Rear leg awareness for canine freestyle?

Discussion in 'Dog Sports' started by mrsanonymous, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. mrsanonymous New Member

    Hi. ive been working on some small tricks with my boxer mix for freestyle. i want to work on targeting with the hind legs for "kick" and handstands. ive seed several videos on how to go about this by targeting books with the hind legs. She wants to step over the book every time, so i raised it up, then she wont step on or over it at all. should i just start over and have her target the book with her front paws and build up to just back paws. she steps over it either way. i have to lure her back or guide her. its frustrating or us both. :dogwacko:

    Any tips?


  2. snooks Experienced Member

    Maybe the slippery cover of the book feels unstable for footing, can u use something very non slippery like a wood block covered with carpet or something different in texture to the surface you are training on? the different texture so the dog can feel the difference and perhaps associate it with the task being asked.

    Are you shaping this with a clicker or how? I might just free shape for any back paw touching the object first. Maybe start with a flat object like a rug and get the rear leg target concept down first. :dogwink:
  3. mrsanonymous New Member

    yea we are using a clicker. someone said they used a pillow. i hadnt thought of a rug. i think we'll trying something like that next time we take a try at it, she probably wont be so tempted to step over. thanks :dogsmile:
  4. fickla Experienced Member

    You can also have a big box and shape all 4 feet on it first, then a 2 on 2 off position, and finally one leg. With a big box she'll be more likely to jump on it than over it.
  5. snooks Experienced Member

    I agree with Fickla, I'd go for a firmer larger object to step on without worrying about footing. When you get some paws on click and then offer the reward off the box. Just click and hold it so he has to leave the box to get the treat. This way he has to figure out that it's returning to the box that you want. Don't do too much let him get involved with the box, move around and look at the box/rug whatever not at the dog. Stay quiet mostly, the treat is the praise. Keep training sessions short 1-2 minutes, reset if he gets frustrated or stuck, go to something else fun for a while. Keep the rate of reinforcement fast--every 3-5 seconds...don't go a long time without a reward. If they lose interest and walk away you need to up it and move around more. Make the criteria low to start with, just looking in the direction of the box or rug is good for a click. Deliver treats within 1-2 seconds and have both hands still, preferably behind your back and treats already preloaded in one hand so there is no fumbling for them. I dispense them like pennies off a roll, hold about a dozen and pop them between finger and thumb quickly.

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