When it comes to exercising and training dogs, there are many tools you can use. If you’re into agility, you probably came across wobble boards for dogs. But you might have no idea what they exactly are and how you can benefit from them.
So let me share with you everything I know about dog agility wobble boards. After your reading, you will have a better idea of whether it’s a good investment for you or not. Starting with a short definition won’t hurt anyone.
What Is A Wobble Board For Dogs?
A wobble board is a training and exercise device to improve balance, agility, and motion skills. There are models designed specifically for dogs. A wobble board consists of a platform with an unstable rounded base on which the dog has to stand and find his balance. Most people use it for training agility dogs.
What Is A Dog Wobble Board Used For?
Humans typically use wobble boards for physiotherapy and to improve their balance. Dog owners will often use them as a training and exercise tool. This accessory can be great for dogs in general, but also more specifically in the sport of agility. Many obstacles on the course require a lot of balance from the dog.
Benefits Of Dog Wobble Boards
So wobble boards can be excellent training tools for agility dogs. But better balance isn’t the only benefit your buddy can get from using one. Let’s explore other advantages a dog can enjoy by standing on an unstable platform.
Balance, Control & Motion Skills
The principal purpose of a wobble board is to help your dog improve his balance. In other words, he will learn how to control his body and muscles to remain stable on an unsteady platform. So your dog might gain strength and develop better motion skills too.
Keeping its balance on a wobble board involves physical effort. Standing on an unstable platform will engage your dog’s core muscles and might help burn some pent-up energy. Thus, a wobble board is a great exercise device for dogs.
Training & Obedience.
Besides providing physical activity, some people will use the wobble board for mental stimulation and behavioral improvement. Whether it’s for agility or to improve your dog’s impulse control, training him on an unstable surface might be an excellent idea.
Another benefit of using a wobble board for dogs is to develop their self-confidence. Standing on an unstable platform can be scary and difficult at first. But after mastering the wobble board, your dog will be more confident and ready for new challenges.
Another good reason you can use this training tool is for plain fun. Playing with a wobble board isn’t only beneficial, but it might also be pleasant for you and your dog. Improving balance and trying new exercises on the wobble board can be enjoyable.
Dog Agility Wobble Boards
Now, let’s talk about why the wobble board is a good piece of equipment for dog agility. First of all, the benefits of this exercise device are very advantageous on an obstacle course. Balance, fitness, strength, obedience, focus, and confidence are all essential traits for agility.
Therefore, the wobble board can prepare your dog to run through obstacles as fast and accurately as possible. It might also improve your performance on the course as your partner gets more agile on an unstable surface.
Prepare Your Dog For The Seesaw.
Arguably one of the most redoubtable obstacles in dog agility, the seesaw or teeter-totter is hard to learn. It consists of a long plank with a pivot point near the center. Since it moves and requires a lot of balance, the wobble board can prepare your dog for such a challenge.
This training tool will allow him to be comfortable with an unstable platform and keep his balance on it. So after some practice with the wobble board, the seesaw shouldn’t be too scary nor hard to master for your dog.
Other Dog Agility Obtacles.
Improving your dog’s balance and overall agility can also help him to master the rest of the course. Whether it’s for jumps, weave poles, tunnels, or contact obstacles, a solid footing and control are essential. So training your dog on a wobble board is beneficial for his overall performance in agility.
Best Wobble Boards For Dogs!
If you want to buy a wobble board for your dog, it’s essential to choose the right one for his needs. The size, design, and surface must be appropriate for him to enjoy the benefits of this training and exercise device. So let’s take a look at the best wobble boards for dogs.
- Diameter: 24”
- Height: 3”
Affordable but still good quality, this is the perfect option for introducing your dog to the wobble board without breaking the bank. Made of wood composite and painted with a non-slip surface, it’s durable and safe to use.
This wobble board has a very typical design. It consists of a circular platform and a rounded ball under the center point. With a 24” diameter, it’s a good size for most small and medium breeds. Overall, this balance board is well-suited for dog agility, training, and exercising.
- Dog Agility.
- Budget-Friendly Option
- Diameter: 36”
- Height: 3”
This wobble board also has a round non-slip platform with a ball fixed in the center of the bottom part. The main difference is the quality and size of the product. Besides that, this wobble board made of high-quality plywood is suitable for outdoor use.
It measures 36” in diameter, which provides a much wider surface to exercise and train your dog. Therefore, this wobble board is more appropriate for large breeds. But small and medium dogs can also benefit from a larger platform.
- Large Dog Breeds.
