Balance cushions for dogs – what are they suitable for?

Have you ever stood on a balance cushion or balance board yourself? Then you will quickly understand the effect of such a device.

But for those who may not have had contact with it yet: Balance cushions are inflated with air. The more firmly the ball cushion is inflated, the easier it is to balance on it. If there is less air inside, it is correspondingly more difficult. Balance cushions for dogs are a very simple way to train and strengthen the balance (sense of balance) and coordination, but also the deep muscles.┬áEither preventively, because a good musculature protects against injuries – or as a rehabilitation measure like Mira.

But you have even more advantages: Because with balance cushions for dogs, you not only do a lot of good for your dog’s health, but you can also keep him busy and busy. You can also work on your own body language and thus make your life together more harmonious.

 

How did I become aware of the TOGU brand?

For a long time I found it difficult to go to physiotherapy with Mira, even though I knew she desperately needed it. But Mira does not let strangers touch her. When in doubt, she even goes on the attack. We have already been to two physiotherapists and each time it was pure stress for everyone involved. To my shame I have to confess that as a result I had always put it off.

But after the last clinic visit with Mira, it was clear to me that a solution was needed. And so I called Janine from Hundephysiotherapie-fastje (by the way, a hearty recommendation if you are also looking for a dog physiotherapy practice in the Oldenburg area) and told her the whole story. I was aware from the beginning that it could take weeks or months until Mira trusted her. And so the first appointments were only about building a positive connection and trust. But already in the first lesson Janine could do the first gymnastic exercises with Mira – on the balance cushions for dogs from TOGU!

Of course it is not enough that Mira gets physiotherapy every two weeks. We now also have to work much more specifically at home. Janine gave us exercises to do as homework. That’s why I ordered my first TOGU cushion (the Dynair Ballkissen XXL in black). At the same time I contacted TOGU and asked if we wanted to work together. I think that these products are really useful and accordingly should get much more publicity. Because in addition to all the positive effects on health, you can also keep your dog busy and busy – in a playful way. So they are quite suitable as a change on days with bad weather or if you are perhaps not quite fit for a big round.

Why I recommend TOGU with full conviction

If you use the search engine, you will quickly find that the market is full of different balance cushions, balance pads and other training equipment for dogs. So why should it necessarily be the brand TOGU? I would like to explain that to you, because I have several reasons for it

  • Experienced dog physiotherapists recommend TOGU because of the quality – and I think they know something about it ­čÖé
  • TOGU is a German brand and develops and produces the products in Germany and that even since 1956.
  • The products of TOGU are durable and of high quality – due to the longevity raw materials are conserved
  • You can register many products as a private end customer for a 30-year manufacturer’s warranty (And a manufacturer only offers that if he is really convinced of his own products, right?)
  • all products are 100% recyclable, free of latex, heavy metals and silicone and odorless (at this point: please don’t buy cheap products from other manufacturers – far too often harmful ingredients are not declared)
  • they are easy to clean and waterproof
  • The TOGU animal product line is based on the human products – so you can use them for yourself as well.

By the way, the balance cushions are also great gifts for dogs and humans – whether for Christmas, a birthday or any other occasion.

As you can see, there are many good facts for investing in quality. Because also with balance cushions for dogs applies: if you buy cheap, you buy expensive, because many cheap products do not last long. And I can confirm this from my own experience: Three years ago, I had also bought a cheap brand out of ignorance. It only lasted a few weeks.

Balance cushion for dogs: Dynair® Extreme (Animal) in lilac

The Dynair Extreme was provided to me of charge by TOGU for this review. This balance cushion for dogs is the largest product from the Dynair series. It has a diameter of about 80cm. Thus, it is not only suitable for small and medium-sized dogs, but also large dogs can train wonderfully on this cushion and do exercises.

When your dog moves on the cushion, vibrations occur. This absorbs the cushion and passes it directly through the paws to the body of your dog. When you do exercises with your dog, you can really see how the muscles have to work and thereby the sensomotoric (the interaction of stimulus reception and response) is promoted. You can use this cushion from two sides: One side has senso nubs, the other side is smooth. By the way, it is made of ruton and has a plug valve.

