‘Building our puppy’s bodies correctly is vital for their health, it is just as important as developing their social skills and emotional cognition. And like puppy socialisation, building a puppy’s body correctly, has a limited window of opportunity’. Is one of the key messages from the new puppy exercise book by Julia Robertson.
It also answers the question ‘how much exercise does my puppy need?’ The long awaited answer to this much asked question is given clarity and explanation, along with a full easy to follow plan called the ‘Galen Myotherapy Puppy Physical Development Programme’ addressing why this is so vital for our developing puppies and adolescents.
It explains the impact of bringing puppies into an environment and lifestyle that they are not designed for. How their bodies, or anatomy, are not built for living in our houses, with the slippery floors, the cars and furniture which we expect them to jump on and off, the type of exercise we give, or even some of the equipment we use. As our homes and way of life do not offer a ‘natural’ environment, we have to compromise and help nature along, this is absolutely what we need to do with our puppy development.
The list of detrimental activities featured could look daunting to anyone with a puppy or looking to have one, but this book shows you how this can be negated by making some simple, cost effective, environmental changes and adaptations which will ensure the muscular health of your new family member.
The book explains in easy to read detail, how for a body to grow securely and to be robust, all its component parts, such as the skeleton, muscles, nerves (and other connective anatomy that holds everything together), requires specific stimulation, at specific times and this is so much more likely to happen if a puppy was living a natural life.
Dog’s anatomy has hardly changed, above a 18,000 year old Russian puppy, named ‘Dogor’ found preserved in a layer of permafrost in Siberia. Found by Russian scientists in 2019. Copyright Dr Sergey Feborov, North-Easter Federal University.
It also takes us on a brief history of man and canine cohabiting, discussing how our living environments and lifestyles have changed so much in the last 50 years. Also how so many of our current practices, both living and environment have changed, raising the question about whether it is these elements that are having such a negative impact on our puppies' formative months and their healthy futures?
The inspiration to write this book was primarily drawn on from her extensive experience as a therapist of treating dogs for 20 years; and when she started she was literally the only practitioner (that either she, or google knew about!) specialising in treating chronic muscular issues in dogs, using clinical massage techniques. Now of course there are literally thousands of therapists and although it is wonderful that dogs have a myriad of different treatment modalities, isn't it sad that there is such a recent exponential demand?
Where does Galen Myotherapy fit within the writing of this book?
Galen Myotherapy specialises in treating dogs, but is also passionate about prevention, because prevention is always better than cure. One of the most common problems they see, and have seen over the years, are dogs with muscle imbalance. Meaning that their muscles are not working together properly, to create not just strength and speed, but something that is possibly even more important, which is muscle stability. Different muscles have different roles, some are power muscles, for running and jumping, and some hold the joints securely during actions, this could be referred to as correct muscle activation and patterning. It takes specific formative exercises to activate the muscles that hold the joints securely and these, in Galen’s experience and opinion, are commonly not working in the dogs they treat as well as sporting and working dogs. This pattern of movement creating functional myofascial connections must be encouraged and developed in our puppies' formative development, and this is what the book describes, both the how and the why.
Galen Myotherapy has been built from sound scientific knowledge, and ongoing observations of thousands of dogs; I am a practical person, and need practical, natural and dog-choice derived solutions that are easy to implement in my busy life. I felt that from my experience, if we could improve and change the culture of how we develop our puppies, it would have a hugely positive impact on dogs now and in the future. These are the foundations and rationale behind the How to Build your Puppy book’. Julia Robertson
What others have said about 'How To Build A Puppy ……..Into A Healthy Adult Dog'.
"Dog behaviour consultants, instructors and dog owners are crying out for this information. For instance, people frequently ask 'how much exercise should I give my puppy?' and this book not only answers that but shows that there are other better ways to exercise a dog than walking in a straight line". Foyles synopsis and review
"Using her world-renowned Galen Myotherapy knowledge and approach, Robertson suggests and explains in detail how small, profoundly important but easy to implement changes can improve the way we not only look after and develop our puppies but also how maintenance of this easy programme continues your puppy’s journey through into healthy adolescence and maturity". Amazon book review
"Should be standard reading for all dog owners, dog instructors, dog behaviour consultants, dog shelters, veterinarians students, veterinarians, and all other education's and organisations that have to do with dogs in our society". Abstract from the Foyles synopsis
Practical and well explained, Julia’s love for dogs shines through every page. I believe it will have a huge impact on our work with dogs in the future. Turid Rugaas - International dog trainer and author of On Talking Terms with dogs: Calming Signals
FOYLES FULL REVIEW:
Fills a gap in the market for a book that advises on the physical side of developing and maintaining a healthy puppy, as well as a rehomed older dog. There's lots on behavioural training, but nothing on this essential element. Dog behaviour consultants, instructors and dog owners are crying out for this information. For instance, people frequently ask 'how much exercise should I give my puppy?' and this book not only answers that but shows that there are other better ways to exercise a dog than walking in a straight line.
Without knowledge of dog anatomy and physiology, people can exercise their dogs in ways
that (and create environments that) have negative and long-lasting impacts on
Useful and applicable for professionals and owners no matter what behavioural training
technique they use.
Useful for veterinarians and other people working in healthcare with dogs because it gives
in-depth description of functional anatomy and the overall musculoskeletal
system, as well as practical information and illustrations that can be
recommended to their clients, making that part of their job easier.
In most books, the point of focus is the human, but the focal point of this book is the
puppy. What does living with humans mean to him? This is refreshing and needed.
Julia's accessible, light-hearted writing style makes the more challenging technical
aspects easy to comprehend. The many colour illustrations are a great help in
understanding the text and link explicitly to everyday experience.
Julia Robertson is the expert in this field: her book is based on novel theory and
many years of experience.
Should be standard reading for all dog owners, dog instructors, dog behaviour
consultants, dog shelters, veterinarians students, veterinarians, and all other
education's and organisations that have to do with dogs in our society.