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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

We have tested the structural mats for dogs from Ortek. Openly and honestly. So you can rely on our test report. We tell you about the product itself, our experiences and personal evaluation, so whether we would recommend the structure mats. Then you have the perfect overview and can decide for yourself whether the mats would also be something for you and your dog. Let’s go!

What are structure mats for dogs suitable for?

Through the sensory mats, the proprioception (depth sensitivity) is trained. Through the special receptors, the dog knows how he is standing in the room and can correct his position. This happens unconsciously. The better the depth perception is trained, the less your dog runs the risk of injuring himself by twisting his ankle or falling.

Walking and practicing on different surfaces can train your dog’s self-awareness, giving him a greater sense of security. Fine motor skills, coordination, concentration, balance, musculature and body perception are trained.

For which dogs are structure mats useful?

– Even young puppies benefit from the early stimuli and stand more securely on their feet later in life. Dealing with new situations and solving problems is also easier for them due to the early neural stimulation.

– Dogs that are insecure or fearful benefit greatly from underground training, as the small successes make them braver and more confident, and their relationship with you is strengthened in the process. It is equally great for dogs that have had to live in kennels, for example, and have a deficit in depth sensitivity as a result.

– Hectic and inattentive dogs can be helped to focus, become more mindful and slow down.

– As dogs age, their proprioceptors diminish, which is why training is important, especially for senior dogs, to prevent “wobbly legs.”

– After an accident or surgery, proprioception may be impaired. To relearn the correct joint position and prevent re-injury, depth perception should be trained. The best way to do this is to work with canine physiotherapists to find the right exercises for your pet.

If your dog has injuries, neurological problems or inflamed paws, please consult your veterinarian beforehand.

What are Ortek mats made of?

They are made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), plastic. The material is sturdy, flexible and adapts well to the sub-round.

Tip: If your mats have slight waves after unpacking, simply leave them on a straight surface until they have leveled out.

Attention: Due to the softeners contained in the mats, they are not suitable for use as a licking mat.

How can I use the Ortek textured mats?

There are different textured surfaces. The lightest ones are meant to imitate grass, since these aren’t as uneven, it’s a good place to start. There are stone textures, forest floors, sea floors, higher prongs and many more. Depending on your dog’s level of training, you can go for increasingly uneven textured mats or incorporate them into a course.

It is always important that your dog performs the exercises slowly and in a controlled manner! So stay with him and do the exercises together.

If you have not received any other training instructions from your physiotherapist/dog trainer, it is better to start with short (approx. 5 minutes) sessions first, as underground training is not only a physical but also a mental challenge for your dog.

Buy now and test yourself!

What is trained with the structure mats for dogs?

– Proprioception: Ortek mats are excellent for improving body awareness, as the dog learns how its body movements affect the uneven surfaces. Good self-awareness can help support mobility and prevent the risk of injury.

– Physical stimulation: the different structures of the mats challenge the muscles and joints as they have to adapt to the uneven and possibly unstable surfaces. Balancing refines body control, strengthens muscles and improves coordination.

– Balance: dogs learn to maintain their balance and make controlled movements on the structural mats. Dexterity is also trained in the process. Isometric exercises additionally strengthen muscle power and stability.

– Mental stimulation: Exercises on different surfaces also provide a mental challenge. Concentration is promoted and solution-oriented thinking is encouraged. So it is also a good workout and makes your dog tired.

– Confidence building: Especially insecure dogs learn to trust themselves, but also you. The small shared experiences of success weld together.

– Fun & Occupation: As always, fun should come first. Build up the exercises in small steps so your dog doesn’t get scared or negatively associate the mats under pressure. Think of it as an exciting activity and have fun mastering the training.

Ideas to increase the difficulty.

If your dog is already well practiced and can move easily on all the mats, you can increase the difficulty by adding other objects, for example. For example, you can place poles to climb over the mats or add other hurdles in between.

The structural mats for dogs can also be placed on other surfaces. The softer it is, the more difficult it is, because your dog must then also keep his balance. You can, for example, put balance cushions or thick blankets underneath or place the mats slightly uphill. There are countless ways to make the mats exciting and challenging for your dog, so that he does not lose interest and you have fun for a long time.

How can I clean the Ortek structural mats?

The cleaning is really simple. Just wash them with water and if necessary with some mild detergent, let them dry and you’re done! They are not suitable for the dishwasher, as they can deform at over 40°C.

Summary

We are convinced of the Ortek structure mats and will definitely use them regularly. If you want to practice body awareness with your dog or work with dogs yourself, the mats are an optimal addition. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or Ortek directly. Feel free to share your experiences in the comments. We are looking forward to your message.