Wednesday, February 5, 2014

DIY Training Platform

For Perri's Precision Heeling class, we need a platform.  Our only experience with long platforms has been in foundation agility class, and that was long ago.  I thought that I would have to have Vince built one out of wood (which he would not be thrilled about, since the house is rapidly filling with an amazing amount of dog training items - and the baby Aframe project is already backlogged.)
I found this video (How to make your own training platform Michele Pouliot style!) upon suggestion on a Facebook group and decided to tackle the project.  What could go wrong?

I really enjoyed making the platform and couldn't find any blog-type directions online, only the video.  So I thought I would write out what I did - with total credit for this brilliant idea to the creator of the video that I linked above, of course!

What You'll Need:

Interlocking Foam Floor Mat Squares 
Duct Tape
Ruler/Tape Measure
Serrated Bread Knife

When I first watched the video I was like, "Where will I ever find those mats?!  What are they??"
I found them at 5 Below and they cost 2/$5.  They were displayed in the window and I could see them from the parking lot.  Well that was much easier than I thought it would be!  5 Below also had a huge variety of decorative duck tape.  One stop shopping dog platform supplies?  I'll take it!

Adorable "Duck Tape" close up.

Time to get to work.  I decided to make a 30inch by 10 inch platform for Perri.  The platform should really only be wide enough as the dog's paws are, because the whole point is to train proper position with the aide of the platform.  The length should be, well, the length of the dog.  30 inches is a little long for Perri, but from what I was reading online, too long is better than too short.  And of course, I can always take some length off if this becomes a problem in the future.

The foam squares are 24x24 inches.  I connected them and measured out a length of 30 inches (not including the little locking pieces - which would be cut off.) and then widths of 10 inches.  

Cut cut Cut!
This is about halfway done.  All four pieces need to be cut along the black line and have the puzzle piece nubbies cut off the outside of the squares.  (I got a little over zealous and cut ALL of the nubbies off.  Good I bought an extra square.)

Good help is so hard to find.

Repeat the process for two more 10x30 sections.


I stacked my foam pieces two at a time and taped them together where the puzzles seams were.  After that, I taped all four pieces together in a stack.  Lots of tape on the seams, in the middle and at both ends.  Tape tape tape! 

Poodle was placed on top of the platform for modeling purposes only.  Tomorrow we begin working on the fun part, the training!


  1. Oh, I just love her face and that last picture is awesome. I can see where a platform might be useful in a variety of situations. I might have to try this.

  2. In agility we used it to get the dog used to being UP on something, and also to start practicing contact zone behaviors.

    I am absolutely a neophyte on the use of platforms in general, much less for heeling so I didn't want to go too much into all the uses (since I don't really know them all at this point. Looking forwards to learning, though!).