Movement Puzzles Coming Soon

Discover a powerful concept for BOOSTING your dog's confidence, DYNAMIC body awareness and coordination.

So that he can learn new skills faster and feel empowered in challenging situations. 


Online course for dog training enthusiasts.
By Mari Valgma, CPCFT 

get a special offer on your email when the doors open in May 2023 + get a free exercise πŸ‘‡

Curious to find out more? Start here πŸ‘‡


Movement Puzzles is a concept course for teaching your dog dynamic body awareness and coordination exercises...

While boosting your dog's confidence for all kinds of challenging situations!

It is a step-by-step online course that teaches you everything you need for building your own Puzzles!

  • 24/7 LIFETIME access to all the course content and training videos, including all future content updates!
  • Step by step instructions for 2 bowl game/Vito's game and building your first puzzles 
  • Library of puzzle exercises including all the future additions and detailed instructions for teaching your dog even the trickiest puzzles
  • Monthly themed challenges with instructor feedback to your training videos. You can participate in any challenge for as long as we run them - you join the course once and keep access to all the contents and challenges for life! Challenges use a non-Facebook platform.
  • First "Getting Started" challenge with instructor feedback starts within one week of you joining the course.

Here's what you'll find inside Movement Puzzles course:

2 bowl game/Vito's game

  • Step by step instructions for getting started with the 2 bowl game
  • Instructions for creating an errorless teaching setup (well... as much as possible!)
  • How to get your dog moving away from you/not looking at you and creating distance in your 2 bowl game
  • Troubleshooting guide to target the most common problems with the 2 bowl game

Build your first Puzzles

  • Detailed instructions for adding new exercises/behaviors into your 2 bowl game
  • Build your first Puzzles with moving over cavaletti poles and platforms
  • Learn how to use equipment as environmental cues so that the puzzle skills will transfer over to real life situations
  • Master the logic of combining different behaviors for longer and bigger Puzzles

Library of Puzzle ideas

  • Library of different body awareness, coordination and confidence exercises you can teach using the 2 bowl game and puzzles
  • Get new exercises for dynamic body awareness and coordination... Or work on your dog's confidence when moving in all kinds of "weird" situations
  • All the exercise guidelines are step by step instructions, splitting even the most complex exercises up into clear and frustration free steps for both you and your dog! 

In the Library of Puzzle Ideas you will find exercises like:

Dynamic Body Awareness and Coordination Boosters

  • 3 different versions of cavaletti
  • 5+ ways to use platforms and balance discs inside Puzzles
  • Touching a small target while running through a puzzle
  • Crawling inside a puzzle 
  • Special surprises and new exercises added soon πŸ˜‰

Confidence Boosters
(that sneakily also improve body awareness and coordination πŸ€“)

  • Moving on unstable surfaces
  • Moving on higher surfaces
  • Stepping over gaps higher from the ground
  • Unsupported surfaces (like bridges!)
  • Moving through a curtain of noisy/weird stuff
  • Running through noisy and weird things

All of these exercises are taught by splitting them up into small elements. Your dog will be doing the exercises independently, without you having to lure her.

In case of mistakes, the exercise setup will be adjusted to make the "right" answer the most likely one. As a result your dog will see challenges as something fun and empowering.

Because there are no verbal or visual cues from the handler, these situations themselves become cues for your dog & she will want to tackle them!

That's how you boost your dog's confidence and give her body awareness and coordination skills that transfer over to real life situations πŸ˜‰

What's in it for you?

