Sunday, 1 May 2011

Pet Trickier Tricks: Back

Posted by Blog Administrator at 00:23
Back, meaning “walk backward,” is a fun trick by itself. You can also put it together with other tricks. However, it does require your dog to have a good sense of balance and to know where his back feet are.
 
You’d be surprised how many dogs don’t! You’ll need your clicker and treats for this one. Start with your dog standing facing you, toe to toe. You will probably need to help him back up at first, because dogs don’t usually do this on their own. Just take a little step forward.  

 
Don’t step on his toes! Then, when he takes a step backward, click and treat. Repeat several times. When he is readily backing up when you step forward, you can start saying “back” each time before you step. After a while, your dog will get the idea and take a step back on his own when you start to move toward him. If he doesn’t, add a slight lag between when you ask him to back up and when you step forward.
 
Eventually, you want him to be able to back up on his own without needing the physical cue of you stepping forward. With some practice, he will begin to step backward before you step forward. When your dog is consistently backing up on your cue, you can make the trick a little harder.
 
Require him to take a few steps back before you click. Remember to increase the number of steps gradually— two, then three, and so on. If he gets confused, make it easier and require fewer steps for a few more tries. Eventually, he may be able to back up ten or fifteen feet without you taking a step!
 
If your dog has trouble backing up in a straight line, you can create a chute using furniture, or you can work along a wall, with the wall on the side he drifts to. A little practice like this will get him used to backing up straight, and his muscles will remember.
 
Even so, you may need to go back to the chute or wall every now and then to refresh the idea of backing up in a straight line. When your dog is good at backing up, you can try adding other tricks to make a little routine.
 
For example, have him back up several steps,then tell him to spin or roll over. Another cool thing to try is getting him to back up while you back up in the opposite direction so you end up farther and farther apart. Also try having him back up with you while he’s at your side.
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