It is really important that after you spend time in the ring with your canine partner that when you come out you take some additional time to let the muscles cool down. After extreme physical activity both of your bodies need some time to return back to normal. This can be accomplished by simply going for a bit of a walk after.
If your dog was heavily panting then you know your dog is back to normal when the tongue is more inside of the dogs mouth and breathing is back to normal. If after a few minutes of walking your dog has not returned to a normal state then you can help them out by letting them lie on a wet towel. If that isn’t available then a wet down with a hose or a kiddie pool should do the trick.
The risk of not properly cooling down your dog is that the muscles can constrict and or stiffen. This can lead to injury. When the dog is next asked to perform for you.
One of the worst things you can do is immediately come out of the ring and start discussing it with a friend. Ask them to walk with you if they can. For your own mental health I would recommend that you don’t do this unless your run was so great that your friend just wants to share the moment with you. Otherwise it could affect your mental state going forward in the competition. You may not be ready to hear criticism at that point any way.
Stay tuned for my next blog post which will be on the use of the warm-up jump!