Of course, you could see it more clearly on a video, but here on the photo you can already see how the balance cushion reacts to movement. By the way, you can use both sides of the Extreme. I prefer the nubbed side on top.

Basically, the Ballkissen are always supplied with the right amount of air. So you do not have to fill up additional air. If your balance cushion for dogs should lose air, you can pump some air through the optimally available pump. If you have pumped too much air, you can let it escape again. Please moisten the needle of the pump beforehand and insert it carefully into the valve.

Please always store all pillows lying down. This way they keep their shape and the air stays longer in the desired amount.

For which dogs is the TOGU Dynair Extreme suitable?

This balance cushion for dogs is really suitable for any quadruped. Because it can be loaded with up to 200kg. and as far as I know, there is no dog on this planet, which would have such a weight ­čÖé

So it doesn’t matter if you have a small, medium or very large dog: The extreme fits in any case. I would also recommend smaller ball cushions for small dogs.

But always keep in mind: Balance cushions for dogs are not toys. You should put the cushions aside after the exercises.

What exercises are possible with the balance cushion for dogs Togu Dynair Extreme?

Due to the size and the high load capacity, you can really do all kinds of things with the Dynair Extreme. Therefore, I would like to give you some inspiration on the way. For some exercises I assume that your dog knows a few dog tricks. If you don’t do tricks with your dog, you will surely find an alternative ­čÖé

If you train with balance cushions, please put a non-slip pad underneath. I don’t have one here in the photo. I usually train in a room where there is not enough daylight for photos. Therefore I have left out the pad for the photos.

By the way, this is not about the correct execution of the commands, but about the exercise itself. So have fun and don’t be so strict ­čÖé Because your dog should stay motivated and not find the training with the balance cushions for dogs as annoying.

  • Simple sit, from sit to stay, to sit and back to sit – of course you can change the order. Wait until your dog has found the balance and only then take the next comment.
  • Man up (the trick we call “hands up!”) – many dogs already need some time to balance without a ball pillow.
  • Of course, the balance cushion makes it a little more difficult.
  • However, your dog shouldn’t be shaking on the balance cushion doing this trick.
  • If it is too heavy, leave it out.
    For smaller and medium-sized dogs: Turn on the balance cushion for dogs (we call it Twist and Circle) – if your dog does not know these commands, you can simply lure him with a treat.
  • Do the elephant trick (you can find instructions for this in my article Muscle building for dogs)

Dynair┬« Ballkissen┬« XXL – black – balance cushion for dogs

As a second balance cushion for dogs, I would like to introduce the Dynair Ballkissen XXL. I bought this myself and use it just as often as the Extreme described above. You can order the ball cushion in black, red and blue. But be careful: don’t buy according to your personal favorite color, because the black cushion is level IV, the blue level III and the red one is suitable for meditation. The difference is in the hardness levels. The black pillow has a lower degree of hardness. Thus, it is more unstable and makes exercises more effective, while the other training cushions in red and blue are firmer (these have the same degree of hardness). I chose the black Level IV Dynair Ballkissen XXL from Togu. Here I simply followed the advice of Mira’s physiotherapist.

Of course, the ball pillow XXL is also made of ruton in Germany and has a 30-year warranty. It can be loaded with up to 200 kg. Thus, also deises balance cushion for dogs is suitable for all dog breeds. It has a diameter of 50 cm. Mira can still stand on it with all four paws. She has a shoulder height of 48 cm and a back length of about 52 cm. For bigger dogs the training with all four paws is more difficult, but then it is a great challenge. And I notice that it is also much more challenging for Mira to do gymnastics on the XXL.

 

I have chosen the ball cushion XXL from TOGU for the black variant.

By the way: The XXL cushion Level IV is even used in the German national snowboard team. So if you would like to train with it yourself – go ahead!

What exercises are possible with the balance cushion for dogs Togu Dynair┬« Ballkissen┬« XXL – black?

