Thriving Oldies

Senior Dog Mobility Retreats

We have teamed up with Small Animal Rehabilitation Therapist Deirdre Duggan from Pet Paws Physio to offer a unique workshop for senior dogs. Our focus is on educating you on the changing needs of your beloved pet dog as they age, empower you to be curious and proactive and encourage you to make small changes that have a huge impact on your dog’s wellbeing and lifespan.

Below is an outline of the day, subject to change:

10:00-12:00 Dog Sports for Oldies Taster
Mantrailing – Training dogs to find people for fun. 
Scent Detection – searching for and indicating on a target scent. 
Both are low impact sports utilising the dog’s powerful nose for a purposeful activity that builds confidence, communication and relationship with their handler.
If time allows, we will add in a Hoopers demo with Caroline’s senior dog Sansa.

12:00-12:45 Lunch (included) with Dog Sports Q&A

12:45-13:45 Muscle check & Enrichment Workshop
Deirdre will be checking the overall muscle state of each dog one-on-one, identify potential issues and give you feedback.
At the same time, Caroline will be inspiring the group with various canine enrichment options.

13:45-14:15 Potty Break

14:15-15:15 Bootcamp
Circuit style fitness class for dogs. Exercises will be tailored to the group. Focus on correct execution of exercises, offering various levels on each exercise to accommodate skillsets, guiding and assisting/troubleshooting while you're working through the stations.

15:15-15:45 Tea/Coffee break + Exercises/Body state Q&A

16:00-17:00 Canine Massage Workshop
Deirdre will teach you stroke techniques, raising awareness and curiosity. Understand what’s normal for your dog, recognise abnormalities and act sooner rather than later. Understanding dog’s cues of discomfort. Using touch to build a bond with your dog, and create relaxation for the nervous system of dog and human.

17:00-18:00 Expert Talk + Q&A
We will talk about the importance of function for senior dogs, educate you on movement patterns, behaviour changes, home hazards, advocating for your dog and discuss potential lifestyle adjustments. 

You will get a report with findings and recommendations on next steps (vet check, physio referral, trick training, continue Bootcamp type classes etc). All participants will be sent a handout including enrichment ideas and fitness exercises by email. You also get videos for the fitness exercises and massage techniques to continue these at home. We invite you to join our private Facebook group for further support, troubleshooting and a wonderful community with a very soft spot for senior dogs.

We take max. 6 dogs for each workshop to be able to give each one the attention they deserve. Dogs must be in good health and fine with other dogs to participate. Dogs with minor health issues that are already identified (and potentially treated) can participate with their vet/physio’s approval. Light lunch and tea/coffee is included for guardians. 

Recommended canine age groups:
Small breeds 8+
Medium breeds 7+
Large & giant breeds 5+

If you have a younger dog and wish to learn about ageing dogs and how you can support your pup during that phase of life when the time comes, feel free to join us as a spectator! You can soak up all the knowledge, observe the dogs that are being worked throughout the day and ask questions. We welcome proactive dog owners, who want to be ready and informed!

Please check our Schedule page for upcoming workshop dates.