Building a Dog Cavaletti Course at Home
Cavaletti is a fun exercise that teaches dogs to walk over poles at various heights or across different surfaces. Most pet owners have watched horses complete cavaletti courses with some obstacles featuring fallen logs or low jumps.
Cavaletti is an excellent way to improve your dog’s balance, help him rebuild muscle after surgery, lengthen his stride for the show ring and regain range of motion after an injury. Plus, cavaletti courses are a great form of exercise that also builds confidence in dogs.
With your veterinarian’s permission, have your dog practice cavaletti for 10 minutes a day. Below are tips for building a dog cavaletti course at home.
DIY Cavaletti Equipment Ideas
With a bit of imagination and a non-skid surface, you could create a DIY cavaletti set from things lying around your home.
- Use broomsticks or mop handles as cavaletti poles, and place horizontally on the ground.
- Place 2×4 boards about 2-3 feet apart with the flat part (widest part) on the ground.
- For small dogs, place a ladder horizontally flat on the ground.
- If you have a large dog, create a ladder out of 1-inch PVC pipes.
- Use large fallen branches as poles. Place 2-3 feet apart in your backyard.
- To increase the height, place broomstick ends inside holes of a laundry basket.
Purchasing Cavaletti Sets Online
If you’re not crafty, and would rather purchase a cavaletti set, there are several options online. By far, the most popular cavaletti set is made by FitPaws and costs $60. FitPaws offers a set of 3 poles and 6 cones with several height adjustment levels. There are other brands available, but they don’t offer the adjustability that FitPaws offers with their cavaletti set. Plus, FitPaws’ equipment is yellow, blue and green, which are colors easily seen by dogs. With moderate use, this cavaletti set will last years.
A Few Cavaletti Tips
Slow controlled movements are best. Set up your cavaletti set on a non-skid surface, such as grass, rug or rubber. If it’s too warm outside, practice indoors on a thick rug. Remember to lure your dog over each pole slowly. If your dog jumps or hops over any pole, you’re moving the lure too quickly. For dogs that leap in the air around treats, practice loose leash walking across the bars.
Show us pictures of your DIY cavaletti course! Post below. 🙂