This is a great exercise for confidence and core strength! Once your dog becomes fluent at it, you can use it when encountering distractions on walks.
Reactive and anxious dogs
- Gives them something fun and constructive to do instead of react.
- Rather than scanning the environment alert for triggers, ask your dog to engage with the environment.
- It’s a simple exercise and so they can perform it easily if they are feeling stressed or worried.
- The familiarity of doing something they know and enjoy makes them feel better.
Also great for slowing down fast, busy dogs!
Dog puts their two front feet on an obstacle.
Find an obstacle that your dog can safely put both front feet onto. Start with a low object that is not big enough for your dog to get up onto with all four paws.
Possible obstacles: footstool, step, log, tree trunk, solid box, solid suitcase, curb, chair, washing up bowl
Dogwood version: logs, tyres, Adventure Play frames, hay bales, benches
How to train
1. Lure your dog up onto the obstacle with food. Use your marker word and reward them with the food from your hand.
2. Once your dog is confidently and smoothly following the lure, remove the food and use just your hand for your dog to follow. Mark and reward.
3. Once your dog is confidently and smoothly following your hand without a lure, add a verbal cue just before you begin. Mark and reward. The verbal cue is ‘Bear’.
4. Once your dog is listening to the cue and performing the behaviour, start a short distance away and walk up to the obstacle together.
Move on when you can get 5/5 confidently and smoothly at each stage.
I’m looking forward seeing lots of little Bears in the Facebook group, or send me an email!