At The Martial ARFS™ Dog Training & Fitness Center we incorporate stability equipment into every thing that we do. Do you want your dog to listen better? Get on the stability equipment. Do you want your dog to do agility? Get on the stability equipment. Do you have a crazy hyper puppy? Get on the stability equipment. The reasons why we train this way is beyond the scope of this review, but it is what we do. However, I am always looking to integrate a variety of stability challenge pieces of equipment in a multitude of configurations to the curriculum.
After a long hold out, I finally took a stab at using the K9FITBone. I wasn’t against using it, I just didn’t think it would be much different than all the other FitPAWS equipment I already had in use at our facility. I felt no need to buy another piece of equipment simply because it was shaped like a bone.
Regardless, I figured I would give it a go. And, did I really need another piece of stability equipment? The short answer is: YES!
When using other FitPAWS equipment, specifically the 14 inch balance discs, I kept running in to a problem. When I had the 15-25 pound dogs with their forelimbs on one 14 inch balance disc and the hindlimbs on another, the independent movement of fore and hindlimbs was too difficult for some dogs. Additionally, their hind-end awareness was not developed enough so that they could tell whether or not their hind legs were even on the second disc. Many times they were not.
I thought this was a good place to test the K9FITBone. The one-piece K9FITBone rocked the entire body of the dog so it was easier for the dogs to tell when their hindlimbs were off the bone. Because fore and hindlimbs move together, it turns out the K9FITBone is a great intermediate step leading towards the two 14inch balance discs.
A second problem I encountered was dogs would get stuck when I lured them from a sit to a down on the 2 balance discs. Their front paws would grip the arch of the forelimb disc and their rear end would keep popping up. The flatness of the K9FITBone prevented this, allowing the dogs to easily lay down flat and get the most out of the exercise.
From a safety perspective, the K9FITBone essentially acts like a “flat” Peanut. The lateral shifting of the K9FITBone forces the dog to work without the additional support of a Peanut which is required to prevent it from rolling and without the fear of a dog rolling off entirely.
I am also impressed with the K9FIT-Bone’s versatility. Aside from just standing balance work, the K9FITBone can be used as a platform for puppy push-ups, squats, or abdominal work. For more challenging stability configurations, the flatness also allows it to be stacked.
The first stack we use is the K9FITBone on a donut holder. It seems simple but it is very challenging. The stacks gradually become more difficult. For example: K9FITBone/Bosu stack (flatside), K9FITBone/Donut Holder/Bosu (flat side) stack. You can also put a 14 inch disc inside the ring of the donut holder for increased difficulty. One of my favorites is the T-bone Stack (2 K9FITBones crossing). (Click Here For More Photos) The possibilities are truly endless.
My only wish is that, like the Peanut, they were available in varying sizes or at least a K9FITBone XL for larger dogs. Using two K9FITBones for the larger dogs does not provide the same hind/forelimb connection or bone shaped bulges for foot placement. Therefore it doesn’t allow for the same degree of intermediate challenges as it does for smaller dogs that can use just the one K9FITBone.
Ultimately, we were glad to have tried the K9FITBone and we are grateful to FitPAWS for sending them to us. We plan to immediately incorporate the K9FITBones into our classes. As well, we think they are definitely worth having one or two for your Canine Gym in your home, office or facility.