How to Choose a Dog Walk: A Tactical Guide for Advanced Handlers

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Trying to figure out what dog walk to buy? I made a list of things to consider to help you make a well-informed decision.

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  • Cost of the dog walk (anywhere between $1000 and $3000)
  • Cost of the shipping ($600-$800 for oversize shipping or pick it up for free at an event)
  • Timeline (you might be surprised how long it takes, months is the proper unit here… up to 18 weeks)


  • Weight
  • How easy is it to move? Can one person do that?
  • Outdoors/indoors
  • Stiffness (some are very stiff like Clean Run’s, some are prone to bouncing like J&J’s, I have both)
  • Foldable planks? (for easier transport or storage)


Safe dog walks do not exist. We’re talking about high speed on 1ft wide planks… Nonetheless:

  • Are the ends of the planks flush with the ground?
  • Are there any gaps between planks? (so the dog’s paw can get caught)
  • Are the planks rubberized? (better traction, gentler on the dog’s pads)
  • Soft? (better impact absorption, currently only Galican?)
  • Is it slatted? (better DW vs teeter discrimination, better turns off the DW, easier to handle missteps and line up after turns)
  • Stability (narrow base makes it harder to level the DW on an uneven surface)
  • Are there any brackets/chains/other elements underneath the DW that might be a safety issue? (I prefer obvious visible elements to metal chains hiding in the grass)

Training related

  • What is the lowest height it can be set to?
  • Does the height change gradually or continuously? If gradually, what are the options?
  • What length of the contact zones? AKC uses 42”, USDAA and UKI use 36”
  • Electronic contact zones? (that let you know if the dog hit the contact, Galican only I think?)
  • Will you be able to attach any equipment that you plan to use for training (like a target mat, a hoop, stride regulators)? How easy is it to attach them? I like Clean Run’s solution for fixing the planks a little above the ground, it’s designed for moving the DW but makes attaching my target mat so much easier
  • If you ever train on a single or two planks, will you be able to set them up so they’re safe for your dog (the ends flush with the ground and flat connection between the planks)? This one is more of a creativity/DIY issue 😉

Advanced handlers

  • Standard or different? (depending on your goals you might want what’s most common at your local trials or the exact opposite, think twice)
  • FCI (international) contact zones are 36″, choose 36″
  • Are there any construction elements that prevent certain crazier tunnel-under-dog-walk setups? (for example additional supports under the up/down planks might not allow for a tunnel)
  • What colors? FCI allows a variety of colors including darker contacts on a bright dog walk for example yellow planks with blue contacts instead of blue planks with yellow contacts. Confusing? You dog might think so!

Dog walks available in US (alphabetical order)

  • CleanRun ($2300 + $250 shipping / $2800 + $820 shipping)
  • Galican – sold by Bratty Paws ($1800 + shipping / $2800 + shipping) or RUN IT!’s sale after the UKI Open ($1650 pickup)
  • J&J Dog Supplies ($1800 + $600 shipping)
  • M.A.D. Agility ($1150 + shipping)
  • Max200 ($1800 + shipping)

*prices as of May 9th 2023 for rubberized dog walks

Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Unrelated question but I’m curious – you mentioned slatted DW gives better turns off the DW and it’s easier to handle missteps and line up after turns. Why is that? This is something I don’t know that I don’t know lol. I didn’t even think about why DWs are slatted.

    1. For fast dogs it helps that they can “grasp” the slat with their foot while turning from the DW or fixing a misstep. Also, better visual discrimination between the teeter and the DW gives the dog a better chance to prepare for what’s coming and line up properly.

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