Cavaletti – Week 2
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Cavaletti Week 2
Here are some benefits of straight Cavaletti training.
- Lengthens the dog back
- Steadies the dogs rear and improves awareness of hind feet
- Improves hip rotation and knee flexion
- Improves proprioception
- Improves strength and endurance
- Improves rhythm
- Prepares a dog for jumping
- Improves stamina
- Adds variety to training and strength work
- Shortening the length between the poles helps a dog learn to collect
- Lengthening the space between the poles helps the dog to lengthen their stride
Straight Cavaletti training is done to exhaustion and can be done 3-5 times a week. You are looking for 20-30 repetitions times THREE (60-90 reps) depending on the dog’s current level of activity, endurance and overall physical condition. This repetition should be increased (but not more than 20 continuous trotting minutes) or decreased based on your dog’s level of fitness.
It is recommended to start with six poles. I use 12 poles because I have them and it reduces the number of repetitions by HALF.
- Warm muscles will extend better than cold muscles – make sure your dog's muscles and joints are properly warmed up – see thread in the forum about warm ups.
- Any indoor surface such as mats, carpet, turf etc is OK
- Concrete is OK if your dogs growth plates are closed and you don’t do more than 20 min continuous trotting 3 times per week
- Any outside surface such as dirt, grass, other barn surfaces is OK
How often should you do cavaletti for stride work be done??
- Trot work is recommended at 3-5 times per week on varied surfaces at 20 minutes continuous trotting. Cavaletti work can be done as well as running or biking with your dog at a trotting gait.
- Once you achieve an extended stride it is important to increase repetition at that spacing before you increase the space between the poles.
- Trot work can also be done as interval training such as 3-5 strength exercise and 10-20 reps through 6 cavaletti, then repeat all 3x. This keeps your dog’s heart rate up just as if we did interval training with weights and a treadmill. This falls under the 3-5 times per week
If your dog becomes bored of trotting back and forth – it is OK to stop and tug or reward another behavior every 10 passes – this will keep your dog interested knowing there is more reward coming after 10 passes. Make sure you are not confusing boredom for the exercise for fatigue.
The cones/target/mats at either end of the cavaletti sets are used to focus the dog forward and to get “continuous movement”. It is best to position these at least 3-4 strides beyond the poles so that the dog doesn't change their stride before exiting the poles. That said – for video purposes, the cones/mats/targets are a bit closer to the poles so that the entire behavior can be viewed in the video screen.