Tricks that teach a dog about their body and how to use their rear end are very helpful in teaching not only agility-type skills, but also for obedience: tight turns in heeling, pivots and getting in close; fronts and finishes. 

I have been working a fair bit on body awareness skills lately with my dogs Pinot and Maggio to brush up and get ready for starting weave-pole training with Pinot for agility. Maggio being a big boy needs the rear end awareness mainly for obedience work and keeping his big body close to mine; but he also enjoys this stuff “just for fun”.

Some of the things we have worked on are:

  • backing up
  • backing up onto something
  • backing into an overturned cardboard box – lifting rear legs one leg at a time to find the way into the box
  • getting onto a box/ stool with front legs and pivoting around with rear legs
  • walking/ trotting through the rungs of a ladder
  • doing tight turns around pylons
  • tight turns around a jump standard in both directions (the focus being on the tight turn; not the jumping – so keeping jump height low)

Here is a little video showing some of these things in action. The video is a short 2 min. compilation (don;t know what happenend in the upload to youtube that makes it be listed as 5 minutes). Video editing done by my fantastic editor and son Saxby, 12 years old 🙂
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4YBZas0w20

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