Benefits for you

  • Train new behaviours faster because your dog has better control over her body and you don't need as many repetitions anymore
  • Ability to make all kinds of moving through/under/over behaviours super easy and logical for your dog
  • Fewer frustration behaviours during your training because your dog is better able to complete any training task with ease
  • Keeping your dog's brain active (coordination training is like a vitamin to your dog's brain) and delay/avoid onsets of conditions like doggy dementia
  • Lower vet bills because your dog knows how to look after his own body during sport/work
  • A new (and fun!) tool in your training toolbox

Benefits for your dog
(just to name a few)

  • Improved precision and control over his body when running
  • Better focus on the exercises and obstacles
  • Improved independent performance, not having to look at the handler so much
  • Higher confidence in new and also in difficult and physically demanding situations
  • Longer attention span
  • Improved reaction speed to cues
  • Recovering faster in physically tricky situations
  • Reduced risk of injuries thanks to better control and higher confidence in challenging situations
  • FUN! She can run... and get treats!

Who is this course for?

πŸ™‹β€β™€οΈ Canine fitness enthusiasts looking to add new, movement focused exercises to their routines

πŸ™‹πŸΌβ€β™‚οΈ Dog handlers and trainers who are familiar with +R training concepts and are always looking to add new tools to their training skills 

πŸ™‹πŸ½β€β™‚οΈ Puppy trainers and dog trainers looking for confidence and socializing exercises for new surfaces, moving over/ through funny stuff

πŸ™‹πŸΌ Dogs recovering from an injury and returning to the sport to restore body awareness and coordination for sport challenges. Only if cleared by a vet for returning to activities!

❌ This course is NOT FOR someone looking for
- detailed fitness plans: it's a concept course and will give you exercises & exercise ideas, but not training plans
- general conditioning workouts
- foundation +R training: this course relies on +R training concepts but won't be teaching the foundations of +R training
- detailed 1:1 attention and feedback when learning new exercises. There is some feedback included in the course, but you should be comfortable working on your own and putting new ideas into action when joining this course.

Prerequisites to get the most out of this course:

  • Your are familiar with clicker training or use a verbal marker for reinforcement delivery.
  • Your dog already knows paw targets and is happy to offer paws on different surfaces.
  • Your dog has done some foundation fitness training and is familiar with cavaletti, getting on and off unstable equipment and platforms.
  • Your dog is happy to offer behaviours without always getting cues from the handler. This course relies heavily on environmental cues (props) without any verbal or visual cues from the handler. 

Hey, I'm Mari Valgma

I am a Certified Professional Canine Fitness Trainer, helping dedicated dog training enthusiasts train their dogs to move with precision, awareness and confidence, especially in situations that may otherwise be called "challenging".
My passion is to help you achieve training goals faster, without overloading your dog’s body with repetitions in challenging training scenarios or placing your dog in dangerous situations over and over again.  

After working with more than 500 dogs over 5 years, I found traditional canine fitness training often lacking the elements that link the fitness exercises to real life challenges. Elements like movement and context - your dog is rarely still when doing the sport!

Hundreds of hours of brainstorming, researching and testing resulted in dynamic body awareness and coordination exercises for dogs: Movement Puzzles - a concept I first taught in 2020 and that has now become an integral part of everything I teach.

Movement Puzzles are more than exercises for fitness. They can also be used for boosting your dog's confidence, focus, independent exercise performance, ignoring handler movement as a distraction...

The options are limitless once you know how to build and use Movement Puzzles!

Will you be joining Hélène and Bobbie as the next fan of Movement Puzzles?

Hélène Lawler


Fenzi Dog Sports Academy instructor, Founder of Shaping Chaos and Dog Sport Scholars

USBCHA herding Open handler & coach

"My dogs and I are absolutely loving Movement Puzzles, which have become my new go-to for building foundations."

This unique skills-building program is so powerful that I believe it has the potential to completely change how we train our dogs for work and sport. Not only that, it SHOULD change how we train for work and sport.

Mari’s systematic program teaches both dog and handler the skills we need for performance excellence without danger of over-arousal (hallelujah!), all the while building confidence and developing excellence in communication.

Her step-by-step lessons are clear, easy to follow, and well organized. Her insights are paradigm shifting. Which, as a lover of rabbit holes, is my favourite part of working with Mari. But my dog is very grateful too! Particularly since the exercises allow her to tell me exactly where I need to improve, and how.

