by Kathy Santo | Updated: Jan 22 2019
Pivoting is the unsung hero of dog body strengthening and conditioning. It teaches your dog to move their rear paws independently of their front paws, which improves their proprioception (which then helps prevent injuries), boosts their confidence, provides a strengthening exercise for their hind legs and core, AND it’s a foundation exercise for SO MANY other things! (as you can see, we’re huge fans).
Once your dog is confidently able to pivot in both directions, his ability to maintain heel position will improve when turning. That makes “Setup” and “Side” easier for him, because his ability (and confidence!) to move his rear independently when switching between positions will be improved.
… your dog makes quick turns when chasing AND catching it.
This is one of the most common situations where a dogs can injure themselves! By teaching and practicing their pivots, they’ll be more confident (and physically stronger and more coordinated) when turning or catching toys, which can help prevent an injury from occurring.
For those of you who compete (or are interested in competing) in a sport like agility, rally, disc dogs, or flyball with your dog, the hind end awareness achieved through pivoting is absolutely critical!
Any object a few inches off the ground that your dog can pivot around such as:
For example: a stick or piece of wood they have to step over, a rolled up towel, or even a textbook that they can step onto and over to continue pivoting!
Kathy Santo has spent her entire career as a dog trainer and handler, training dogs and winning over 500 obedience, agility and Canine Good Citizenship titles. Working with her own dogs, she has achieved every competitive obedience title the American Kennel Club (AKC) has offered and earned the prestigious AKC “Obedience Trial Champion” title (OTCh) multiple times.
In Ramsey, Kathy teaches classes, private lessons, and oversees the training of her student’s dogs using her extensive knowledge, experience and intuition to handle problems from the benign to the serious. Her engaging personality has won her the respect and friendship of her many students, who now consider themselves part of her extended family.