By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best Pet Insurance, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.
Got a Velcro® dog? By that, I mean a dog who seems to shadow your every step in the house – perhaps even causing you to trip over him. Channel that need to cling too close to you by teaching him this crowd-pleasing trick that should also instill confidence in him.
To be successful, you need to strike a balance between having your dog being attentive, but not being too energetic because you need to work on your timing and balance. He needs to know “watch me” cue and happily following hand signals. This is a key trick used in the popular sport of agility with canine participants weaving in and out of stationary poles.
Here is your 11-step guide:
1. Stand with your legs apart.
2. Put your dog in a sit directly behind you.
3. With a treat in your closed hand, reach through your legs and call your dog to come.
4. When he pokes his head through your legs, say, “good peek” and give a treat.
5. Practice having him poke his head through your legs and looking up at you for a few days. Make it playful and fun.
6. Now position your dog in a stance on your right side.
7. Take a big step forward with your left leg.
8. With treats in your left hand, lower your left hand under your left outstretched leg to lure your dog to put his head under your legs.
9. Lure him to move under your legs and move your hand with the treats forward in front of you.
10. As soon as your dog completes moving under your legs, say, “weave, good!” and treat.
11. Gradually expand the hand-luring motion and treat only when your dog successfully weaves through your legs.
TAKE TWO: Strive to have your dog perform a figure-8 weave in, under and around your legs by luring him with the treat in your lead hand. The hand signal for weaving is an open palm placed under your outstretched thigh of your leg that is forward. Time it so that you alternate lifting each leg to help your dog maneuver in and out of your legs.
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