training, Conditioning, and Workout Programs
Once we have determined the components of competition
we can then organize our management program accordingly. All aspects
of the body must be prepared for competition. The enzymes, proteins,
and chemicals must be available for proper cellular function. The
transport systems must be trained and conditioned to meet the demands of
competition. The everyday workout routine and feeding schedule must
prepare the body for the competitive schedule that lies ahead. Once
the body is trained for maximal output we must keep the body conditioned
for the rigors of competition. The ideal conditioning program maintains
this level and prepares the body for optimal output when needed at competition.
At the same time this conditioning program works to minimize the damage
that occurs during an athletic performance. A poor conditioned dog
is very susceptible to tissue injury and cellular damage. The goal
should be for a long productive career not just a good outing.
To get the best performance out of your dogs, they must
be properly conditioned, mentally prepared, and be free of any pain that
might affect performance.
The best training program addresses the specific needs
of your dog: Training, Exercise, Nutrition, Health Care
|**Before beginning any form
of exercise or conditioning program consult your veterinarian to be certain
that your dog is healthy enough to handle the program.**
The information provided on this site is designed for
educational purposes only, and is provided with the understanding that
Robert L. Gillette is not rendering veterinary medical or professional
medical services or advice. By accessing my website you agree that
you hold Dr. Robert L, Gillette harmless from any loss, claim or
damage arising from your use of any of the information and ideas contained
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