Structure in Action - Pat Hastings
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  • Last weekend I went to a Pat Hastings workshop titled "Structure in Action". That same week a new book of hers came out covering the same subject matter, titled "Structure in Action: The Makings of a Durable Dog".

    http://www.dogfolk.com/

    I really enjoyed the seminar, the subject matter was similar to her Puppy Puzzle information (I have the DVD, I haven't seen the workshop) but the focus was more on the relationship between the structure of the dog and its relationship to performance and risk for injury. (I know there are other speakers on this type of subject - Agile posted a link to one on another thread -but I haven't had an opportunity to go to one of theirs yet.) I just got my copy of the book the other day and it appears to cover the same subject matter as the workshop, although I would definitely recommend the workshop since you get a lot more additional insight. The book has lots of pictures and is easy to follow. I hope someone else finds it useful. :D

    My big takeaway was that depending on what you want to do with your dog (obedience, coursing, agility, mountain hiking, couch potato, etc.) you need to look at its structure to assess it to see if it has any issues that would make it more difficult for that dog to perform those activities. Depending on the degree of the structural flaws you then need to consider if it's appropriate to even do that activity with your dog. And at least keep it in your mind so that you can watch for signs of injury that could result and perhaps scale back the activity to a lesser level to make injury less likely.

    And also, when you are looking for a dog and plan to do performance events, you need to make sure that the breeder knows and appreciates this. You want a structurally sound dog so that it can do these activities easily and not be susceptible to early injury. And depending on the breed, "show quality" is not necessarily performance quality. As examples, poodles and golden retrievers bred for the show ring may not be able to actually retrieve because of the prevalence of ewe necks nowadays (the ewe necks give a look that appears to preferred in the ring now). As a result, I think I have just become a more demanding puppy buyer. :rolleyes:

    It was very striking to see the concepts demonstrated in the demo dogs that people brought that day. You could very easily see the compensatory muscle buildup in areas of structural weakness and also how the dogs appears to have discomfort in these areas of their body as the vet at the seminar manipulated them.

    I must say it has given me some pause about coursing my younger dog. She tends to roach her back from time to time, when is a compensatory behavior for removing weight off the rear assembly so there is definitely some issues to watch out there. You can see it in how she naturally stands. I will likely start her out on it and try to get a coursing title but may not pursue it beyond depending on how she does.

    The book has a section in the back which points out the structural attributes important for different performance activities. The overall message is that you want a structurally sound dog from reading the lists for most of the performance activities that basenjis compete in.

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  • actually helen king has some very interesting info on ewe necks and retrieving. look at june 15, 2008
    http://sonicagility.blogspot.com/

    and here:

    what i did take away from the helen king seminar is Question Everything. ;-) so that's where i am. (which isn't to say i wouldn't LOVE to take a Pat Hastings seminar) i am not totally convinced about the disadvantages of a shelf, which is what HKing seems to think, but nor am I convinced in the other direction either, which is the discussion on the other thread. I do think it makes for a pretty outline, but am less sure of the functionality.

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  • @agilebasenji:

    actually helen king has some very interesting info on ewe necks and retrieving. look at june 15, 2008
    http://sonicagility.blogspot.com/

    and here:

    what i did take away from the helen king seminar is Question Everything. ;-) so that's where i am. (which isn't to say i wouldn't LOVE to take a Pat Hastings seminar) i am not totally convinced about the disadvantages of a shelf, which is what HKing seems to think, but nor am I convinced in the other direction either, which is the discussion on the other thread. I do think it makes for a pretty outline, but am less sure of the functionality.

    She did qualify that it depends on the breed and what it is meant to do. I liked the foundation of the arguments that she made based on "structural engineering" concepts. After listening to this, I'm definitely more interested in learned more about structure/performance relationships and getting different viewpoints. I'll have to see if Helen King is anywhere in my area in the future.

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  • there has been talk of this book on the cleanrun list. hmmmm. . . dogwise comes to town later this month, so i'll have to check it out.

