Jump Over My Leg

Posted on June 24, 2016Categories Dogs, Great Tricks, Please Share, VideosTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Got a leg? Then teach your dog to jump over it! This trick is easy, fun, and will burn energy almost anywhere.

Teach your dog to jump over your leg

Jumping over and over isn’t for puppies, wait until your dog is at least 1.5 years old, 2 for giant breeds before teaching this trick.

Begin with your foot against a wall, fence, or tree. Save your hamstring the trouble and keep your foot low, it will help your dog learn to go over, not under your leg. Lure your dog over your outstretched leg with a treat. Say ‘yes!’ and reward your dog with a tasty treat, be especially enthusiastic if they jump high.

Once your dog is happily jumping over, add the cue ‘hup’ or ‘jump,’ and begin gradually raising your leg up. You’ll need to ask your dog to ‘sit’ or ‘wait’ a few feet away so that they can take a run at it.

Do dozens of reps over at least a week’s time before slowly, gradually moving away from the wall, fence, or tree. You will know you’ve gone too far, too fast when your dog cheats and circles your leg instead of jumping over. Smart boy! He knows an easier route! Don’t laugh, you’ll only reinforce his cheating ways, just go back a little closer to the wall and do a few more reps. Your dog needs plenty of practice to set the pattern and learn the cue.

We think your dog will love this trick! Have fun!

Hoop Jump

Posted on June 22, 2016Categories Dogs, Great Tricks, Please Share, VideosTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Teach your dog to jump through a hula hoop! You probably have one lying around, and if not, they aren’t hard to come by, which makes this trick an easy bet for summer fun!

What you’ll need: A hula hoop large enough for your dog to jump through, treats, and an adult dog. You can find hula hoops at toy stores and dollar stores. Make sure that the hoop isn’t designed to make noise,  drain any noisemaking beads if necessary so that your dog isn’t startled by the hoop. Jumping over and over isn’t for puppies, wait until your dog is at least 1.5 years old, 2 for giant breeds.

Step 1: Hold the hoop on the ground and lure your dog through with a treat. Say ‘yes!’ and feed them as they go through the hoop.

Step 2: Hold the treat on the other side of the hoop and ask you dog to make the first move. Say ‘yes!’ and feed them once they have made it through the hoop.

Step 3: Hold the hoop an inch or two off the ground, and repeat step 2 a few times, gradually raising the hoop.

Step 4: Once your dog is jumping through with ease, add your cue to ‘hup’ or ‘jump’ or ‘hoop’ to name their new trick!

Step 5: Have your dog ‘sit’ or ‘wait’ and step a few feet away, hold out your hoop give your cue to ‘hup!’ Stare at the hoop, not your dog, and show them the treat on the other side if they struggle.

Bonus Step 6: The double hoop jump trick! Add another hoop, and teach your dog to follow your eye by looking toward the hoop you’d like them to jump through. They will learn to jump around you in a continuous loop!

Bonus Hula Hoop tricks: You can also use your new hoop jump trick to teach your dog to jump over your back, your leg, through your arms, and much more!

Ring of fire: Cover your hula hoop in tissue paper and cut a hole big enough that your dog will still jump through it. Repeat the process with increasingly smaller openings until you have a dog that will jump through the covered hoop, with just a small hole at the centre! Draw some cool flames on it, or maybe your dog’s name, and let him jump through it to begin your show, even if it’s just for grandma and her friends at the nursing home. Your dog will delight and amaze!

We think you and your dog will love this trick!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teach Your Dog To Dress Themselves

Posted on May 27, 2016November 23, 2020Categories Assistance Dog Skills, Dogs, Great Tricks, VideosTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your dog might not ever be ready to move out and go to college, but teaching this easy trick will make your life a little smoother, on a daily basis, which adds up. Most importantly, giving your dog this responsibility will make their life more pleasant.

Teach The ‘Dress’ Cue

Ensure your dog’s collar, bandana, harness, or backpack is oriented so that large or dangly parts hang down, rather than looming over your dog’s head, hitting them in the face as they dress.

Step 1)

Reach your hand through the neck hole, place a treat on your dog’s nose, and lure them through. Say ‘Yes!’ and allow them to eat as they ‘dress.’

Step 2)

Hold a treat on the other side of the hole and ask your dog to make the first move, this is sometimes a tricky step because you can’t hold it open wide with one hand as easily, enlist the help of a friend if you are struggling. If your dog is struggling, try holding the treat right in the center of the hole, and luring from there, saying “Yes!” once their entire head is through.

Step 3)

Hold the opening wide with both hands and say ‘dress.’ Mark with “yes!” and reward once they are fully dressed. If they hesitate to go through, show them the treat on the other side again to remind them.

Enjoy your dog’s new trick!

If your dog’s harness is the kind that it would help if they would just stand still on top of it, begin by teaching the ‘stand‘ cue on a pedestal.

 

This Is Why Your Dog Is Hooked On Treats

Posted on March 7, 2016June 7, 2019Categories Common Mistakes Owners Make, DogsTags , , ,

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We use a lot of treats when teaching dogs a new skill, for several reasons: Treats are highly motivating, quick to deliver, and easy to carry.

But once your dog has learned that skill, treats should be phased out. And yet we meet so many people whose dogs obey them “only when I have a treat in my hand”.

There are three main reasons why dogs get hooked on treats.

Reason 1: Your Dog Only Gets Treats If You Are Holding A Treat

Dogs aren’t stupid. Well, they aren’t the most intelligent creatures on the planet, but they do have brains. If you hold out a treat and say “sit” and your dog sits, and then gets a treat, your dog learns that a treat in the hand = a treat in the mouth. Then, you tell your dog to sit when you don’t have a treat on you. Ever hopeful, he sits anyway. No treat appears, because you don’t have a treat.

