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Old 07-10-2012, 01:45 AM
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Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Default Teaching a dog that all 4 legs can indeed work together?

So, Logan's pretty good with hind end awareness, and of course he's good with his front end. But I can't seem to get through to him that the front legs and the back legs all belong to the same dog, and can be used together. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-10-2012, 07:05 AM
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I know of a vet PT who makes some cavaletti poles out of traffic cones and PVC pipe. Instead of putting them in a neat row, she puts them at random or challenging angles to one another - diagonals, crossing over one another, different heights, etc. She starts by walking the dog through the course and then gradually increasing speed. I've also seen pictures where she sort of throws a bunch of short segments of PVC pipe on the ground 52-pick up style and has the dog walk through that.

She originally did it for her own dog who hunts with her husband, and she was tired of having the dog come home all beat up because she was just crashing through brush and stuff. I guess it worked like a charm to teach the dog whole body coordination and awareness, to the point where the other hunters were bugging her husband to tell them his secret during the hunting season immediately after she had spent the summer doing this stuff with the dog.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:51 AM
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I'm not sure if you've done these for hind end awareness, but you can teach him to put all 4 paws in a box, then make the box smaller and smaller. Also backing up stairs is great for full body coordination.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:54 AM
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I don't know what you have access to but I found just being out hiking on uneven ground and tree climbing really helps teach them to use their body.

Large fallen down/tipped trees are a great find because they aren't as high up and tend to have a lot of branches to run around on, stand on and jump over. I bet rocks and things would e very similar.

I just noticed that my dogs get more surer footed after this kind of stuff.
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:52 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions so far! Tonight I worked on 4 feet in a box. He was dreadful at it lol. He did start to get the hang of it towards the end, so it should be a really good exercise! I also had him spin tight circles in either direction. Took him a bit to figure it out, but he did pretty well after a few tries. I'm doing all this with him fully geared up, too, so he gets used to strange movements in harness. It just dawned on me recently that most of his in-harness work has been straight lines.

I keep forgetting about cavaletti. I started it with him a few times but never kept up, so I will have to remember to continue working on that.

As far as hiking, this time of year any real distance is out of the question. Open prairie + no clouds + 100 degrees = NOT FUN. There are some trees, and some areas of thick trees (including several sizable fallen ones), but there are vast areas of open prairie between them. We do definitely do hikes in the cooler weather. Gavroche hops arouns all the logs without hesitation, Logan really would prefer to stay on the ground. Gavroche is just so well coordinated, and I never really had to work with him on it. A couple weeks ago he climbed a huge unstable pile of crap in the basement and sat at the top like it was nothing lol. Logan would never even attempt that.
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