Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed our Day Two Challenges. We will go back to the Down a little later in the challenges, so please keep practising. For today’s challenge, we are visiting a wonderful little skill that has many applications. I call it “Perch”.
This is a great game not only for teaching your pup about hind leg awareness, but it is also an essential tool if you are to teach your dog orientation in the heel position. You can use any object for the perch such as an upturned basin, a stack of large books, a wooden box. Once you have your perch the idea is to teach your dog to place his front paws on the perch, and then move clockwise and anti-clockwise around the perch using only his hind legs. You can also use the “Perch” to teach your dog to pivot into heel position – but more of this later.
Step 1: Basic perch work – Step up. Using a raised surface that is no more than 15 cm off the ground and no more than 30 cm in diameter either lure or shape the dog to place his front paws on the perch. Feed him three or four treats while in this position, and then toss a treat off the perch to get him off so that he can get on again. Repeat this exercise three or four times in a session. Repeat this session until the dog is offering putting his paws on the perch.
Step 2: Once he is doing this confidently wait with your Mark and Reward until he is making eye contact with you and with his front paws remaining on the perch. Reward for eye contact three or four times. Repeat this over two or three sessions.
Your Perch challenge for today is to get your dog to step up onto the perch object and stay there, making eye contact for a couple of seconds. We will talk about the next steps on Day Four.
For the students that have taught their dogs to pivot counter-clockwise through 360 degrees, I challenge you to now pivot clockwise through 360 degrees.
I would also like to challenge you to construct an indoor (or outdoor) obstacle course for your dog to negotiate. You can use up-turned chairs or tables to form a tunnel, plastic basins to climb onto and into, a collection of smaller items to weave around. Be creative.
I’ll post a video later on with my obstacle course. What fun!!!
Happy Training everyone! Don’t forget to put some videos and pictures on our group page on Facebook. Louise’s Lockdown Dog Training Challenges. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1083369178700325/