How Show Dogs SHOW They Have Muscular Pain

Do you show your Dog or take part in another sport such as Agility, Flyball, IPO, Obedience?  Although this article focuses on Show Dogs it relates to all sporting dogs including our pet dogs.

Showing can be an enjoyable and fulfilling hobby for both you and your dog.The judge is looking to ensure that your dog fits the breed standard, has the correct breed conformation, is healthy, in good condition, has the correct temperament and character for the specific breed, and that the gait/movement is fluid with plenty of reach and drive.

A show dog is often travelling long distances to attend shows and can be benched for long periods of time, meaning their muscles can become stiff and sore due to sitting or lying in one position in a confined space for several hours.

Dogs have around 700 muscles which account for around 45% of their bodyweight.  These muscles pull on their 320 bones acting as levers to produce movement.  If any one of these muscles has an injury or is restricted, movement will be compromised meaning your dog will not be showing to their best advantage.

Muscles can suffer injury for any number of reasons such as a slip, a fall or a collision with another dog. Often the injury goes undetected for a long period of time as the signs are so subtle but early detection – spotting any of the signs below – and seeking massage therapy by qualified Massage Therapist can prevent the injury worsening and leading to further problems. This is one of the many advantages of massage therapy.

By using massage to rehabilitate soft tissue injury we can release tight painful muscles, knots, trigger points and restrictive scar tissue. Massage improves the flexibility and elasticity of the muscle ensuring that the movement and performance is uncompromised.


So what are some of the ways can your Show dog be telling you they may benefit from massage?

1: Performance

  • Lack of concentration
  • Unwillingness to show
  • Poor movement
  • Unable to stand square
  • Unable to weight bear

2: Character

  • Unusually aggressive
  • Unwillingness to stand square
  • Reluctance to allow the Judge to go over them
  • A normally confident dog becoming nervous

3: Appearance

  • Dullness of coat
  • Lethargy
  • Raised hairs
  • Flicks in the coat
  • Twitching skin

4: Gait

  • Crabbing/Sidewinding
  • Pacing
  • Lameness/Limping
  • Hopping
  • Paddling
  • Adducting/Abducting a leg
  • Lack of reach and drive

5: Posture

  • Roaching
  • Sway Back
  • Unbalanced Muscle Tone
  • Supination/Pronation of the Feet
  • Uneven Topline
  • Poor Tail Carriage

Remember dogs are very good at hiding pain and just a slight change in temperament or movement could be a sign that there is an issue. If you notice ANY of the above in your dog, it could be they are suffering from muscular pain and would benefit from Clinical Canine Massage.

Contact me to find out more and to book an appointment for your dog:

07800 512069