Ask Dr. Julie: Is My Dog Physically Ready to do Agility?

Written By: Jean Emery - August• 28•11


Today I kick off what I intend to be a recurring feature on The Novice Handler blog–Ask Dr. Julie.

Julie Mayer has been practicing veterinary medicine in Chicago since 1991 with a holistic and rehabiliation focus for the past fifteen years.  To our good fortune here in the Southwest, Dr. Julie relocated to the Phoenix area and has been providing tremendous assistance to our performance dogs with injury rehab or –more importantly–injury prevention. 

Dr. Julie’s holistic medicine interests led her to become certified in veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic and nutrition, particularly the metabolic demands of athletic performance.  She’s even created a performance-replenishment treat called MACH Morsels, designed to replace the vital nutrients and substances expended during canine sporting events.  She’s written for many publications, for the professional community and the pet-owning community, and is a frequent lecturer. You can see the full list of her credentials at her website

For our kick-off Ask Dr. Julie feature I’ve put together two videos.  In the first, Dr. Julie and I talk about a sensitive subject–one that many of us get pretty touchy about, but has a significant impact on our dog’s performance and its longevity in the sport.

In the second video, Dr. Julie takes us through the steps of evaluating our dogs physical condition and preparedness for athletic performance.

First, Dr. Julie and I sit down for a chat:

You can find a sample Body Condition Scoring chart on Dr. Julie’s website (click here).


Next Dr. Julie takes a look at two different dogs and shows us the steps she goes through in evaluating a dog’s readiness to compete in agility.


If you have any questions or would like to make contact with Dr. Julie directly, you can email her at:

Also, if you have any topics you’d like Dr. Julie to address in future posts, let me know and we’ll see about giving it a go.

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  1. Jenn says:

    Thank you, Dr. Julie! Your outreach is very appreciated!

  2. Amy says:

    Thanks for the blog. Great topic. But, there was so much sound interference on Video 2 (hands-on with the dogs) that I could not hear a word Dr Julie was saying. I tried navigating to Youtube and watching directly there, but with the same result. Also using headphones instead of the computer’s speaker – same result. If you can think of any way to clean up the sound, the video would be useful, I am sure.

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