Yes, I would invest in a real teeter from a good equipment maker. I would also make sure that the base is fully adjustable for training!
We have 9 dogs and have trained 7 of them to do teeters (of the two we havenít trained on the teeter; one came trained and the other is a puppy). There are many methods for training a teeter from starting with the teeter on the lowest position, to holding up the end of the teeter while you dog runs up to get a treat, to my favorite, using a specially made table that is as high as the highest teeter setting and slowly lowering the table. We use another table about half the height for the dog to get off form the high table. Somebody already mentioned the Susan Garrett method of using two tables to train the teeter (also a good way).
Our dogs never see a full teeter until they are WELL over a year old. They will do some ďend behaviorĒ exercises like jumping on the end of a low teeter into a 2 on 2 off position, banging down the teeter, etc. We spend months and months doing end behavior work, getting the dog comfortable running across a plank between two tables and working on a wobble board before the dog is allowed on a real teeter.
In agility, foundation is everything! We have 18 agility championships (AKC and USDAA) among our standard Poodles and have learned over the years that without a great foundation, nothing will work well in the end. Our dogs donít learn to weave until they are 16 -18 months old. They donít jump until they are 15 months old and the NEVER EVER see contacts until they have perfected the end behavior and are at least 14 months old! We spend months and months building their foundation away from contacts before they are allowed on the real thing. Our current youngsters just turned three last month and they have yet to compete in standard classes with contacts. Both are in excellent jumpers, but because they are a bit cautious (littermates) we have taken our time with them and it is paying off!
Below is a video done a few weeks ago of my young standard bitch from my MACH 2 female. She was petrified of the teeter and dog walk at first and I took more than two years to train her! It was worth it!
Take your time and make sure your dog is happy and confident at each step before you move on to the next step!
Helen Grinnell King
Excuses prevent advancement ~ So do big fat egos
"Breeding to the standard will not preserve function. All it can preserve is appearance." Dan Belkin PhD
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