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Old 03-21-2013, 03:53 PM
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Default Bigger Dogs Doing Handstands

I've done the first steps of teaching Marsh to do a handstand. He'll look for things to put his back feet on (this looks -really- funny when there's nothing there), and it would be pretty straightforward to get him on a wall and wean off the wall. He's about 40 pounds though. I'm concerned he's too big for the trick. I've only seen toy or small terriers doing the trick. What do you think about larger dogs doing this trick?
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:04 PM
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As long as your dog has good core strength and you don't overdue it, it should be fine to do with a bigger dog. I always recommend keeping sessions very, very short for handstands, I'm talking 5 minutes or less.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:26 PM
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Totally doable for larger dogs, you just have to build it very slowly. Don't go full vertical until you've built the core strength. Start by lifting feet onto an ottoman or angled board and build up.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:31 PM
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Here's a video of Marsh putting his back feet on an ottoman. I've been teaching him to back up the stairs, too.

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Old 03-21-2013, 04:47 PM
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I have nothing to add to this thread other than we don't see enough of Marsh and that video is adorable. Reminds me of watching Dance learn... except Dance is more erratic lately haha. No idea what happened to stopping and thinking for a second.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toller_08 View Post
we don't see enough of Marsh
^Yes.

As long as you're paying attention to what your dog can safely physically do and not merely what he is willing to do, you're fine. From the video, I would personally go in very small increments of building up and coordination before trying a supportless handstand with him (sounds like that's your plan but just to reinforce that point...)

With my girls (Kim is 47lb, Mira 53lb), they might be able to do it but they are both rather long and to me it's just not worth the risk. Mira would probably do it for me whether she really could or not because she is all Try. But they get the part of the core workout I want from just wall or steep board stands, with far less risk of hurting themselves. I have no need of the wow factor other than personal amusement... but that's my personal decision.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:17 PM
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My dog is 38ish pounds and can do a handstand... almost. It's taken FOREVER to build up the strength for it, though some of the delay is my cruddy training.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:12 AM
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I SO want to teach Fleetwood to do this, but I know that he's too big for his little legs and shoulders to do it. Especially with his old OCD injury. I think I can teach him to do it against a wall, but that's as far as I would go, I think.

Good luck with Marsh
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:39 PM
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I still haven't gotten Steve off the wall, but I did ask his rehab vet about whether it is safe to do this with him (he's 21 1/2" and about 40 pounds) and she said yes and that it's great for his core. As others have said, go slowly, let your dog build up the necessary strength, and be mindful about it.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toller_08 View Post
I have nothing to add to this thread other than we don't see enough of Marsh and that video is adorable. Reminds me of watching Dance learn... except Dance is more erratic lately haha. No idea what happened to stopping and thinking for a second.
Haha! Erratic is definitely the word. Marsh has definitely gotten better at shaping, at first he would get too stressed and pace around the room if he didn't get clicked, then he went through a phase where the answer to stress was to pick something up and bring it to me, now he just squeaks and does all his tricks at once. And then finds something in the room to bring to me. Doofy retriever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai View Post
^Yes.

As long as you're paying attention to what your dog can safely physically do and not merely what he is willing to do, you're fine. From the video, I would personally go in very small increments of building up and coordination before trying a supportless handstand with him (sounds like that's your plan but just to reinforce that point...)
Self-preservation is not a concept Marsh is familiar with. I can usually tell when he's wearing down, and I need to remind myself not to push for "just one more." (In all shaping! If you're thinking "just one more," just stop! )

I am interested in the trick more for the strength benefits than the show off points, people are equally impressed with a roll over and a sit stay (and I'm not showing off for anyone anyway). If he can do an unsupported handstand, cool! He does seem to like the trick. But if it never gets there, it never gets there.

That video is a couple months old, he has a little better control now and I have him up against a wall. We're took a break from that trick to teach him to lift each paw as I ask for it, working up to standing on two legs at a time. Marsh has put on a lot of muscle in his hind legs recently from working on sit pretty, and I want to balance him out with more muscle in the front legs. He only knew to shake with the right front foot, and you can see in the video he always reaches back with his left back foot first. So I want to balance him out that way too.

I wish I had watched Trkman's Tricks for a Better Bond at the start of winter! We could have been having so much fun instead of moping that it's too dark/cold to play gundog outside.
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