Tackling the Teeter

Two-Person Training!Also called the See-saw, the Teeter is one of the more difficult obstacles for dogs to become confident on. To them, it looks like a dogwalk plank, except they should (if the teeter is built correctly- and all ours are!) be able to see part of the base extending on each side in the center. This helps the dog (in addition to you telling the dog it is a “Teeter”) to remember to slow down on this obstacle. To introduce your dog to this obstacle, it is best if you can lower the plank, and slowly raise it. If instead of an adjustable teeter you have a practice teeter, it is helpful to have a friend on the other side to help steady and guide your dog over the plank. Hold the leash tightly close to the neck, and guide his nose low to the plank with a treat. Stop in the middle and have your friend use their free hand to keep the plank from falling too fast. Edge your dog inch by inch, telling your dog to wait, while the plank slowly moves down. It will be a bit awkward at first, and if it helps, a third person can control the plank. As your dog gets more confident, allow your dog to control the pivot, and not you. But still guide the board down so it doesn’t “bang”. Soon you should be able to let the board hit harder. It is also important that your dog pauses and waits at the top of the plank, after controlling the pivot. This will prevent losing points on future “fly-offs”, a common problem, in which dogs jump to the bottom and off the plank before the plank hits the ground. Since this obstacle can be such a bear, it is important to practice this one often, in different environments, and with different floor surfaces.

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