If you’re a dog owner in the UK and your pup is looking for some new agility tricks to add to its repertoire, then we have the perfect solution!
Cavaletti comes from the Italian word Cavallino that means “little horse”, and is used for basic horse training. So how does it benefit dogs? I hear you ask.
Well it’s great for coordination, balance and conditioning, what’s more, it’s easy to do at home, so you and your best friend can practice whenever you want
The simple routines are fantastic for canines with neurologic or orthopaedic conditions or dogs recovering from surgery or illness. It’s great for mental stimulation and is a brilliant alternative to a walk on rainy days.
We’ve put together 5 of our favourite cavaletti for dogs exercises that would make great additions to any pet’s exercise regime.
What is Cavalettis for Dogs?
Cavelettis rails for dogs are poles set out in different formations for a dog to step between them; they can be laid on the ground or raised a few inches; they are great for rehabilitation and work much like a footballer running through tires
This video explains more Cavaletti Poles: A Rehabilitation Technique for your Dog – YouTube.
Where Do I Get Cavaletti for a Dog?
You can purchase Cavaletti from trainers, pet shops or online suppliers. Or you can make the exercise equipment yourself using wooden poles or tubes; they can be any length and either rested on the floor or raised slightly.
What are the Benefits of Cavaletti for Dogs?
Cavaletti is an excellent canine conditioning workout. By using different configurations, you can concentrate on different muscles. The height and distance between the poles motivate your pup to move in different ways, improving flexibility, coordination, balance, and, in time, increasing strength.
Recovering from surgery
If your furry friend has recently had an operation, they may not be able to enjoy walks as they used to for a while. Cavaletti is a fantastic option for rehabilitation as it gently encourages them to use a greater range of motion and pick up their feet.
Older dogs are not as agile as younger canines; their back ends become weak and they tend to become a bit lazy lifting their feet, so Cavaletti is a great gentle exercise routine. Stepping over the poles increases the range of motion in the knee joints; in addition, stepping over the obstacles challenges body awareness.
Precursor to Agility
Dogs shouldn’t begin agility until they are over 12 months of age. Cavaletti is a wonderful exercise to do with puppies. The weaving patterns increase a dog’s ability to shorten or collect their stride, making it easier for them to alter direction; it gets them used to hand signals and also prepares their coordination for when they begin jumping over the poles instead.
If it’s not possible to take your pooch for a walk, Cavaletti is an excellent alternative, as overcoming the poles in the right way is an exercise that is both physically and mentally challenging.
How do you make Cavalettis?
Making Cavalletis is really easy; you can use broom or mop handles, pool noodles even golf clubs. If you’ve got a small dog, you could use an old wooden ladder.
Simply place them on the floor or rest them on something such as books or tin cans or alternatively drill some holes through construction cones or large water bottles. Make sure if they are balanced on something that it’s not going to scare your pooch if it falls over, which will invariably happen at some point.
How far apart should Cavalettis be for dogs?
If you measure the distance between the floor and our dog’s shoulder, this will give you the correct space between the poles; for some dogs such as Basset Hounds which have long backs and are low to the floor, you will need to measure along their spine to the base of the tail to get the right distance.
What are Cavaletti exercises?
Cavaletti has been used in the equine world for years as it improves balance and rhythm, builds concentration and strengthens muscles; these are now being used for dogs for the same purpose.
How high is a Cavaletti?
Cavaletti should never be so high that they become jumps; stepping over the pole configuration is the point. It’s recommended that they be no higher than your dog’s elbow.
To get your dog in shape, try these five routines. Don’t forget to have fun! We’re looking forward to seeing how many of you get stuck into dog and owner workouts this year.
It’ll be tough but it’ll also be worth the effort when we see all our pups out there making their humans proud! Stay tuned for more posts on exercise so that you can keep up with all your pup’s healthy habits throughout 2021. And don’t forget about us – follow or friend us on social media so that we can stay connected too!