Research clearly shows that exercise boosts the brain.
For years now, we have known that exercise protects against memory disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease. (And people who exercise regularly are 50% less likely to develop dementia.) Dogs who regularly exercise would also be at a lower risk for canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome, a doggie version of dementia.
Exercise also makes you and your dog smarter, with better focus and concentration, and helps your dog learn.
But how does that happen?
Exercise creates new brain cells and increases a growth factor called BDNF, brain derived neurotrophic factor.
This growth factor, BDNF, is a protein that leads directly to brain cells connecting to one another as well as strengthening cells and axons.These connections, called synapses, between cells become more dense. BDNF stimulated connections are an important factor in learning and creating long term memories.
Overall, BDNF makes neurons healthier and is important...
Focus - something that we always seem to want to work on in our K9 partners. To improve our performance, we frequently strive to improve and maintain our dog’s focus - for us and for the game we are playing together. Body awareness is another path to engaging and building your dog’s focus.
Athletes use visualization as a warm up technique to help them prepare their mind and body for the physical challenge to come. Visualization increases mental awareness as well as confidence, and helps connect the body and mind. Studies show over and over again how visualization - the act of going through each movement, each swing, each run, each jump mentally first - helps elite athletes perform better.
Many agility handlers have incorporated visualization into their preparation for running a course. Immersing yourself in the feeling of the moment, the connection with your dog, is also visualization. We know that visualization actually trains the nerves and muscles to...