Body Awareness Cavalettis




Helping your dog to become more aware of their body as they grow is important throughout adolescence and can help prevent injuries.

One exercise which helps dogs learn to move their feet with precision is to set up a series of poles for your dog to walk over called cavalettis.

The idea is that your dog walks slowly over the poles one step at a time, picking up each foot in turn and carefully stepping between the poles. This helps them to develop awareness of their back feet, regulate their stride length and develop strength in the muscles required to pick up their feet properly.

Start by setting out 4-6 poles spaced apart roughly by the height of your dog’s shoulder. You want them set up at wrist height for your dog. You can use pool noodles, or bamboo canes and rest them on cans or something else to raise them slightly off the ground.

Slowly guide your dog through the poles using a food lure or hand target. You are looking for slow and steady movement. If your dog is struggling to place only one foot in each space, you can adjust the spacing accordingly.

If your dog is worried by the poles, let them sniff and investigate thoroughly first before getting them to do the exercise when they are comfortable and relaxed.

Practice this in short sessions to help your dog build up their strength, flexibility and precision.

Happy Training!

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