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  • okay, got the book and will put it in my "To Read" backlog

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  • Cool. I'm curious to hear what you think of it. I'm reading a book now that focuses on the behavioral and conformational evolution of dogs. The whole subject of dog structure/behavior is fascinating. I think I'm going to have a lot more questions than answers after I'm finished reading it. :rolleyes:

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  • @Nemo:

    Cool. I'm curious to hear what you think of it. I'm reading a book now that focuses on the behavioral and conformational evolution of dogs. The whole subject of dog structure/behavior is fascinating. I think I'm going to have a lot more questions than answers after I'm finished reading it. :rolleyes:

    okay, well, you can't just throw that out there without letting me know the name of the book

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  • Oh yeah, that was stupid of me. It's the Coppingers book called "Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior, and Evolution". It was published in 2001 but obviously I'm slow getting around to reading it. I'm hoping I can find some other references on similar subject matter after I'm done with it.

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  • I just ordered this book to compliment the others. I'm hoping it will help with some structure questions I have.

    K-9 Structure & Terminology
    Edward M., Jr. Gilbert (Author), Thelma R. Brown (Author)

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  • have you read Dogsteps? there are also 2 dvd's to go along with it. i've read dogsteps and the coppinger book a while ago, but have not seen the dvd's

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  • No, I haven't read Dogsteps, I'll have to add that to the list. Thanks!

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  • P

    'I just ordered this book to compliment the others. I'm hoping it will help with some structure questions I have.

    K-9 Structure & Terminology
    Edward M., Jr. Gilbert (Author), Thelma R. Brown (Author)'

    A very good choice, Nemo. Another good one is Robert Cole's 'An Eye for a Dog' which includes Basenjis and if you can get hold of it (out of print), - 'The Dog in Action' by McDowell Lyon.

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  • Let me know what you think about Coppinger's book. i had some mixed feelings.

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  • Oh! and today's purchase was a large fitpaws balance ball. it's not really a "ball" sort of a squashed ball. Anyway, it is suposed to help build back leg muscles and improve balance, all-over muscle tone, back end awareness. We'll see . . .

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  • Coincidentally, Pat Hasting mentioned using a balance ball in the seminar to help with getting imbalanced muscles into proper proportions…particularly in the case of known structural weaknesses. She mentioned a Thera Ball which sounds like the same thing.

    It sounds like a good idea in general though for a performance dog. Take videos when you're trying the dogs out on it. I'm sure it will be entertaining. :D

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  • @Patty:

    'I just ordered this book to compliment the others. I'm hoping it will help with some structure questions I have.

    K-9 Structure & Terminology
    Edward M., Jr. Gilbert (Author), Thelma R. Brown (Author)'

    A very good choice, Nemo. Another good one is Robert Cole's 'An Eye for a Dog' which includes Basenjis and if you can get hold of it (out of print), - 'The Dog in Action' by McDowell Lyon.

    Thanks, you can get both on Amazon. "The Dog in Action" appears to have been reprinted.

    I feel like I need to get a Kindle. My bookshelf is going to need more room! :rolleyes:

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  • @Nemo:

    Coincidentally, Pat Hasting mentioned using a balance ball in the seminar to help with getting imbalanced muscles into proper proportions…particularly in the case of known structural weaknesses. She mentioned a Thera Ball which sounds like the same thing.

    It sounds like a good idea in general though for a performance dog. Take videos when you're trying the dogs out on it. I'm sure it will be entertaining. :D

    Actually Zest was on the disc with all 4 feet in about 3 clicks at the show today. Putting her feet on something is one of the first things she will do when there is a human with a clicker and there is something new in her environment.

    I really got the disc for Digital who has lost some muscle mass and while he does go swimming once a week, i'd like to do a little more. it is difficult for the basenjis to get enough exercise here in the winter. And at 14 it seems more difficult to build muscle.

    Oh and if you're really thinking about an ereader, take a look at the new color nook. i have a previous model nook and have really enjoyed it. with nook, you can share some titles, there is a free book download on friday (some worth price, some not so much) and you can go to Barnes and Noble and read any e title for an hour for free. nice way to test drive a book.

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  • I hope it helps Digital. I can sympathize with trying to get them enough exercise in the winter.

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  • C

    This video re-cap is from FitPAWS booth this weekend. Thanks for all of your support!

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  • catrios1
    could you please try again. i got a "malformed video" message when i clicked your link. (I have the little red/white basenji girl who enjoyed your booth this past weekend)

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  • C

    Try copy pasting into your browser. If that does not work you can view it on our FitPAWS facebook site too, just search FitPAWS on facebook. Hope it works! I Loved your Basenjis!!

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