We’ve all seen dog shows or agility tournaments at least once. Whether it be television, YouTube, or a simple internet search, dog tricks dominate the pet enthusiast’s world. Remember how amazing that four legged champion looked eagerly racing over hurtles and skillfully leaping through hoops? From rapid somersaults to abnormal shows of balance, the incredible feats of trickery these guys perform, though few humans could ever hope to achieve, seem easy to our four legged friends.
Sure, it may seem like only a master dog trainer, one who devoted his life to animals, could achieve such wonderment.
Guess what– that is exactly what these trainers want you to think. Let me tell you a secret: though teaching dog tricks of this degree might take patience, a 4 year old child could teach them. I promise, once you understand what drives your pet, agility training is a sinch.
Though these dog tricks do often take time, teaching dog Hurtles could cost you as little as 10 minutes. Setting up costly equipment (like what you see above) might literally take longer than the trick itself.
Teaching Dog Hurtles: Train Your Pet to Jump the Easy Way
First off, you don’t need to bother with any of that expensive agility equipment for dog jump training. Tell you the truth, you don’t even need to visit the store for this one.
- Training Rewards (any type of desirable treat will do, but I prefer those tiny strong smelling dog treats, usually available in packages of 1-500)
- Any long ‘pole’ like the one above. A broom or mop handle will do; no need to spend money.
Step One: Show Him/Her what You Want
Set the pole/rod/long stick flat on the ground. Assuming your dog is in a seated position on one side, simply ‘lure’ him over the stick (which should be lying flat on the ground).
- If I’m not making sense, see my explanation of the ‘Lure and Reward Technique’ at the end.
Anyway, make sure you reward your pup immediately after he crosses over the stick. Don’t reward if he walks around.
Your goal here is to simply show your pup what you want him to do. Eventually, in his little puppy mind, he’ll come to the conclusion “If I walk over this stick, my owner will be pleased and reward me with that tasty bit of food I want!”
Tip: Want to really impress? Give onlookers something they don’t often see; teach your dog to jump over people or outstretched arms!
Step Two: Slowly Raise the Bar, Gradually increasing Difficulty
The video below attempts to show you teaching dog hurtles in very rapid rotations. In truth, you want to move gradually. Not only are you giving your pooch a ‘feel’ for the trick, you are building confidence (your pet isn’t going to leap four feet in the air right away).
So, you go through step one, or the very first dog jump stage in the video below, about 5-10 times. Now that your pup understands the concept (“I need to cross over this object to be rewarded”), raise the object a couple inches off the ground (‘stage two’ in the video below). Do that a few times before raising the bar a couple more inches, and so on.
Before long, you’ll reach something resembling ‘stage three’ in the video below, or even higher. Loki (the dog in the video) only weighs about 30 pounds!
Insanely Quick Dog Jump Training Video
By no means is this technical or costly. Forget about those YouTube stars that take 30 minutes to explain simple tricks. I can break it down for you in all of 18 seconds (in slow motion, even).
- Loki (dog)
- Training Rewards
- Pool Cue Case
- 2 Tupperware Containers
- 2 Chairs
There are three basic stages in this mini- video, or ‘heights’. These are intended to represent stages of slow progression over time. If you’re first training this trick, you need to move at a slower pace; your pup has to realize what it is you want from him before gaining the confidence to perform!
So you see- teaching dog hurtles doesn’t require hundreds of dollars worth of equipment. You don’t need lots of room, like a training yard or gym. And you don’t need to devote tons of time; training dog hurtles could take 5-10 minutes a day.
Tip: Be sure to make this a positive, fun experience! Praise your pup; make sure he has a blast! It is vital to the success of this, and just about any trick I’ll show you, that the dog is having a good time. Be careful not to become frustrated or try and force anything. Be sure to praise your pooch enthusiastically for success!