Health - Handlers

Agility After Joint Replacement
"Joint replacement does not mean the end of your agility career. In fact, for me it was the thing that allowed me to continue to run agility and be competitive. In 2003, at the age of 52, I had my right hip replaced. In 2007-2011 I competed in the AKC Agility Nationals. In 2008 my Corgi Audrey and I were one of five teams representing Pembroke Welsh Corgis at the AKC Agility Invitational in Long Beach, CA. And, in 2010, my two-year-old Corgi Stella won the Challengers Round at the AKC Nationals, buying us a slot in the Finals. In September 2011, I had my left knee replaced. If I can have this success with artificial joints anyone can. I am not a jock. I am like a lot of agility competitors; I’m a middle-aged woman carrying a few extra pounds who loves her dogs."

Need New Knees?
An agility handler shares his personal experience with a total knee replacement including making the decision, recovering from the surgery, and getting back to agility.

ACL Protection and Performance Enhancement for Agility Handlers, Part 1
The incidence of ACL tears in female athletes participating in jumping and cutting sports is 2 to 6 times higher than in male athletes in the same sports. Part-time athletes have a higher risk of an ACL injury than professional athletes. For most of us, agility is a part-time activity, although one that we devote considerable time and resources to. Learn more about this topic.

ACL Protection and Performance Enhancement for Agility Handlers, Part 2
There is now good evidence that carefully designed programs for protecting the ACL have successfully decreased the incidence of ACL tears in female athletes by up to 88%. ACL protection programs are still relatively uncommon, but one is currently operated by the University of Utah Sports Medicine Center. This program forms the basis for the modified ACL protection program for agility handlers described in this article. The program was designed with input from physicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and coaches at the University of Utah.

Dynamic Warm-up
Picture this: You attend a professional football game and arrive early enough to watch your favorite team get ready for the big event. The team enters the stadium and the defensive unit takes to the field for a thorough warm-up while the offensive players stroll over to the bench, sit down, and begin to chit-chat. You're shocked! How can they expect to perform well as a team at kick-off time? This scenario seems bizarre, but you see something very much like it at every agility trial. Handlers religiously warm-up and stretch their dogs, yet do nothing to prepare themselves for their role as a vital member of the team. In just 10 minutes you can perform a dynamic (with movement) warm-up and stretch routine that will rouse you from that post-lunch coma, save your hard-earned entry fee, raise your Q-rate, and drop your course time.