I recently received my April edition of Clean Run magazine and have been admiring the increased exposure the poodle is receiving. On the cover is a dashing 9-year old toy named Radar flying through a tunnel with a very determined look on his face and then, on page five, there’s a white standard rushing through yet another tunnel in a J and J Dog Supplies advertisement. Go poodles! Throughout the pages there are several ads that leave me scratching my head, but the one that really gets my goat is the one by FitPAWS on page 35, the one with the Chihuahua standing on an egg. It seems the mega marketing machine strikes again with their new FitPAWS Mini Egg. Wow, just in time for Easter. Go Figure.
Why???? Do we really need such a thing? My answer is an unequivocal NO!! Yes, that was a scream! I kept quiet when I saw FitPAWS had developed a dog safety harness for use while your healthy dog is on the ball/peanut/egg. (Well ok, I was just reminded by my partner that it was only quiet online.) What is next, a ceiling hoist system that allows you to lift your healthy dog on and off the ball with an added hydraulic option for the large breeds? A jacket made of bubble wrap that gives the safety conscious owner added piece of mind? I understand that the new economy is requiring new strategies for businesses, but this madness has got to stop.
Now, back to the Chihuahua. So all you “structure” aficionados, is he standing in a neutral position? No, because the damn egg is too narrow and short. FOR A CHIHUAHUA! If you were inclined to use an “egg” for conditioning work, which by the way I am NOT endorsing, please use one that fits your poodle, which will leave out most dogs over 18 inches at the withers, in my opinion. My reasoning? If a healthy dog is “worked” out of neutral (for example, flexed at the hips and/or narrow stance) because it doesn’t fit on an egg or a ball, it will develop compensatory patterns for this “unnatural” position. A flexed-hip compensatory pattern tends to over use the iliopsoas muscle as a stabilizer. Do we really want that muscle short and strong? All you agility fans, can you say knocked bars?
Oh, and in the ad they also say that the mini egg is a perfect size for small PUPPIES! Need I say more? Happy Easter.