Agility Equipment Focus: The Seesaw Part 2

seesawLast week we looked at counter conditioning your dog to the noise of the seesaw, body awareness and building confidence with running across a plank between two tables. This week we will cover…

Game 5: Play game 4, but this time use a seesaw instead of a plank between two tables. Build value and confidence, ask for behaviours, turns and restrained recalls!

Game 6: Now it’s time to add speed and arousal. On the seesaw between two agility tables, play the 1-2-3 game! Place your dog with front feet on the seesaw and back feet on the table and ask him to wait. Position yourself half way between the two tables. With the reward in your hand, start using your arousal cue (1-2-3 or ready steady), the aim is for your dog not to move until you say your release cue. Release your dog, run forward and reward your dog when he reaches the other end. Ensure the dog is running along the plank and doesn’t leap off somewhere in the middle!

Game 7: Bang game! Lift the weighted side of the seesaw and prop something under it to hold it up (e.g. a chair, or a winged jump) so that the other end of the seesaw stays raised slightly off the ground. Start with minimal tip. Set yourself on one side and restrain your dog by the collar and then ask him to hop up onto the very end of the seesaw (the end that is slightly raised off the ground). Reward using food or toy. When your dog is confident and happy hopping on to the seesaw, gradually increase the tip. Practise on both sides.

Game 8: Now that your dog is used to running the length of the seesaw and is confident with the bang and movement, you can combine game 4 and game 7. Place the seesaw between two tables of different heights so that the seesaw will have a small tip. Build confidence for the seesaw moving, asking turns and behaviours and then restrained recalls from the lower table to the higher.

lauren langman
About the Author: Lauren Langman is responsible for the design and development of all Devon Dogs classes, events and workshops. She competes in Agility at Grade 7, the highest rank of competition in the British agility arena. She regularly competes and wins at top agility events in the UK including Crufts and Olympia, and has represented the UK at World Agility Championship level on many occasions.

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