Some Physical Activity Today | Exploits of an Amateur Dog Trainer: Blog Edition

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Some Physical Activity Today

Today, I worked mostly on physical sort of things. Can't forget about his body, especially since I'm not taking him walking as much because of the weather and time constraints.

Of course, we did all this stuff indoors. It's way too hot to be outside doing any of this stuff!

First, I had him do some balancing. Started with his standing all the way up on his back paws. I wanted him to stand still for a little time before I praised him and gave him a reward. He had to be perfectly still, no wobbling around or taking steps to balance during that time. He had to do all that to get balanced, then hold it for at first a couple seconds and then about five before he got the prize.

Since he loves to walk while he's on his back paws, I worked that in the next round. I got him going and then stopped and he had to stop moving and get his balance and hold it. This was harder, but he was able to do the same.

After about a minute break, I asked for the "sit pretty" pose where he's sitting on his back legs but the front ones are up. He used to barely be able to get into this position, but now he's able to hold it for quite some time and be perfectly still with it. He's even raising his paws up higher.  This one is no challenge for him any more, but I still go through it anyway. Practice never hurt anything.

Next up was one he did one day trying to get food from me when I was playing with him. He had to do those two poses above, but on my lap. This is different since my lap isn't as stable as the floor. My legs are round, they aren't hard like the floor (ha!) so it's harder for him to stabilize.

He's clearly uncertain about it as he's slower in getting into the pose, especially standing up on his back paws, but with enough encouragement (read: egging him on and teasing him!) he'll get up there...and then start climbing on me like a tree!

One thing I've thought about is maybe actually trying to get him to balance on a ball or something. Never tried it, but it might be interesting to try and see.

The last thing we did was getting his jumping on. Not only coming up to and jumping laterally through the hoop, but holding the hoop close to him and higher up to get him to try jumping vertically more. I'll also put the hoop low, and have him jump "into" it so that's he's standing within the hoop's area. Then he has to jump out from a standstill. This is hard for him! He's still quite uncertain about it (understandably!) but he will make the effort and do it pretty well. Eventually, I'd like him to hop in and then back out on his own and quickly. One day, one day!

All in all, he had lots of fun and was eager for more, but I had him rest and let him call it a day for any "real" training. It's Friday after all, and maybe even dogs need an easy day once in a while.