Skill: Backing up
Benefits: Rear end awareness, increased range of motion, rear end strength, balance
Sports applications: Rally Obedience exercise, rear end control, increase strength for jumping in agility and flyball, useful in household situations
Safety: Keep in mind this exercise requires a lot of strength. Progress slowly.
How to train it!:
Shape it: Click and treat for any movement backwards. Specifically look at the back feet, watch for the tiniest indication of movement. Be patient!
Lure it: Hold the treat at the dogs nose level very close to his nose. Gradually back the treat towards the nose until the dog moves one foot backwards (this will often be a back foot). Give a treat as soon as the foot moves. Gradually require more feet to move before giving a treat. If your dog sits, it likely means that you have held the treat too high.
Variations: Start with your dog backing up on the ground. Practice with the dog at both sides as well as with the dog in front of you. When your dog is confident with all of these variations add items to back up onto. Start low, and gradually increase the height of the object. Include both solid objects and objects that move slightly. Possible variations of backing up include:
- Cardboard boxes
- Fit discs
- Laundry baskets
- Fitness Peanuts
- Over ladder flat on ground
- Between cones and bike racks
- Around cones