So what has your dog learned from this? Unless your dog is an utter moron, he has learned that there is no point in sitting if he doesn’t see a treat. Dogs quickly develop a “show me the money” attitude about obedience. They want proof of payment before they will do the work.

The Cure:

Always carry treats on you, but don’t always give them out. Show your dog a treat, tell her to sit, and then pat her on the head and carry on without handing down the treat. Then tell her to sit with the treat hidden away, and when she sits, give her the treat.

Your dog will quickly learn that the presence or absence of a treat has nothing to do with whether she will actually be paid for her work. So she starts thinking, “hmm… maybe it is the QUALITY of my work that matters…” and she will offer you faster, better, more eager obedience in the hopes that this time she will earn a treat.

Reason 2: You Give Out Food For Free

I see it all the time – I ask a client to get their dog to sit, and they pull out the Pupperoni to motivate their dog. Meanwhile, there is a bowl of half-eaten kibble lying on the floor.

I have to ask – why is that food there? A half-eaten bowl of food tells me several things:

  1. The dog doesn’t love the food.
  2. The dog is being given more food than the dog needs.
  3. The dog doesn’t respect the food because it is freely available.

The Cure:

Don’t free feed your dog. Give your dog a small meal that can be finished in a short period of time. If your dog doesn’t eat it, pick it up and put it away until next meal time. Better yet, make your dog actually earn meals. In an ideal world, your dog would work for every mouthful of food she gets. Breakfast can be doled out bite by bite in return for good behaviour on a walk. Dinner can be served kibble by kibble during a long down stay while you eat your own meal.

But some foods are easier than others. If your dog is on raw, it’s hard to serve piece by piece, unless you break it into frozen chunks and make your dog earn each chunk during a short walk.

Even so, your dog’s meal should be served after your dog has been required to work, and if your dog isn’t interested, pick it up. A few hours of hunger won’t hurt your dog and will certainly motivate him to work for the next meal.

Reason 3: Treats Are The Only Reward You Use

Treats only work when your dog loves them and feels hungry.

What if your dog is full, the treats you are holding are not particularly appetizing, and your dog would much rather play with another dog than come get that dry, tasteless treat that he isn’t even really hungry for? You guessed it: your dog will simply keep playing with his friend.

The Cure:

Too many owners rely  on treats to motivate their dog, and ignore a whole world of other motivations in their dog’s environment.

The best reward for your dog is whatever your dog wants most at the current moment. If your dog really wants to go play with his friend, he is going to pay approximately zero attention to your treats. Even if you do manage to get him to obey you and then reward with the not-so-motivating treat, you have just wasted your money in feeding a treat that your dog didn’t even really care about, when you had a much better reward at your finger tips. The real reward that your dog wanted was to go play with the other dog!

So USE THAT.

If you watch your dog for a day, you will see that there are lots of things that your dog wants in life. She wants to go outside, she wants to sniff that post where all the other dogs pee, she wants you to cuddle her, she wants to chase a squirrel, she wants to sleep on your bed, and she wants to play with her ball.

What is the point of chasing after her with treats when you have all of these other great rewards available?

Every time you let your dog go outside, or sniff a post, or chase a ball without asking her to work for it, you waste a reward. You might as well just walk around throwing chunks of steak on the ground for your dog to eat  – either way you are giving out free “treats” that your dog didn’t have to earn.

When your dog wants something, ask your dog to do some obedience, or a trick, to get it. Then, instead of fishing a treat out of your pocket, give your dog the thing that he wants!

This way, instead of requiring treats in order to work, your dog will work for you because he knows that it is the best way to get what he wants – EVERYTHING!800px-Mother_and_son_with_dog_playing public domain.jpg

Deconstructing Dominance: The Science Behind Wag The Dog

Posted on September 29, 2012April 25, 2021Categories 100 Reasons To Love Wag The Dog, Animal Behavior, Common Mistakes Owners Make, Dogs, Training MethodsTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is Your Dog Fighting For Dominance?

Perhaps one of the most commonly touted tenets of dog training is “be the leader”.

Whether the family dog is jumping up, growling, biting, or tugging at the leash, owners are advised by professionals and dog hobbyists alike to “lead the pack”.

It sounds good, and it’s an easy line for lay people to take – “Oh, your dog is misbehaving? You need to be the pack leader and be more dominant.”

Advice for how to do to do this usually involves things like going through doors first, eating first,  or turning your dog upside down, all of which are supposed to mimic the behaviour of wolves in the wild.

People think that they shouldn’t sleep with their dog, shouldn’t let him on the furniture, and shouldn’t share their table scraps.

When we meet a new client, we often listen to embarrassed confessions of doing all these things… and then we surprise them by telling them the truth: If you don’t mind your dog on the bed, it’s not a problem. You won’t create a struggle for power if your dog cuddles with you on the sofa in the evenings.

Yes, if you want your dog listen to you and respond to you, you certainly need to be the leader in the relationship. But that doesn’t mean you need to dominate your dog.

The Science Behind Dominance

Continue reading “Deconstructing Dominance: The Science Behind Wag The Dog”

That Was Easy! How To Train Your Dog To Push A Button

Posted on January 26, 2012Categories Dogs, Great Tricks, Training MethodsTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Watch as our trainer Carol Millman demonstrates how quick and easy it can be to teach your dog a new skill in a matter of minutes!

Using clicker training, she trains her Sheltie, Odin, to push a button with his nose in a single 5 minute session. The video footage is one continuous take to prove that we aren’t using any editing tricks.

If you live in Greater Vancouver, the Tri-Cities, or the Fraser Valley of BC and you would like your dog to be able to learn great tricks like this one,

email us at team@wagthedog.ca or BOOK NOW on-line!

 

Yes, your dog CAN be this awesome.