Dogwalk Safety

Wyatt fell off a dogwalk at a trial on New Years and I had hoped to get him more comfortable with the dogwalk last weekend by renting some ring time.  He went right up the dogwalk, which was great.  But later on, he slipped and refused to go on again.  He has also had some issues with our old dogwalk at home.  I had tried to resurface that one but still found it to be unsafe.  I really am seeing how important rubber contacts are and/or really good surfaces and stability in dogwalks.

Trying to get him back on right after really backfires.  Sometimes, well meaning judges will urge you to carry your dog back onto the dogwalk after a fall.  That does not work with Wyatt.  I need to trust him to know what is safe for him though some encouragement in the form of treats and rewards may be needed initially after some time passes.

The owner of this dogwalk had reported that other dogs had fallen off and a friend had the same experience. When I suggested it was not safe, I was told it must be because NADAC dogs are used to rubber contacts.  The surfaces were definitely slippery.  Hope other dogs don’t have issues.

I am looking into a rubber dogwalk for home and will not use a wooden surface for Wyatt again.  We never had much luck at Chances with courses with dogwalks so I don’t think it will affect our quest for a NADAC championship much though I had hoped we could actually get better at Chances courses with dogwalks.  We’ll see how Wyatt reacts in our first trial in early April.  May have to take a break from Regular and Touch and Go until we get a new dogwalk at home and play with it for a while.

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