clueless she has hind legs

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by ryleighgirl, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. ryleighgirl New Member

    I've been trying for a very long time to teach ryleigh some tricks where she has to use her back legs, but she has no idea she has back legs. She use to be able to back up a few steps, but she seems to have forgotten how. She can back up while between my legs and in heel position, but she is stumbling over herself the whole time. Then she gets frustrated and lays down. I've tried the trick where her front paws are on a book and she has to move her back legs, but she couldn't do it. I've also tried having her walk through a latter and her back feet kept getting caught in the rungs. I tried having her go over jumps and she will jump over with her front feet then walk through the jump with her back. I've tried a low dog walk and she will only walk on it with her front feet I can't even get her to put her back feet on it. I've also tried using a pillow to do 2 on 2 off, and I tried having her put all 4 feet in a large box. So does anyone have any other suggestions on how to teach my dog that she has back feet? It is making it really hard to teach her agility...

  2. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    My BC used to be the same way. Sounds like you are trying all the right things.
    Some other ideas:
    How are you teaching her to back up? I taught Mud by walking towards her with a treat over her head. When she was first learning it I actually had to walk right into her(not roughly, just kind of shuffled into her). At first I didn't care if she was backing up straight at all, just click and reward for one step backwards. Then click and reward for more steps backwards(and after that first time, I just had to step towards her and she would back up). When she understood she had to move backwards, then I moved to a hallway so if she backed off to one side, she ran into a wall. (This would NOT be a good idea for an insecure, fearful, or aggressive dog, because the small space might just make him/her feel cornered.)
    As for pivoting, Mud has had a terribly hard time with that too. I started with a taller object rather than a shorter object. With a short object like a book or a piece of carpet, it's easy to step right off with their front feet. With a large object(like a bucket or a bowl upside down), moving their front feet means falling off of it. I clicked and rewarded at first for putting her front feet on the bucket. Then I stood on one side of her with a treat in hand. I used the treat as a lure and shuffled sideways into her. One step with a back foot, click and reward. I kept doing this until she would pivot with just me luring her around.

    I also taught her to hike her back leg(What do boy dogs do?) by finding a ticklish spot(by accident) just inside one of her legs. I touched it and she'd pick up her leg--click and reward. She does it on cue now, but that's how I started it. I originally intended to teach her to lift each foot on cue but I just changed my mind.

    Once she picks up pivoting, you can teach her to weave backwards through your legs and circle backwards around you.

    Have you seen Kikopup's vid on pivoting?
    And also Azoogle's vid on handstands(don't have to teach that now as if I remember right your girl is still pretty young??..but you can start some of it).

    Since I'm still working on helping Mud find her back legs, not sure this is much help. :dogblush: Good luck and keep at it!
  3. ryleighgirl New Member

    You mentioned a lot of good ideas odds are one of them will work for her. I like the tickling one. I'll try them and see how it goes. I didn't want to do any advanced tricks like a hand stand yet. I haven't seen the videos either. Thanks for your help =)
  4. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    You're welcome, hope they help!
    As for the handstand, you don't actually have to teach the handstand. Just the beginning steps could help a ton. Basically, all you do is have the dog back onto an object. For instance, a short box(really short box). (Opposite of pivoting--you start short and move to taller objects.) Click for lifting back feet onto object. Once she's confidently moving right onto the object, use a slightly taller object. Basically this just teaches her to be aware of her back feet and lift them rather than drag them, as she does going through the ladder. You never really have to get to the handstand. :)

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