What do owners think about it?
- Wow it’s amaizing! He’s so smart!/She knows if she sits pretty she will get her treat!
What does a dog physioterapist think about it?
- Hope they had a check over/x-ray/MRI before they started to learn it. - It’s happened only once, has it? - Hope they never ever do it again.
I know it could be nice to add this to your dog’s training and it could be one of your favourite tricks, ’cause it looks funny. You may have even heard it is a good exercise for building core muscles.
But let me show you the dark side of this trick.
Sitting pretty is not functional for a dog. It’s never been. They wouldn’t do it in their ordinary life, and they don’t need this skill either. For dogs, the joints of the spine (facet joints) are designed for horizontal movements. This means that in sit pretty position these joints suffer more stress and forces than they should have. And the dog can’t use the front legs to help out and it needs to find another way to stabilize the area. Dogs don’t have the same muscles and ligaments in their back as we do have to help us stay upright.
Allowing this posture can create a lot of compensatory muscle imbalances which could lead to injury and cause a lot of pain in their spine, joints and hip. We put them in a big risk. Later in their older years it could turn into a bigger pain, arthritis and some damage in their spine.
Do you remember the previous article about jumping out your car or off your bed? Do you see the connection between the two topics? When they jump out/off from somewhere the damage could be the same, only the stress and forces come from the other side.
Please find another trick or exercise for your dog. What is similar than your dog’s normal gait, movements and positions.
Have fun with it without worrying about the bad effects and consequences.