What Is Rear End Awareness!?

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by Hayley Thompson, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. Hayley Thompson Well-Known Member

    Hey guys,
    Just wondering if you could help me out?! I have never heard of rear end awareness until I joined this site and now it feels like I am hearing those words everywhere, but I dont really understand what it means or why I should teach it?


    MaryK likes this.

  2. Ina Well-Known Member

    Hi Hayley.

    I am pretty new myself. From what I understand so far is that the rear end awareness refers to the hind legs. Most dogs don't realise they have hind legs and that they can control them. It's easy to train a dog to place the front legs on a box, but getting the back legs to do the same is rather difficult unless the dog has rear end awareness.

    When you try to teach the dog to heel it's quite important that the dog has rear end awareness.

    Check this video to see what I mean:

  3. sara Moderator

    Rear end awareness is very important for alot of different tricks and movements. Because I worked heavily on rear end awareness with Oliver, I was able to teach him to back between my legs in a figure 8, and to back onto an oblect, and to lift up a back leg (like he's taking a pee) and now, we're working on balance tricks.
    MaryK likes this.
  4. mewzard Experienced Member

    yes it just means making them aware that they have a back end/hind legs. Oka is bloomin awful with this and has knocked my daughter and newphew over many times by just turning to follow me and not realising that she has a big butt!!

    It's very useful for complicated tricks and heeling. In fact i spent a while teaching Oka to 'pivot' (front legs on a box, side step around with back legs), she can do 1/2 a circle at the moment BUT her heeling is much improved, if i let her sniff something and i want to move on i cue her with 'close' and she will align/pivot her butt to be straight to my leg...showing that her awareness has increased.
    MaryK likes this.
  5. Lexy88 Well-Known Member

    Please help me with rear end awareness! Blade will put his front feet on a box/book/tile but he wont move his back feet around and he will just sit. And he gets so frustrated even after only a minute or two and will walk away and lie down and refuse to do any more training - which is very unlike him!! He usually picks things up extremely fast [even with free shaping] so Im thinking he is super frustrated. I have looked at a few youtube clips on teaching it but no tips on 'when things dont go right'. Pleeeease.
    MaryK likes this.
  6. sara Moderator

    It can be a tough one... I gave up on teaching Mouse at all, she just doesn't get it. Sometimes using something bigger helps, Blade's a big dog, so perhaps a pail, or something. It would solve his sitting down! Click for even the slightest movement of a paw at first, use a very high rate of reinforcement, Move yourself around the pail/whatever... he'll be more likely to move with you.

    I trained a friend's GSD (who is doing protection dog work) to go around on a block, as she couldn't get him to move into the heel position from in front, so I showed her clicker training, and got him moving his back feet around (took alot as he is a giant of a GSD with great big long clutzy legs LOL) Now he's better and quicker than most of the other dogs.
    MaryK likes this.
  7. mewzard Experienced Member

    Lexy I used a portable step, it's about 30cm tall. also i think i walked into her to get her to move. So; Oka's on the step, i'm stood to her left facing the same way as her. I put the treat in my left hand, let her sniff and then move it further away from her (left). Hopefully she would move her back feet to try to face the treat more. If not i would do the same and then lean slightly closer to her taking advantage of thier need for space. click for *any* movement of the back feet - i think i had to click for changes in weight at first but she got it quite well. I never managed to get her to do a full turn - she refused to turn her back on the treat!!
    MaryK likes this.
  8. Lexy88 Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. The problem is, with our agility foundation training, we already stand/sit on a board and spin both ways [on and off the board] so its quite difficult for him to understand that there is a difference - he tries to do all his other tricks instead, and also walks off the board if I step into his space. He will stand on higher things [like the chopping block for firewood that is, lol not the kitchen one] so Im going to attempt again with the height. Will keep you updated.
    MaryK likes this.
  9. mewzard Experienced Member

    When leaning into Oka i would lure the nose with the treat - kinda hard to explain properly and i don't think i have a video of us doing it. Oka would step off at first, but soon understood she had to move "with me"
    MaryK likes this.
  10. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

  11. melissahadfield New Member

    For Lexy and Blade,
    I wonder, since you have a bigger dog like I do, if you wouldn't benefit from a smaller platform? I use a big garden book - 8.5" by 11." Trudy has tried to sit on it a couple of times, but it's pretty hard! I am using the training videos by Buffalo Dog Training on Youtube, though I imagine you already have the info on HOW to train it; you're just having some trouble with it. Not sure if the book or small platform would help, but thought I'd throw it out there.
    southerngirl and MaryK like this.

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