With the balance cushion for dogs TOGU Ballkissen XXL you can do similar exercises as on the Extreme. Again, I would like to give you some inspiration along the way:

  • Sit, down and stand in different order – again, your dog should hold each position for a while before you move on to the next exercise (usually dogs prance sometimes, of course your dog should hold the position relaxed)
  • Giving paws while sitting or standing
  • Your dog sees and puts his head in your hand, so that you can stretch the body a little while balancing
  • Doing the manikin (your dog should not be stressed or trembling from exertion. If this is the case, you should rather omit the exercise).
  • Elephant trick (instructions I have linked you above)
  • With the hind legs on the balance cushion (you can also reward your dog sometimes not from the front, but directly on his shoulder, so that he has to turn his head around. This leads to a good stretch)
  • Place your dog’s front paws on the cushion (don’t be afraid to reward your dog on the side of your shoulder, this will stretch your dog even more and he will have to balance himself even more).
  • Turns on the forehand and on the hindquarters

In this workout, speed is never important. On the contrary, if the exercises are performed slowly, they usually work more effectively.


Mira can hold tricks for a very long time. That’s why I like to incorporate them into the exercises.

My dog does not want to turn in one direction

Basically, make sure that you practice all exercises in both directions. For turns, clockwise and counterclockwise. When giving paws, always give both paws and so on. It often happens that dogs are better on one side than the other. This is quite normal. Then you can train the worse side a little more. But always make sure to train the good side as well.

If you notice that your dog does not want to turn in a certain direction at all when training on the balance cushion for dogs, you should definitely take him to an animal physiotherapist. This is often due to health reasons.

Training with the balance cushion for dogs – this is what you should pay attention to

So that the training is really fun, I have a few more tips for you. Because, of course, your dog should also have fun. And believe me: Most dogs are really eager and happy when you build it up properly. Therefore, you should pay attention to the following points:

Tips for training with the balance cushions

  • Do not forget to warm up – so you avoid that your dog does not hurt himself during the exercises
  • Train for no longer than 15 minutes, depending on health and training level and age
  • Do not train every day: On the one hand, your dog needs days to recover and on the other hand, your dog could quickly lose interest. As a rule of thumb, you can remember every other day – depending on what else you have done with him during the day
  • Always end the training session in such a way that your dog is still fully motivated (because this way he will continue to participate happily in the next training sessions).
  • Think about rewarding – However, you should adjust the reward accordingly. Depending on the dog, such a “great” reward can be counterproductive because your dog can no longer concentrate. You have to lure other dogs out more. You know your dog best and know what might fit best
  • Many dogs find training easier in a low-stimulus environment – find a place in the home where you can train undisturbed
  • Make sure you use a non-slip surface. The balance cushions for dogs from TOGU lie really well on the floor, but especially during exercises where your dog is not standing on the cushion with all four legs, he could slip away.
  • If your dog has trouble holding still, a nose target to focus on can help
  • Always train with your dog when you are calm and relaxed. If things are hectic or you have other stress, you should rather postpone the training.

Conclusion: Meaningful employment with a positive impact

As you can see, the products of TOGU bring you and your dog a meaningful occupation. You can do something for the fitness of your dog and thereby contribute to the health of your dog. TOGU offers you high quality and a workout that never gets boring. If your dog regularly goes to physiotherapy, you can get additional tips on how to support your dog and its weak points.

Of course, it is important that you keep at it and do exercises regularly. Vary the training sessions from time to time so that your dog doesn’t get bored. For more variety, you can buy many more great products in the TOGU store or just switch between the products you already have or combine them. Especially with large dogs it can make sense to work with two balance cushions for dogs at the same time. This way you can develop the forehand and hindquarters at the same time. Place the cushions next to each other and let your dog lie down and stand up.

 

If you decide to buy a product from TOGU, you can use a discount code “Sleepherds10”. This will save you 10% on your purchase.

I hope you enjoy your workout and would appreciate your feedback. If you liked my post, feel free to share it on social media or send it to your friends.

 

Author: Wiebke Janssen