Puppy Bonus Skills

Puppy bumps is a great place to work on start line stays and how to go line up. We can show our puppies how to think about their feet for jumping. I only introduce 1 new jump grid a month at this age and only allowing a handful of jumps each week. The more important part of this lesson is the stay in front of a jump. Twill has no understanding of stay so I used her bed command and will fade the mat away. The spacing between the bumps is about 3 feet.

This body awareness exercise is all about understanding our individual feet and compression. Start with a big enough container that the puppy will understand and easily get 4 feet in. This is Twill's second lesson and I started with a large box that she could just stand normally in without compression. This skill is asking her to compress her body and is very challenging, don't forget to balance this skill with stretching out in extension (walk backwards, put front feet on one object and back on another stretched out)

Backing up, this is an important skill for so many reasons. The ability to back shows understanding of the rear feet placement. This is the foundation for agility contact zones, Aframe, Dog Walk, Teeter and it's also a great basis for many tricks. It is also a muscle building skill for our dogs to be able to walk backward. This is something that needs no equipment and can be done anywhere. Try this and remember to toss your treat to your pup while in motion, don't reward from your hand if you want them to move away from you and reward before they stop backing up. Also, watch for walking backwards, not hopping or bouncing. Video on left is Twill beginning her back up, video on the right is backing step 1.

IYC with all 3 control positions! This is a great verbal fun game to 'test' your sit, down, stand in the presence of reinforcement. Try this skill with your 3 IYC positions; in your hand, in a bowl, on the floor. Have fun!

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by Borderhauss Kennels and Laura Maulbetsch