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Teeter-Totter Training Update – Dog Agility

It took a while to find a used dog agility teeter-totter to buy, but we finally did just before Clover’s third birthday. It’s going to take some time to fix Clover’s teeter-totter worries that have been brewing for nearly a year now, but Tori figured it all out in basically a day and a half. Cute videos ahead!

Teeter-Totter Training Update

With Clover, we’ve gone WAY back to the beginning with teeter-totter training. Essentially we’re trying to counter-condition any worries she has about the noise and movement.

The good news is that she happily plays “The Bang It!” game where she can control the movement and noise of the teeter.

The bad news is that she will NOT go past the middle or tipping point of the teeter, even if I prop up the ends so that it tips very little.

dog birthday present - a new agility teeter-totter for clover - champion of my heart

In fact, if I prop it up at all, she will ONLY put her front feet on the board. She will NOT jump up, and if I place her on the board, she will NOT budge.

Since this teeter cannot be raised or lowered like the training one at agility class, propping up the ends is the only way to minimize the tip.

So, we still have a lot of work to do … to try and unravel Clover’s worries about it.

Whether we are working the starting end or the exit end, Clover will run up the board for treats.

We’re using pasta noodles as treats and may even call the trick “Noodles!”

For love nor noodles, she will not go past the tipping point, so we’re a little stuck at the moment with no forward progress.

Here Clover is playing Bang It!

Tori, on the other hand, thought Bang It! was completely stupid. She did not see the point.

So, I started by propping up both ends with the big black pots you can see in Clover’s video. I supported both ends so that the teeter-totter barely tipped at all.

No problem.

Then, I used a big pot on the starting side and shorter pot on the exit end of the board.

No problem.

Then, I didn’t prop up the starting side, and only propped up the landing side a little.

No problem.

So, I took away the pots, and seriously in the equivalent of a day and a half (really 3 days on the calendar), Tori was doing a full-height teeter.

Here is Tori showing off her brand-new teeter skills.

She treats it like an amusement park ride. She’ll do it again and again when we are in the backyard playing.

Clover runs around playing and does not seem bothered by the noise at all, but having her see Tori doing the teeter is NOT helping her get over her worries.

Happy to hear any ideas you may have for us getting unstuck!

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Jennifer Shea - August 6, 2017

Great information for those of us just starting out with training. I was most interested in the pasta noodle treat. Thanks for all the information.

Alica - July 24, 2017

Great Article! Breeds are chosen for their ability to train easy, speed, energy, and loyalty. You need to have the equipment that meets their individual needs.

Christopher - July 20, 2017

Cool Man! great training, awesome dog! Thanks for sharing

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