Has your dog ever refused to perform what is normally a simple behavior?
At our most recent agility trial, Hank refused to weave. During our first run things were going well but then we got to the weave poles. Hank tried once and popped out. I sent him in again and he really tried, but gave me a look that said “I can’t do it.” His behavior told me he was hurt so I let him skip the poles (for the first time ever).
Luckily, there was a veterinarian at the trial who was kind enough to examine him. It turned out he had a vertebra and disc “out of place” putting pressure on some nerves. I was too rattled to ask what the technical term for that would be, but I saw the results immediately once she adjusted his spine.
When she began to examine Hank, he squirmed so much I could barely hold on to him. As soon as she put the disc back in place, he was calm and relaxed for the remainder of the exam. Amazing!
I also saw the difference in our very next run. The photo above is from that run and it’s obvious how happy he is. He ran faster and happier than he has in months! When we got to the weaves he hesitated, but then did all of them beautifully. He weaves only got better with each run. Check out the before and after video below
This is a perfect example of something that is important for everyone to remember when working with their dog: if he suddenly refuses to do a behavior he always does, check to see if there’s a physical cause. The same goes for new behaviors: if your dog starts growling, he may be in pain. Be the best guardian you can be and pay attention to what your dog is telling you.