"Mari has a fresh approach to developing the underlying coordination and balance needed for dog sports...

... that dovetails beautifully with current training concepts such as loopy training, performing in flow, slow is the new fast, and forward focus. In a warm, engaging manner, she pulls together these bits and pieces into a cohesive whole. And my dogs love the exercises!"

Kathryn Kuhlen, USA

"Mari’s Movement Puzzle class was a surprising adventure into a new way of training and thinking."

I worked with my then 10-month old BC pup and my 5 year old field Labrador. It was enlightening to observe their balanced movement progress, development of body awareness for performance of the challenges, and mental acuity to solve the puzzles. My observation skills improved and I consequently became a more effective partner for them.

Mary Young, USA

Bobbie Lyons

CCFT, KPA CFT, Program Director CSCC, KPA Faculty

"From my first exposure to movement puzzles I was super intrigued with the concept and now I use it often for so many different things.  "

I love it for puppies and old dogs. It is a great way to teach clicker mechanics to new students. It is a great way to teach proprioception to dogs and for dogs to learn and think at a distance from their handler.
I continually find more and more uses for movement puzzles. Thank you Mari for sharing this concept.  It will always be part of what I teach.


There's no fixed start date for this course. You will get full access to all the contents as soon as you join, so you can start working on the exercises and start getting results straight away!

It will all depend on you πŸ™‚ The idea of Movement Puzzles can be mastered in a couple of weeks. Every new element in the ideas library will take approximately 2-3 days to teach with daily sessions (some take less, some more). None of the Ideas Library exercises are mandatory and you are free to mix and match based on your own interests and your dog's needs. 

Most of the confidence boosting exercises are perfect for puppies as young as 3 months. The body awareness and coordination exercises are better suited from 8 months and up. I'd personally recommend taking this course with a puppy, observe what your puppy is able to do easily and focus on these exercises. 

No. Beyond Dog Sports: Dog Walk also teaches some Movement Puzzles, but is highly focused on narrow surface skills.

Movement Puzzles is a more general concept course and includes exercises for general confidence boosting, body awareness and coordination training.

There is some overlap between these two courses, but there will be definitely new exercises for you in the Movement Puzzles course.

Before joining, contact Mari to see if Movement Puzzles is a good fit for you:

  • For learning the Movement Puzzles concept, you'll need:
  • 2 bowls, 2-3 cones 
  • 1-2 platforms/steps. Human step platforms and Cato boards are perfect. 
  • 1 balance disc/unstable surface. Balance discs with bases (Gymnic or TotoFit) or Propel Air Platform are the perfect. The disc/platform should not roll or slide under your dog. 
  • 2 cavaletti poles

    Additionally you'll need some creative solutions to come up with equipment like (these are for the Ideas Library exercises):
  • Stool or a bench that you can use for crawling
  • A cardboard box + empty plastic bottles or similar for a box of "funny stuff"
  • Plastic bottles on strings + something to hang them on (or similar for a "noisy curtain")
  • Old tires/wooden ladder or something similar to give your dog narrow surfaces to step on (like ladder rungs) 
  • Small thin target

Recommended area of 4x 6 meters/13x 20 feet, however you can also make it with half of that size. Make sure the surface is non-slippery!

This is mostly a self study course, but there are regular challenges inside this course. During these challenges you can post your videos and get instructor feedback on your exercises. The first challenge is all about getting started with puzzles and will run within the first 2 weeks of you joining the course.

Only if you want to πŸ™‚ You can post your videos for instructor feedback during the challenges, but there is no requirement to post your videos for the course to work and give you results. In fact, most students say the course instruction videos and guides are so clear and so easily understandable that they can easily train on their own, without posting training videos.

The course content is hosted on an online course platform called Zenler. Challenges are carried out on a platform called Circle. There is no course content on Facebook (but there is a student community on Facebook) and you don't have to be an active Facebook user to benefit from this course