Sunday, March 3, 2024

I Bought a Klimb Despite My Own Objections

The Klimb is an egregiously overpriced dog training platform that sells for the princely sum of $160. Made by Blue9 Pet Products, makers of the Balance Harness, the Klimb features removable legs. It floats and can be connected to other Klimb platforms on the sides and stacked for amazingly expensive group photos. But seriously. $160. For something I could make myself or find similar at a thrift store. But I am a sucker for dog products, so many years after the Klimb was released I finally bought one. 

The Klimb is a training platform. I have used all sorts of different training platforms for many years. Everything from plyometric jump boxes to children's step stools to cot beds to homemade plywood tables. They each have their own attributes. Cot beds are large, light, and portable, but also flexible. Wood tables are solid and sturdy. Plastic step stools are light and portable. But none of the platforms I have used have been large, light, portable, solid, and sturdy all at the same time. 

The dogs love it. I don't know why, probably because it is big enough to get all four feet on easily, low enough to climb onto without jumping, and large enough that I can drop treats on it either for luring a dog up there or building value once they are on it. Whatever the case, it has been incredibly easy to build value for being on it and they bound onto it at the first chance I might be handing out cookies. Or just because it's there. Sometimes it's tucked under other furniture for storage and they will shove themselves up there just in case I feel like rewarding them.

I use it a lot more than my other platforms.
I have all kinds of different things around for them to stand on, depending on whether we're working on pivots, rear foot targeting, or stays. Platforms are great for teaching stays because the criteria is much more clear than when the dog is on the floor. This thing is so easy to slide out of the way, or lean up against a wall, or shove in a closet, so it's always ready when I feel like using it. The legs come off and snap into storage spots on the bottom, but I don't usually bother taking the legs off.

It's pretty slippery. The textured plastic surface isn't terrible, but an enthusiastic border collie goes sliding right off when they hit it at speed. Which they do a lot. Because they love it. But don't worry, Blue9 will happily sell you a $40 custom Klimb traction mat. Cha-ching. Or you could cut a yoga mat to fit, which is what people were doing before the accessories came out. 

I still can't believe I spent $160 on this. Yes, it's a fun training tool and the dogs love it. But it's still just a big piece of plastic and the price feels outrageous for what the production cost must be. I guess all the Klimb buyers are funding further innovations from Blue9. But I would not be surprised to see some more affordable plastic dog training platforms from overseas popping up eventually. Those probably won't hook together though. Maybe I should buy a second one for better group pictures.

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