Practice Teeter Base
Practice Teeter Base
You won't be up and down about this choice! One of the best designs available in a practice base, you'll be quite pleased with the uv-resistant plastic piping that never needs painting, and the pull-out DETACHABLE fulcrum which allows you to quickly remove the board from the base. It also features visual "side-bars" so the dog can see where the pivoting center of the board is. It is 24" tall (competition height) and is strong enough to hold the weight of 10 men! (but don't try this at home - it's too outrageous).
Note: This is the base only - You will need to purchase and paint your own board. The boards are standard-sized boards found in most lumber stores. And we help you. With this base you will get all the hardware you need, assembly instructions, and instructions on how to buy and prepare the board.
"What exactly must I get to complete this obstacle?"
(Note: you could print this page if you want to get your supplies early, but we will send this information again when you get the base)
1) 2"x12'x12" Board (2 inches thick, 12 feet long, and 12" wide).
You should be able to pick one of these up at a lumber store or home & garden store for under $15. Don't use pressure-treated boards, as they are far too heavy. A regular hem fir board works perfect. Do not use a 10' long board (although you can use a shorter board if you have the 12' seesaw base).
2) Exterior Paint. (for the Board - the base is already painted)
You will need yellow paint for the "contact zones"(see below), and some other contrasting color of your choice for the center part. A 1/2 gallon is all you need for each color. You could also get a a few cans of yellow spray paint for the contacts. Many paint stores and larger home & garden stores have mis-matched "oops" paints for $3-4 a gallon. You might be able to at least find a nice color for the center part of the board (and maybe yellow, if you're really lucky). Exterior paint is recommended. Don't get gloss for the yellow paint (too slippery on the contact zones), but you could use it for the central part if you'd like. Latex paint is also recommended over oil, as it features easy water clean-up.
You can get a bag of kid's play sand, or rough sand (doesn't really matter) for about $3-4. This needs to be sprinkled on the wet coat(s) of paint for traction. Minimum amount needed is approximately 2 cups of sand. Traction is NECESSARY for safety and dog's ability to control the board.
"How does the board attach to the base & How easy is it? "
All you need is a screwdriver. Simply use our template to lay out where to screw the brackets. The instructions will guide you step by step. It's all very easy. After that, to remove the board, you simply pull out the fulcrum pipe and lift off the board. This is a unique design that we are very proud of!
"How is the height adjusted?"
The practice model is not adjustable. It is at competition height of 24".
"How sturdy is this base as compared to another material, such as wood, and how does it compare to competition bases?"
The base is very sturdy - it will safely hold the weight of a human, let alone a heavy dog. It compares to competition bases in quality, but as far as we are aware, trials do not allow plastic pipe bases, though we are not positive of this. Typically they use steel ones, or wood.
***Note..When ordering agility products please choose UPS shipping method as these products ship directly from the manufacturer.
About Contact Zones
The see-saw, a-frame, and dog-walk are called "contact" obstacles, because each of these have sections on each end (the up-side and the down-side) that are painted yellow. They are always painted yellow, and by painting the rest of the obstacle a contrasting color, the dog is enabled to distinguish where the contacts are.
One of the challenges in agility is the requirement that the dog touch these "contact" zones. On all these obstacles, the dog MUST touch the down-side contact with at least one paw. This can be a challenge to some dogs, especially the large breeds, as well as those who like to leap off buildings in a single bound.
On the see-saw, the dog must also touch the "upside" of the contact, as well as the downside. (in other words, they can't leap on it from the side, and miss the yellow part) This is the same for the dog-walk. But with the A-frame, a dog doesn't have to touch the upside, as some dogs have to get a good running (or leaping) start to get up that steep wall. But they of course have to touch the downside contact, and it is usually the a-frame that causes the biggest contact problem.
In a trial, if a dog misses the contact, he is disqualified automatically. It doesn't seem fair, but those are the rules, and without them, agility might be too easy for some dogs! There are different ways to reinforce reliable contacts. One is to make sure that you are at the end of the obstacle to guide the dog with your hand and voice (without touching the dog). Some people teach the "easy" command to their dogs, both on and off the obstacles, which means slow down. But some dogs are very fast, and you might not be able to get to the side of the obstacle in time to say easy or guide them down with your body movements. So many people teach their dog to "target", so that the dog stops at the bottom of the obstacle and waits for your release word. The "target" is usually a plastic lid (like from a margerine container) that is placed on the ground with a treat on it. When the dog "noses" the target on command, a treat is given. (practicing on the bottom of stairs is also good for this). A target is then placed at the bottom of the contact, and when the dog stops and noses it, the owner gives a treat by hand, and a click, if you clicker train.
Another popular (and sometimes easier) method is to use a reinforcing "Contact Zoner" at the bottom of the contact. When your dog goes through and under it, treat him. As your dog begins to consistently exit properly you can remove the zoner. If he ever misses a contact again, simply bring it back as a gentle reminder..
People in agility know that even the most advanced dogs can occasionally miss a contact. So it is important to stick to a training method that works for your dog, and not assume once it is learned, that your dog will not need to have continual reinforcement training in contacts.