Home Becoming a Professional Dog Trainer Practice walking dog in a narrow walkway

Practice walking dog in a narrow walkway

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Crossbar material: 

You will need to have at least eight, or better yet more, crossbars to build the courses that you will be using for these following exercises. The crossbars should each be about two meters long and of varying thickness. To keep them in place you should use cross bar stands or make your own out of wood or plastic. Place the crossbars in such a way that they form a narrow walk way with a few tight turns that only the dog and trainer alone can walk through. It should be just wide enough so that the trainer and dog can stand side by side and walk slowly but safely through but not any more than that. Each team takes turns walking slowly and alone through the narrow walkway. In each corner the dog should turn its body to go around the corner, step by step slowly advancing without losing its balance or trying to rush or jump over the crossbars. The team should stop where they are any time the becomes frustrated or agitated. If this doesn’t calm the dog down take it out of the walkway and start the exercise again. The other teams should wait their turns a good distance away so as not to distract or pressure the team making their pass.

Practice walking through Chinese pick-up-sticks. 

This exercise is more complicated both for the dog trainer and for the dog. Place the crossbars in a disordered manner (something similar to Chinese pick-up-sticks) one partially on top of another. Some of the crossbars will be touching the ground while other parts will be up in the air. It is important that the course instructor sets up this course with skill and makes sure that it is in fact doable. This means that the course instructor should at least do a dry run before expecting the teams to try and pass through it. There needs to be enough room between obstacles for the dog and trainer to place their feet. The teams one by one pass through the course slowly and carefully. The dog should not try and jump any of the cross bars or hesitate too much. It should carefully step over the crossbars lifting each paw one by one. This will call for all the concentration and focus on the part of the dog. The dog trainer must also carefully and slowly pass over the same obstacles and should be sure to give all the help they can to their dog through their body language. Do not punish any dog that becomes frustrated or agitated but rather take them back to the beginning and start the exercise over again.

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