Canine Conditioning Equipment - Just Starting

Equipment Discussion: I’m just starting out… What do I actually need???

Written by Anna Lee Sanders

CPCFT

Equipment Discussion

April 6, 2021

Canine Conditioning Equipment: Purchased -vs- Home Made Equipment

In the beginning of my canine conditioning journey, I got excited and bought EVERYTHING I could afford. Because of that, I ended up spending a lot of $$$ on things I didn’t need, and never really used. I thought what made conditioning exercises effective was the equipment. Later I learned the important part was the actual movement.

In the video I detail the different canine conditioning equipment I find invaluable. This video covers the platforms I use and their qualities. It also covers which inflatables I find are the most useful. I also quickly demonstrate how they can be combined to adjust height, and difficulty level.

Stable -vs- Inflatable

Form drives function. Without proper form/teaching the dog correct movement strategy, the addition of advanced canine conditioning equipment is not going to have the intended effect.

Stable equipment / platforms are used to communicate to the dog where the feet should be placed. It also aids in increasing load in the front/rear end by changing elevation. Lastly, it helps to ensure proper alignment/muscle recruitment is being maintained throughout the exercise.

Using generalized equipment, with specialized movement training, we first train/retrain biomechanics. This corrects faulty movement patterns and improves functionality. Later we an add specialized inflatables to the equation to increase instability,

At the very Foundation level, and the very highest Expert level stable surfaces are used almost exclusively. This is why I use a lot of stable equipment in my programming.  Also, I’m pretty thrifty… so like to keep things simple when possible.

More detail about the various platforms can be found in my blog posts Understanding Platforms in Canine Fitness and Measuring for Platforms.

EDIT: Several members asked I list the brands I prefer… I prefer Gator Grip Traction tape. I found it to be grippy, but not excessively rough on the dogs feet… Which can be nice for more sensitive dogs. For the rubber feed bowls, Fortex is my preferred brand, they seem to be constructed of a much thicker lateral than other brands. The DoubleTough brand bowls are also good, especially in the smaller sizes.

 

EDIT: Since writing this post, I’ve moved away from using the FitBone in favor of the Propel Air Platform by Blue-9. I find it MUCH safer and much more useful. Check out my Propel Air Product Review for more info about why!

You may also like…

Platforms in Canine Fitness: Part 1

Platforms in Canine Fitness: Part 1

Part 1 of a 3 part series on using platforms in Canine Fitness. I breakdown of the difference between the 4 main platform types, and what each is good for.

Comments

8 Comments

  1. tcsapa

    What is the brand of your stabilizer box please?

    Reply
    • Anna Lee Sanders

      The box is actually a repurposed piece of human Pilates equipment. But you could easily build a box out of plywood.

      Here’s a link to help out out
      https://youtu.be/nyut5BakqCc

      Reply
  2. Sue L

    Very helpful and generous of you to share the details of exactly what you use.

    Reply
  3. Ilana

    Hi Anna!

    We’re looking to start your beginner program soon but want to make sure we have all the necessary equipment first! Besides brand, is there a size recommendation for the rubber feed bowls? I noticed you have some narrower and some wider bowls, would you recommend getting both?

    Also, do you recommend the smooth or textured toto paws?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Anna Lee Sanders

      Hey Ilana!

      Some of that would have to do with how big your dog is. Can you share some information regarding breed or height at the withers?

      Reply
      • Ilana

        Sure! He’s a 50 lb pit mix, about 20 inches tall at withers and about a 4/9 on the Purina Body Score Scale.

        Reply
  4. Ilana

    Reposting with more information:

    He’s a 50 lb pit mix, about 20 inches tall at withers and about a 4/9 on the Purina Body Score Scale.

    Hi Anna!
    We’re looking to start your beginner program soon but want to make sure we have all the necessary equipment first! Besides brand, is there a size recommendation for the rubber feed bowls? I noticed you have some narrower and some wider bowls, would you recommend getting both?
    Also, do you recommend the smooth or textured toto paws?
    Thank you!

    Reply
  5. Anna Lee Sanders

    Hey Ilana! I apologize for the delay!

    For larger / more energetic dogs I recommend the Fortex brand rubber bowls (although these may need to be doubled up for larger dogs) or garden paver stones which are often available from the garden department of your hardware store (round or square). The garden pavers can be stacked and are heavy enough that they generally won’t slip or slide. Alternatively, you can build your own foot targets which is discussed in the measuring for platforms blog.

    Regarding sizing of the feed bowls… I use both the 16 cup and 8 cup sizes for my 76lb Labrador. So that would likely be a good size for your pup. Any dog larger than Ron Burgundy would likely need to size up.

    For the pods, a 50lb energetic dog would do much better with the TotoFit Nubby Pods due to their internal support structure. Here’s a link! http://totofit.com/product/nubby-pawds/

    Reply

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