A dogs shoulder consists of 25 muscles responsible for movement and stability! 😲
In people, the collarbone (clavicle) 🦴connects the arms to the trunk (torso). This helps us push, lift and swing the arms. Dogs don’t push and lift with their front limbs. Their body is designed for running, jumping, and turning – locomotion. Dogs lack a fully developed collarbone and instead have a small cartilaginous structure (softer than bone). This design allows for enhanced speed and agility.
Those 25 muscles in your dog’s shoulder have almost contradictory roles providing both stability and flexibility.
Keeping your dog’s shoulders strong 💪 will help with movement (not hinder it) 🐕. Strong muscles around the trunk provide stability for the limbs to move freely. Start with isometric (no movement) exercises such standing square and moving the head towards one shoulder than the other (i.e. cookies to the shoulder), as well as reaching up for a treat, without stepping out.
This exercise can increase in difficulty by standing on a low surface (1-2 inches to start). Always perform exercises on non slippery surfaces and if you are unsure if it is appropriate for your dog due to other factors (age, injuries, health conditions, etc) check in with your vet and/or canine rehab therapist).
Happy shoulder stability! 🐶💪