Various Platforms used in Canine Fitness

Platforms in Canine Fitness: Part 1

Written by Anna Lee Sanders


Equipment Discussion

December 1, 2021

This is Part 1 of a 3 part series on how to use platforms in canine fitness.

In THIS video we’ll talk mainly about what each platform is good for and how it brings clarity to an exercise, by restricting or encouraging your dog to place their feet in a specific location. The result is more precision and less frustration for everyone involved.

Part 2 of this series will cover how to measure your for platforms to make sure you get the size right.

And Part 3 will cover how build those platforms yourself.


There are 4 main types of Platforms used in Canine Fitness

Wobble Board and Cato Board
Large Square Platforms

Example: Wobble Boards and Cato Boards

  • Being the largets platforms, they are the easiest to target.
  • They’re good for teaching general behaviors, or global movements.
  • Because of the large size, they don’t require a lot of precision… So they’re less good for teaching fine alignment adjustments or refined movement.
  • Good for trained dogs who already understand how to keep their feet still.
Standing Platforms
Standing Platforms

These platforms are long and thin/narrow. 

  • They restrict how wide your pup’s feet should go, but encourage length.
  • A longer platform gives the dog information that they are allowed to place their feet further backward than a sitting platform.
  • Can be used to span 2 inflatables, creating a stable surface with an unstable base.
  • Or to create an incline / decline to load the front or rear end more.
Sitting Platforms for Canine Fitness
Sitting Platforms

These platforms are short and thin/narrow.

  • They restrict how wide your pup’s feet should go, and discourage length.
  • Helps to keep your pup within a more defined space.
  • Also gives the dog information about what they are NOT doing, so they can choose correctly more easily. Exapmle: Not lying down
  • Most useful of all the platforms, and good to have multiples.
  • Can be stacked to achieve the perfect height for ideal movement.
  • Will progress to a split platform in Advanced and Expert level exercises.
Foot Targets
Foot Targets

Smallest of all the Platforms.

  • Restrict length or width AND length depending on their design.
  • Used mainly for standing exercises.
  • Or to micro-adjust foot position. Exapmle: Not lying down
  • Can be used stacked one on top of the other.
  • Or underneath larger platforms to adjust height.
  • Will progress to a split platform in Advanced and Expert level exercises.
Balance Bars
One word of caution when using Balance Bars in canine fitness

Because these props are so narrow, they really do need to be afixed to the ground to eliminate the inherent rolling risk. If the dog steps on the back edge of an unsecured Balance Bar, there’s th epotential for the entire prop to roll backward. I use 3M Dual Lock, which is like industrial strength Velcro, to literally velcro my Balance Bars to the carpet.

Now that we’ve covered the difference between the various platforms used in canine fitness, Part 2 of this series will teach you HOW to measure your pup to find the right proportion for each platform type.

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  1. kfitness

    Is gator grip tape acceptable to use on the standing platforms or would something softer be better?

    • Anna Lee Sanders

      I use Gator Grip on one standing platform and rubber flooring on the other. Both work really nicely.


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