"All-Positive Monday" 25 - Balancing On My Back | Exploits of an Amateur Dog Trainer: Blog Edition

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Monday, October 10, 2011

"All-Positive Monday" 25 - Balancing On My Back

Trying to get him to look at the camera.

The latest thing we tried was born from a play session. Normally, we have a bit of a play session in the morning - sort of our morning ritual of saying "good morning" to each other. Sometimes, he'll "jump on my back" and I'll pretend like he's pinned me down. The picture above was from a few days back where we were practicing just him staying on my back and me standing still.

Well, one day, I tried to get him actually to get on my back. That sort of worked, but he was certainly unsure of the situation (and probably my back).

Then he got comfortable with it and that was a start I could work with. Long story short, he got on my back and I was able to get up and he would stay on while I sort of crawled around.

Today, we kept practicing that but with me actually walking and moving around while he stays on my back. I armed myself with some beef and got him up on my back with me lying down. For now, this part is still something of luring, though I detest using luring in training.

Once on my back, I slowly got up to a "standing" (my legs were standing, the rest of me bent at the waist), and I took a couple steps and then feed him a bit of beef. A couple more steps and more beef. Repeating this for a while to make the interest of being up there even stronger. I'm willing to bet he is still a bit nervous of the whole idea, especially once I start moving around.

Eventually, made my way to the stairs. Dare I try it? I did. This was something of an adventure for the both of us. I'm certainly not used to moving around like a hunchback and he was like "we're doing what now?", and I could feel those paws digging in a bit more as I started up the stairs (felt like little pin pricks - more an unusual sensation instead of a painful one).

Every couple stairs, I praised him and fed him another bit of beef.

Then we made it to the top, I slowly knelt back down and bent forward some, as if touching my head to the floor, and cue his "get off" behavior. He jumped off just fine (which also felt funny) and was happy and excited.

Below are a couple more pictures just to give an idea how it looks. I apologize in advance for any poor quality. Taking these by myself with a dog on my back is not something I've done before!

Admiring the view from his perch.

I think he's enjoying this.