- Platform: 30” X 30”
- Height: 3”
- Center Fulcrum Bar: 1.5”
Apart from round multi-directional balance boards, there are square or rectangular ones. Those models might have a ball underneath, but they can also be designed with a fulcrum bar instead. So this type of wobble board only leans from one side to another.
It’s an excellent design to prepare your dog for the seesaw because the concept is the same but much smaller. This board can only wobble in one direction, so it’s also easier to use for the dog. That’s why this training and exercise device is well-suited for beginners in dog agility.
- Seesaw Preparation.
- Introduction To Wobble Boards.
FitPAWS Balance Disc (Alternative To Dog Wobble Boards)
- Diameter: 22”
- Height: 2”
Another option very similar to wobble boards is balance discs. It consists of an inflatable cushion on which your dog can step on to exercise and improve balance. Thus, a balance disc has the same benefits to offer as a wobble board.
The main difference is that the surface is unstable instead of the base. So a balance disc might be less scary and easier to use for your dog than a wobble board, but it can still be a good training and exercise tool.
- Physical Conditioning.
DIY Dog Wobble Board
If you don’t have the money or want to pay for a wobble board, you can always make one yourself. This training and exercise device is relatively simple to build. You will only need a platform, an unstable base, and anti-slip material for the surface. Then, you can assemble all those items to get a wobble board.
With enough chance, you might find everything you need for this DIY project at home. For example, a piece of plywood, a softball, and grip tape could do the job. Otherwise, here are some products you should consider buying to make a wobble board.
Building your own wobble board is a great way to save money and start a fun DIY project. However, make sure the result is appropriate and safe for your dog to use. You will often get better quality when buying a wobble board, so it might worth the investment.
How To Introduce The Wobble Board To Your Dog?
Once you have an appropriate wobble board, it’s time to introduce your dog to it. As for any other new piece of equipment, it’s essential to start slowly and gradually improve. So here are 3 steps to make this process as easy and enjoyable as possible for you and your dog.
First of all, you need to make sure the end-user feels good and safe around the wobble board. Thus, you can start by letting your dog sniff, touch, and explore this new toy. Then, you can give him treats, play together around the wobble board, or do anything else to associate positive thoughts with it.
2. Assisted Use.
The second step is to help your dog use the balance and exercise device to gain confidence. So you can put your feet under the platform to limit movements and lure him on the wobble board with a treat. You can also use commands to guide your dog.
If he needs more help, you can make the platform even more stable and support him when necessary. This part of the process is crucial and might take some time. So you need to be patient and respect your dog’s limits and conditions.
Once it gets easier for him, you can slowly increase the difficulty by providing less assistance. After some practice, your dog should feel more confident with the wobble board. Don’t forget to give him rewards and a lot of praise all along the training process.
When your dog can use the wobble board without any assistance, you’re all set. It’s time to start training and exercising together with your new tool. You can prepare your dog for agility, improve his balance even more, or just let him play on it and have fun.
Wobble Board Exercises For Dogs!
If you and your dog are ready to use a wobble board, you might be wondering what you can or should make him do on an unstable platform. Well, there are many ways to use this exercise and training device. Here are some ideas of exercises you can do with your dog on a wobble board.
Disclaimer: Always ask your veterinarian before trying something new to ensure your dog can do it safely.
Stand & Stay Position.
The first game you can play with your dog is to make him stand on the wobble board. Time how long he keeps his balance and stays in that position. Watch your dog progress, and don’t forget to reward him after each round with treats, toys, or praise.
You can do the same game with every command he knows. It might work with Sit, Down, or any other position your dog can perform reliably.
Impulse Control Training.
Another exercise you could try is to make your dog stay on the wobble board with any temptation in front of him. It can be a treat, his favorite toy, or anything else he likes. Just make sure your dog is well-trained enough for this activity.
So you make your dog stand on the wobble board, place the temptation in front of him, and give him a release command to let him go. It’s an excellent way to improve his impulse control and balance simultaneously.
Another fun game you can do with a wobble board is to make your dog do 360s. It’s a good exercise for the dog to practice keeping his balance while turning and moving. You should maybe consider getting a donut holder to stabilize the board for this activity.
You can also perform many other tricks on the wobble board. So the exercises are limited to your imagination and your dog’s skills. Now, here’s a video that demonstrates the FitPAWS wobble board and what you can do with it!
Last Thoughts About Wobble Boards For Dogs!
Finally, the wobble board is an excellent training and exercise device for dogs. It can be very effective to prepare them for agility obstacles such as the seesaw, improve their balance, and keep them in good shape.
Playing on an unstable platform can also be fun and make your dog more confident. Thus, I would highly recommend such equipment to anyone considering it. A wobble board is affordable, versatile, and has many benefits to offer. So what are you waiting for to buy one and start using it?