IMDT Conference : Sam Turner 3 awesome days spent talking about everything dog with some amazing speakers!

May 8, 2018

A few things I learned from the IMDT conference:

1) People in rescue do not get enough praise for what they do – these are amazing people that generally live, eat and breathe their work because the passion for caring is extreme!

2) I really could do with a Tania Chappelle in my life- Tania is IMDT problem solver/PA/Organiser. Tania spent most of the weekend making sure the event ran smoothly often solving problems for people during the 3 days.

3) Alison Martin from IMDT sleeps in a tent even when she’s in a hotel room – I didn’t actually find out why though!? If anyone does know why please get in touch via facebook

4) I now have Steve Mann’s mobile number thanks to Nando Brown for putting it on his slide! I will now auction this number at the next Rescue dog show on the KONG- BOLA.

And last but not least……..

5) Life is too fast paced, slow down, breath more and connect with the people you love humans or animals.

Besides all the above I learned once again that being in the IMDT is like being part of a lovely family of like minded dog people! The passion installed to each and every member comes directly from the top, thank you Steve for having the courage to start this awesome family and to be able to share your time and passion with us.

Sam Turner spoke about canine body awareness, anybody that comes to our puppy classes will know that we do not only train dogs to do basic obedience but we train dogs about proprioception or body awareness. It is vital for a happy healthy pooch that they learn about their body’s and use their muscles in the correct ways.

Sam spoke about her classes which are called dog gym, just like us humans dogs need to learn to strengthen their core muscles whilst they are growing. Puppy gym and proprioception courses have exercises that teach body awareness and also contribute to mental development. But it can also help with muscle strength, stamina, balance, coordination, confidence and concentration.

puppy class photoBody awareness exercises are great to practice with puppies as bones actually need pressure to grow and develop well (Low intensity whilst they are still growing). Making this a great way to stimulate your puppy, keep them healthy and teach them whilst they cannot have so much exercise due to their growth plates. So for example a puppy walking on different surfaces and textures will teach them the life skills, help to develop different muscles for all the different floors it may come across in its life.

In our puppy classes we use different textures; wobble boards, poles, bubble wrap, Laminate, carpet and raised platforms for the puppies to investigate and manoeuvre their bodies across.

To improve coordination you can use platforms for your dogs to walk along bearing in mind their size, age and energy to ensure you are using appropriate equipment for each individual.

To Improve your dog’s balance you can do use a wobble-board, platforms or cushions. This helps with their core strengthening using deeper but smaller muscle groups. The balance should never be forced, keep the sessions short and go at your dogs pace, size, age and breed. Remembering that puppy’s growth plates don’t close until later in their development..

Body awareness isn’t just for puppies adult dogs would enjoy and benefit from all of the body awareness training too.

Sam Turner was a fantastic speaker at the conference and it was a pleasure to meet her during the 3 days. I’m pretty sure that we will be seeing her again as we investigate more into “Puppy Gym”. For more information visit her website

puppy class 3