Train Your Dog in Your Home:
Well all know it is important for us to exercise. Well, the same applies for your dog. The following exercises will help strengthen your dog and improve his balance and coordination. Each can be performed at home in only a few minutes.
Make it fun for your dog by using food treats to teach him these exercises and to keep him interested. Treats should be small (pea-sized) and something your dog finds very tasty.
This exercise strengthens the muscles in your dog’s rear legs. Your dog should be able to sit with both rear legs bent and tucked under his body. If your dog sits on one side or with one leg straighter than the other, please consult your veterinarian before attempting this exercise. To perform this exercise:
- Have your dog stand in front of you.
- Ask your dog to sit. If your dog does not know “sit”, use a treat to lure him into a sit. When your dog sits, say “Yes” in a cheerful voice and take a step back so he has to stand to get his treat.
- Ask him to sit again. Say “Yes” and step back to give him the treat.
- Start with two or three repetitions and work up to 10. It is better to do fewer repetitions with good form than to do more repetitions with poor form.
- Once your dog can do 10 sit-to-stands with good form, make the exercise more challenging by asking him to sit and stand on a sofa cushion or mattress. Again, start with two or three repetitions and build up to 10 repetitions.
- To further increase the challenge, ask him to sit and stand with his front feet on a platform.
This exercise helps with your dog’s balance and shifts his weight from side to side. Set up two objects (cones or chairs) about eight feet apart. Walk your dog around the objects in a figure eight.
Start with walking two or three figure eights and work up to 10 figure eights. Remember to use treats to keep your dog interested.
If you want some creative ways to do figure eights, use treats to lure your dog to spin to his right and left; to go around you from right to left and from left to right; and to weave between your legs (if you have a dog small enough). Then, combine these to form a figure eight. For example, with your dog standing in front of you:
- Ask him to spin to his left and then weave under your left leg.
- Ask him to spin to his right and then go around you from your left to right.
- Ask him to spin to his right and then spin to his left.
This exercise helps your dog with rear-end awareness. Platform can be made from an upside down bowl, or old phone books, catalogs, or mats taped together. The width of the platform should be slightly more than the distance between your dog’s shoulders.
Depend on The Size of Your Dog:
The height would depend on the size of your dog, but generally two to six inches. Cover the platform with non-slip material. To perform this exercise:
- Place the platform on the floor between you and your dog.
- Hold a treat in front of you near the side of the platform closest to you. When your dog steps on the platform, say “Yes”, and give him the treat.
- Next, hold a treat in front of you near your dog’s nose, take a small step to the right around the platform. When your dog moves one of his rear feet say “Yes”, and give him the treat.
- Continue taking steps to the right until you make a complete circle around the platform. Remember to say “Yes” and give your dog treats for moving his rear feet.
- Now, repeat to the left of the platform.
- Be patient. It may take a while for your dog to realize he can move only his rear feet. Also, you may find it is easier for your dog to go one way or the other. If your dog cannot keep his front feet on the platform when moving his rear feet, try a slightly higher platform.
Remember to go slow, give your dog lots of encouragement and treats, and have fun! These exercises are the foundation of rehabilitation work that can help your dog later in life. Help keep your dog fit now for a longer, healthier life later- all while enjoying quality time your furry friend will love!! Read more.