Teaching a Jump

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Teaching your dog a jump is an essential skill for canine sports such as agility. In fact, a standard agility course includes 15 or more jumps! Teaching a jump also helps build your relationship with your dog as well as your dog’s physical strength. It is a skill that any size dog can learn. However, be sure to check with your veterinarian to ensure that jumping is a safe activity for your dog.

Teach a Hold

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Teaching your dog to hold an object builds a solid foundation for teaching advanced behaviors for dog sports, such as retrieve. To teach the hold behavior, choose an object that your dog likes and hold it in front of your dog’s muzzle. Click and treat when your dog shows any interest in the object. Once the dog understands that interacting with the object is rewarding, slowly increase the criteria until the dog is nosing the object and, eventually, putting his mouth on it. Remember: never put the object into the dog’s mouth. The dog should grab the object willingly.

Teaching a Release Cue

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As important as it is to teach your dog basic behaviors such as “sit” and “stay,” it’s equally as important to teach a release cue to let the dog know when he can release from his current position. Not only a useful training tool, a solid release cue can save your dog’s life. Use a release cue before going over a threshold, like through a doorway, out of a crate, or out of a vehicle. A release cue is also extremely useful for dog sports, as it builds a solid start line as well as clarity and confidence for duration behaviors.