It’s been a long time since Shiva and I have had anything worthy of video footage or blog space. My motivation to work has been at an all time low for the last few months. I reckon it’ll eventually return, probably just as winter arrives and it will be too cold to do anything outside.
Anyway. We’ve lazily been practicing the below trick for a little while. I’d originally assumed she was far too big to jump through my arms successfully. Or without kicking me in the face. Once again, she proved me wrong. When will I learn there is little this dog can’t do?
Since Shiva already loves to jump, this was a (fairly) simple thing to teach . I lured her at first by tossing a treat and then standing in front of her much the same way I would if I was asking her to jump over an agility obstacle. Only this time my arms were the jump standard. I kept my arms really low to make it easy for her. After a few repetitions I removed the lure.* It took her a while to understand what it is I was asking. She kept just running straight into my arms instead of leaping over them. But after a few sessions she picked it up and I could gradually raise my arms higher.
She actually surprised me during the filming this morning. I’ve never gotten her to jump so close to me before. Previously I’ve always had to put her in a stay and then lead out. I don’t know why I even thought of trying it this way but it worked really well! She kept getting distracted by something in the neighbour’s yard – don’t ask me what – so I am even more impressed we pulled this off.
Dogs are always full of surprises, aren’t they? You never know when they are going to blow all of your expectations or when they are going to drive you to drink. As it’s far too early in the day for the latter, I am excited I got to experience the former.
*There are those who feel luring is a cheap way of trick training but since it’s just about fun, I don’t really care. This trick can definitely be shaped the way you can shape an agility jump. If I was a more patient trainer I may have done it this way. Maybe with my next dog.