Various Platforms used in Canine Fitness

Platforms in Canine Fitness: Part 1

Written by Anna Lee Sanders

CPCFT

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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Comments

13 Comments

  1. kfitness

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

    Reply
    • Anna Lee Sanders

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

      Reply
  2. Kathy Haygood

    How should the large square platform be measured? Should I use the length of the standing platform squared? Thankyou

    Reply
    • Anna Lee Sanders

      Hey Kathy!

      That’s a great question! Standing platform length is a good measurement for the large square platform up to about 36 inches Once the platform gets much larger than that, it can start to become very difficult to store and move around.

      So if you have a smaller dog, you can definitely use the standing platform length… For a larger dog I would probably use two platforms organized next to each other for convenience.

      What breed are you working with? I might be able to give you something more specific with that information.

      Reply
      • Kathy Haygood

        Sorry for the delay in reply. CCleopatra is a small Belgian Malinois – about 50 pounds.

        Reply
        • Anna Lee Sanders

          Hey Kathy!

          I use a 36 x 36 inch square platform for my 75lb Labrador. So That is probably a sufficiently large platform side for your pup. I cover the platform in Gator Grip Traction Tape. Some other people use yoga mat, but I have found lower quality ones can degrade over time, and they can be a little tricky to adhere to the underlying board.

          Reply
          • Kathy Haygood

            Thank you so much! Building platforms now! Ready to begin work!

  3. Pat Summerton

    Hi Anna – what did you use for your rocker on your wobble board? My border collies are both just over 20″ at the shoulder and Brody weighs about 44 lbs. What size would you recommend. Is 36 x 36 too big?

    Reply
    • Anna Lee Sanders

      Hey Pat! I don’t often use the rocking feature of the rocker board. I more use the board as a stable surface propped at an angle against the wall. So for that usage, 36×36 inches is very much sufficient for a Border Collie sized dog.

      If you did want to know about the rockers specifically, I purchased child sized rocking chair rockers online, and attached them to a 3/4 inch thick piece of plywood (36×36″) before covering with grip tape.

      Does that answer your question?

      Reply
      • Pat Summerton

        Perfect thanks – I do have a round wobble board so will only make the 36 x 36 square. We have made all the equipment in your blog – covering each with nonslip rubber matting. Because my gym has Greatmat floor matting, instead of velcro on the balance boards, I had Bill install flat feet that extend out the front/back of the board so they can’t tip. I will email you pictures. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly!

        Reply
        • Anna Lee Sanders

          Adding feet to the balance bars is a great solution!

          Reply
  4. maureen scheall

    “3M Dual Lock, which is like industrial strength Velcro, to literally velcro my Balance Bars to the carpet.” How much of the bottom of the balance bars do you find you need to cover with the Velcro to stabilize the bar to the carpet? One strip down the center, a piece on both ends, etc? Thx

    Reply
  5. Anna Lee Sanders

    Hey Maureen!

    Great question! I use 2 strips, one on each of the short ends. So, for example, if I’m using a 2×4, I will use a 4-inch strip along one of the short edges, and another 4-inch strip along the other short edge. If you use too much, you’ll never get the balance bar unstuck🤣🤣

    Reply

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