Canine expert's advice after agility underdog steals the show

It's been almost a month since Olly the Jack Russell delighted audiences with his attempt at the Crufts agility course, but attention has turned to the injuries dogs can get whilst taking part in such exercises.

The clip shared all over the world has prompted a canine expert to advise pet owners to take care and consider the injuries their pets may incur.

Despite training before the event, Olly tumbled over the first hurdle and leaped over the A-frame too quickly. Olly got back up and continued the course. He was checked over by a vet afterwards and given the all clear.

Experts want owners to remember that energetic activities can harm your dog and injuries can easily go unnoticed. Julia Robertson, founder of Galen Myotherapy, a unique muscle treatment that helps dogs suffering from underlying pain, arthritis and compensatory issues, said, "Olly captured the hearts of the nation with his less-than-perfect routine and it was wonderful to see a rescue dog being active and having his spot in the limelight.

"He tackled the agility course gallantly but I couldn’t help worrying when he accidentally tumbled over the hurdle and over-extended his lower back over the A-frame – this, in my opinion, could be because he was maybe uncomfortable before he commenced the round.

"Continuing this kind of unnatural movement can do serious damage to a dog’s muscles and joints and, if repeated, can result in crippling pain."

The former veterinary nurse has treated thousands of dogs throughout her career, including dozens suffering chronic muscle pain as a result of an accident whilst playing, running or competing.

As well as putting re-homed dogs and the Blue Cross in the spotlight, Julia hopes Olly’s performance will also help raise awareness among owners of the damage their pets could unwittingly suffer if they trip or stumble – which could be an indicator that they are injured.

Julia added, "Muscle discomfort can so easily go undetected, even under examination. But indicators such as a lack of ability or willingness to perform can be one such pointer. If a horse fell at a jump in such a fashion the reaction would have most certainly been very different.

"If we take a tumble and are left in pain we take action, and it is the same for our dogs. By looking at things from their perspective, especially when it comes to energetic activities, we can help maintain their health so they can continue to be their naturally, wonderful entertaining selves."