Purpose: This Intro to PawPods video shows Ron Burgundy’s first and second session ever seeing/using the PawPods, and includes working the front feet and rear feet targeting the pods separately.
Because of their small size, rounded/unstable surface and tendency to slide around, they can be really frustrating for the dog if not introduced correctly from the beginning.
Equipment: 2 PawPods
Targets: PawPods are a great tool to teach individual foot placement, improve front and rear end awareness/proprioception, and control/refine more advanced movement patterns, by using the pods as a foot target. Teaching a dog to place their feet precisely and individually, with control, helps to improve proprioceptive speed, body awareness, and sets the pup up to be successful with more advanced fine motor movement.
Watchpoints: Only once the dog is 100% fluent in the two parts separately (one foot on each pod with minimal adjustments, and feet still), is it appropriate to ask for the front and rear feet combined. If you have an especially energetic dog, you may benefit from more specific instruction on the handler mechanics I’m using which can be found in my blog post Training Loop in Canine Conditioning.
NOTE: I highly recommend the TotoFit PawPods. Sure, you can find other options for less $$. I like saving a buck as much as anyone… I mean… I actually make most of my own equipment for that reason! But this is not the place to cut corners. I have purchased several brands of human pods as well as FitPaws pods, and the design of the TotoFit is far and away superior. You’ll notice in the video there is NO slipping at all. That’s due to the internal construction of the pod having a vertical support piece, as well as the radius of the curve/angulation of the top surface. No need for any additional sticky targets underneath, or Velcro strips, etc. Safety is important, not only for the body, but also for promoting confidence in your pup. Slipping is not something that should be allowed EVER when working in structured conditioning (or doing anything else IMO). Flexiness Paw Stackers are a good option as well. As are the BOSU brand pods if human equipment is the only option.