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Cavaletti training for dogs – what it is, how it works & tips for setting it up

Cavaletti Training für Hunde - was es ist und weshalb es für jeden Hund perfekt ist - auch für Seniorhunde, bei Hüftdysplasie, Arthrose & Co.

I’ll keep it short: Cavaletti training for dogs is really suitable for every dog. Whether you have a young, energetic puppy or an experienced, older dog, or your dog suffers from a musculoskeletal condition such as osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, spondylosis, etc., cavaletti training can be a great way to challenge your dog mentally and physically. In this article you will find out what Cavaletti Training is, how it works and how you can integrate it safely and effectively into your everyday training routine.

What is Cavaletti training for dogs?

Cavaletti training originally comes from equestrian sports and refers to the crossing of low obstacles or poles at regular intervals. The principle is similar for dogs: Your dog should run over a series of poles, which can be set up in different shapes.

The advantages of Cavaletti training

Cavaletti training offers a variety of benefits for your dog:

  1. Improved coordination and balance: When crossing the obstacles, your dog has to place his paws in a targeted manner, which trains his coordination and balance.
  2. Muscle building: By consciously lifting the legs, various muscle groups are specifically trained.
  3. Promoting joint mobility: The movements during Cavaletti training help to mobilize the joints.
  4. Body awareness and motor skills: Moving over the Cavaletti also develops the dog’s motor skills and improves its body awareness.

Additional benefits:

  1. Mental exercise:The concentration your dog needs to cross the poles with precision provides mental stimulation.
  2. Strengthening self-confidence:By successfully overcoming the obstacles, your dog will gain self-confidence.

What you need for cavaletti training

You need:

  • Cavaletti poles: These can be special training poles for dogs, which you can get in various designs.
  • Alternatively , you can simply use broomsticks, PVC pipes, branches or similar to get started.

The training surface

Choose a non-slip and level surface on which your dog can walk easily.

Step-by-step instructions for cavaletti training for dogs

Step 1: Set up the poles

Four to six poles are perfect for training, set up at regular intervals – about a dog’s length apart. The height of the poles should be around wrist height so that your dog is not tempted to jump.

Step 2: Introducing your dog

Let your dog sniff the poles and familiarize himself with the new environment. You can encourage him to investigate the poles by praising him and rewarding him with treats.

Step 3: First runs

Lead your dog slowly and in a controlled manner over the poles. I like to work with a guide hand here. You can also do this on the lead at the beginning. Alternatively, you can roll a treat behind the next pole to encourage him to climb over the poles. Make sure that he deliberately steps over each bar and does not jump over or around it. Praise him for every bar he successfully overcomes. I would refrain from luring him with treats as he will lose focus on his movement.

Step 4: Increase difficulty

Once your dog is walking safely over the poles, you can slowly increase the difficulty:

  • Vary the distances: Change the distance between the bars to increase the challenge.
  • Increase the height: Bars of different heights increase the challenge, as your dog has to be even more aware of how high he has to lift his paws.
  • Combine: You can combine different distances and heights.

Step 5: Bring in creativity

To make the training more varied, you can create different patterns and shapes with the poles, e.g. a zigzag course or circles. This keeps the training exciting and challenges your dog again and again.

This is also important

Warm up

You should warm up your dog before every training session to avoid injury. Here you can use position changes, for example.


Pay attention to your dog’s body language. If he shows signs of tiredness or discomfort, take a break or stop training. It is important to avoid overloading.


Regular training is the key to success. Try to schedule several short training sessions per week instead of infrequent, long sessions.

Patience and fun

Be patient and have fun with your dog. Each dog learns at its own pace and it is important that the training remains a positive experience for both of you.

Adaptation to the state of health

Always set your dog solvable tasks. If he is already older or suffers from a musculoskeletal condition such as osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia, you should always take this into account.

Conclusion – Cavaletti training

Cavaletti training is a versatile and effective training method that promotes both physical fitness and mental exercise for your dog. With the right preparation, a well-structured training plan and lots of positive reinforcement, you can help your dog to improve his skills and strengthen your bond at the same time.

So, grab a few poles, find a suitable place and start cavaletti training with your dog. You’ll be amazed at how quickly he makes progress and how much fun you’ll have!

Would you like to take a structured approach to Cavaletti training and promote your dog’s health in a sensible and sustainable way? Then be sure to come to
my CavalettiFIT online course
and not only get to know an incredible number of Cavaletti variations, but also train with proven training plans that ensure that your dog has a balanced full-body workout with Cavaletti training!

I look forward to seeing you on the course!

All the love, Tina

Dieser Beitrag ist auch verfügbar auf: Français (French) Deutsch (German) Español (Spanish)

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