I was asked recently about my thoughts on the use of the Jenny Mill VS Slatmill and I wanted to share my views here…..
For those that don’t know the Jenny Mill resembles a miniature version of a horse walker. The dog is harnessed to one of three spokes that projects from a rotating centre shaft. A lure is attached to a spoke just in front of the dog. The lure brings out the dog’s natural prey drive and entices them to run on the track.
In essence the Jenny Mill provides many of the same benefits as the Slatmill does. It’s a mechanical free running tool (which we prefer to electric mills) and the dog is in full control. However there are some additional pro’s and con’s to the Jenny Mill when compared to the Slatmill.
One of the main pros is how cheap it is to set up. A car or truck rear end / axle is used for the rotating center shaft. This part can be found at your local junk yard, on craigslist or on Ebay. We recommend finding a local source to avoid shipping costs. A car rim or steel pipe is attached to the axle as a base for your spokes (2″ square tubing). Eye bolts are used on the ends of each spoke (For the lure, chains, and to attach the cable to the dog’s harness). In total you can probably get everything you need for less than $100 that’s a lot less than a good quality Slatmill (ours start at $1300).
On the slatmill, your dog can only run in a linear pattern of movement (straight ahead). However, the Jenny gives your dog the opportunity to run in a circle . This might not seem like much but the rotary movement gives your dog the chance to work additional muscle fibres than it would just running in a straight line. This is important especially for working dogs as many of the stability muscles are worked in multiplanar movements not just in a straight line. In fact one of the most dynamic forms of multiplanar conditioning is the flirtpole. Many of the elite canine athletes we condition have programs combined with flirt pole and Slatmill work and the results are outstanding.
NOTE: If you are using a Jennymill we recommend that you run your dog both directions so they do not create an imbalance.
One of the most obvious cons to the Jenny Mill is space. Unless you have access to an open undisturbed space, Jenny Mill work is virtually impossible. Not only that but unfortunately the Jenny has been flagged as dog fighting paraphernalia so using it openly with a bull breed is really calling for some unwanted attention.
Unlike the Slatmill the Jenny does not provide a simple way to track progression or increase resistance. Tracking progression and adding resistance is paramount to canine conditioning. That’s why all our Slatmills come with a speed computer which tells you the exact distance and speed your dog is moving at. They also come with a Resistance Dials which allow you to increase the intensity of the workout to add extra power to your dogs workouts.
The Slatmill is a clear winner for us but then again, we would say that 🙂
What about you, which one do you prefer?
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