When I started my dogs in flyball, my academic background in Physical Education and 12 years of coaching at the college and public school system kicked in. I realized that the human companions of the canine athletes did not always have an understanding of the physiological, psychological, and emotional demands being placed on their dogs.

I would watch different dog sports and see how the relationship between the demands of a particular sport, the structure of the dog, proper conditioning and nutrition, and team dynamics (dog-handler) affected the overall health of the canine athletes. In my movement observations of the dogs in each sport, I noticed similar postures and gaits that told me that the repetitive demands of the sport were creating chronic physical problems.

However, I knew from my work as a coach and sport psychologist that the team dynamics, the personality, and emotional stability of each dog are critical factors in how the dog handles stress which in turn plays a role in how the dog’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments handle the physical demands of the sport.

Canine Massage is a good way to not only help the dogs physically, but also emotionally.  To date, I have worked mostly on performance and older dogs.  I love seeing the older dogs appear to age backwards for just a bit of time.


I am looking forward to getting more training to not only help those canine athletes that pulled me into this profession, but also all dogs that could benefit from canine massage.

My training is quite eclectic. Unlike other canine massage body workers, I am able to take courses that veterinarians and vet techs can take. This is due to my Ph.D. in physical education and background in coaching.  I have taken a series of courses in animal normalization techniques (similar to osteopathy), a course in structural integration (myofascial release), and I was very lucky to take a canine medical massage course hosted by the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association.

Since that course, I have provided palliative care for cancer patients. I will continue to take more courses to enable me to better enhance the lives of canine companions. Remember that massage is not a replacement for veterinary care. It is a beneficial modality that compliments veterinary care, proper nutrition, exercise, and mental stimulation in insuring the health and well-being of your canine companion.