Frankie, a 10-month-old Briard – McTimoney ready and wins on his first outing to the famous green carpet!

08/04/2024 by in Dog

By Cat Ferguson MSc PGCert MMAA
McTimoney Animal Chiropractor

Frankie (Chavell European Secret (ai)) is a 10-month-old Briard dog who lives with his owner, Cheryl, and his mum, Fergie, near Reading in Berkshire. This year he won Best Puppy Dog in Breed at his first ever Crufts!

Frankie (Chavell European Secret (ai)) 1

Cheryl first contacted me in early February, looking for a McTimoney Animal Practitioner for her 10-month-old Briard after an unusual hindlimb gait characteristic was noted during one of his regular ringcraft sessions. Frankie tended to move close behind and would sometimes cross his hind paws over the midline when moving. Cheryl had also noticed that when Frankie was being stood up at shows, he would sometimes lean into his handler and look around towards his left hindlimb when it was being placed. He had no other symptoms and had shown no signs of stiffness or pain at home. He was assessed by the vet before chiropractic treatment and no abnormalities had been found upon examination.

When I first met Frankie for his initial consultation, I noticed that he tended to weight-bear more through his right limbs, which was causing a mild lateral curve through his spine. He was intermittently standing with his left hind paw turned outwards and was showing more wear on the lateral aspect of the pads of this paw. When I watched him walking and trotting on the lead, he generally had excellent movement through the forelimbs but was short-striding through his left hindlimb. He had restricted movement through his left hip in both walk and trot and showed a tendency to cross both hind paws to the midline, especially in a slow walk.

I assessed the range of motion in all of Frankie’s limbs and throughout his spine. Frankie is a young dog and generally very flexible, but I did find him to be slightly restricted around the thoracolumbar junction when I asked him to flex to the right. He also had a pelvic rotation – whereby one side of the pelvis presents as lower than the other upon palpation – on the right-hand side, which was consistent with the way he was moving. In light of Frankie’s age and the fact that he is a large, fast-growing breed, treatment was kept light and conservative. I rebalanced his pelvis, adjusted a few specific misalignments in his thoracic and lumbar spine, and performed some gentle stretches. Frankie was a real pleasure to treat and was very relaxed about being assessed and handled, particularly for such a young dog. There was an immediate improvement to his posture post-treatment, with him weight-bearing much more evenly.

Frankie had a follow-up treatment in the week before Crufts to make sure he was in top form for his first outing to that famous green carpet! He had attended another show in the meantime and Cheryl was pleased to report that Frankie had placed second, had been moving well, was standing more parallel behind, and had not leaned against his handler during the show. Frankie had maintained the effects of his first treatment very nicely and only required a few adjustments this time around.

Frankie went on to win Best Puppy Dog in Breed at Crufts, with the judge’s critique stating that he won based on his overall conformation and movement.

Frankie (Chavell European Secret (ai)) Best Puppy Dog in Breed Crufts 2024

Cheryl, Frankie’s owner said “Having had McTimoney Chiropractic treatment myself in the past & for some of my dogs too, I was especially keen to find one to treat my 10-month Briard puppy Frankie, as he had qualified to enter Crufts 2024. I noticed that his movement was not exactly as free as it should be. I found Cat Ferguson who seemed to tick all my boxes, & she agreed to come & treat Frankie. Although only a few minor adjustments were made on the first visit, he was moving better. After the second treatment, he was considerably better, & Cat was very happy with him. I felt more confident about taking him to Crufts & was super pleased & proud that he won his class! Cat will be treating Frankie on a few more occasions just to make sure everything is ok, as he is a big lad & growing fast! McTimoney Chiropractic Treatment is so gentle, & most importantly it works.

Starting McTimoney treatment from an early age not only meant that Frankie’s posture and gait were at their best for Crufts but will also help to ensure that compensations from an abnormal gait pattern will not go on to cause discomfort and dysfunction for him in the future.

I’m so pleased for Frankie’s owner, Cheryl, in her latest success at Crufts. She’s an exceptionally knowledgeable and observant owner to work with and made it clear from the get-go that Frankie’s health and well-being are the top priority, over and above show results.

Frankie is a dog who just oozes charisma! From his enthusiastic greetings to his inquisitive nature (whether it’s my notetaking, the contents of my pockets, or the Velcro straps on my jacket sleeves – you can guarantee he’s interested!), he’s just such a fun character to be around. I can’t wait to see what he goes on to achieve in the future.”

What is McTimoney?

The McTimoney treatment is an effective and gentle form of chiropractic which uses quick and light adjustments on specific vertebrae or skeletal structures. It is a holistic approach which treats the body as a whole to realign and balance the musculoskeletal system without significant force. It has a particular focus on the spine and pelvis and looks at the cause and not just the symptoms of dysfunction. This helps to restore and maintain health, movement, soundness and performance. It is a non-invasive, gentle physical therapy and treatment is readily accepted by most animals.

Cat Ferguson MSc PGCert MMAA provides McTimoney animal chiropractic therapy and soft tissue massage services to large and small animals throughout Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire. Cat is a member of the McTimoney Animal Association.

The McTimoney Animal Association (MAA) is an independent regulatory body. All members hold a PGDip or MSc in Animal Manipulation from the McTimoney College of Chiropractic, abide by a code of ethics, and are fully insured to treat animals. For more information on the McTimoney Animal Association, or to find a practitioner near you, go to

Cat Ferguson MSc PGCert MMAA

First-of-its-kind, Undergraduate Masters in Veterinary Chiropractic

The McTimoney College of Chiropractic has trained chiropractors for over 50 years and runs both part-time and full-time programmes in chiropractic for animals. For many years, graduates of animal science programmes have been able to continue on to the MSc in Animal Manipulation (Chiropractic) at the college, learning on this fantastic 2-year part-time course to evaluate cases and apply safe and effective chiropractic treatment.

The growing demand for more animal chiropractors in practice has led to the recent development of the new Masters in Veterinary Chiropractic for people who do not have a prior degree and as a full-time programme is suited to people who want to achieve an animal chiropractic career in just four years of training.

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