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Rock, Wobble, or Teeter...It's hard to pick one word, because this training device does it all!
This Rocker Board is used to teach dogs to be more confident with movement under their feet. Start with it in "Rocker Mode" to make it wobble (in a rocking fashion) to get your dog accustomed to a moving surface. Then, using the pivot-adaptor piece, you can convert this board to "Teeter Mode" to replicate the flip-flop movement of a teeter board.
Perfect for introducing puppies to this challenging aspect of agility, or for building more confidence in a hesitant dog! It is far less intimidating than a "buja board" or "wobble board" which rotates on all 4 sides.
It can also be used to work on contact zone performance because with the rocker's minimal movement, you can repeat the exercises without tiring your dog.
Specifications: The board and frame are wood, painted and treated with a non-slip surface. It is 44 inches long and 22 inches wide...long enough for any size dog to get all 4 paws on, and with enough width to encourage hesitant dogs to stay on the board. Easy to train with step-by-step training instructions included!
How do you convert it to a teeter trainer?
There is a slot notched out underneath the frame, where a 20 inch long pivot-adaptor (included) inserts into it. When this center pivot is in place the board will be raised a little off the ground, preventing the rocker from touching the ground and allowing the board to "teeter".
What is the difference between the rocker board and "buja board" or "wobble board"?
Typically a buja or wobble board is square or round and rests on a single ball (often the size of a tennis ball) which pivots around on all sides. Our rocker board is similar in concept, but the movement only goes up and down, not sideways. It is far less intimidating for beginner dogs, with the added benefit that it more accurately mimics the movement of a see-saw, especially when you add the included pivot-adaptor. With the adaptor you can convert the board from a rocking motion to a "flip-flop", like a teeter totter.
Does it make noise?
It will make noise if used on a surface like concrete, which is actually a good thing. Competitors know that even the best-trained dog can still get frightened with an obstacle that rattles or makes noise. It is always good to incorporate some noise into your obstacle training. We suggest that you start by using the board on grass or carpeting and then as your dog gains confidence, move it to pavement. Or if desired, you can use a foam "buffer" (like stick-on foam window insulation strips) on the ends of the board.
Why not have it skinnier in width, like a teeter plank?
This is meant to be a stable and less intimidating platform for introducing the concept of movement to your dog. It is ideal for puppies or beginner dogs who might be too shy to walk up a narrow platform. All size dogs can stand on this board comfortably to utilize the "wobble" training effect. They need a wider surface to do this so they don't fall off. Also, you don't want to confuse a dog by making it look too much like a teeter since it is the idea of tottering that the rocker board teaches. Walking a narrow plank will come easier when your dog isn't nervous about the initial movement of the plank.
Is it strong enough for a big dog and how much does it weigh?
Yes, it is a heavy duty training tool with a reinforced wood frame underneath. It weighs 30 pounds.
How do I train my dog to the Rocker Board?
Start off with baby steps and slowly increase the challenge, giving lots of treats and praise along the way! We suggest starting with the "rocker mode" and then add the pivot-adaptor to advance to the "teeter mode". Then you can advance to training contacts. Step-by-step instructions are included with your purchase of the rocker board.
What else should you know?
There may be slight imperfections in the wooden rocker board. Wood can be made up of multiple layers with small voids or splits. If this is a concern, use wood putty to fill them in.