Before delving into the specifics of jumping exercises for agility, rally, and obedience, it’s essential to instill in your dog the idea that jumping is not only enjoyable but also rewarding, which can be done by incorporating jumping games into your training! These jumping games can significantly enhance your dog’s performance when working with jumps in your chosen canine sport.
These games suit dogs of all ages, although it’s crucial to exercise caution with younger dogs whose growth plates have yet to close. When playing these games with a puppy, it’s advisable to keep the jump bar on the ground or set it at a very low height, adjusting the number of repetitions accordingly. If you have any doubts about what’s appropriate for your dog, consulting with your veterinarian is always a wise choice.
To get started with these games, you’ll need a jump and a supply of treats that are easily visible on the floor, ensuring that your dog can spot them without difficulty.
Building the Foundation with Jumping Games
Begin by rewarding your dog for merely looking at the jump or moving towards it. Mark and toss the treat over the jump. After several repetitions, raise the criteria, requiring the dog to go all the way to the jump before marking and rewarding.
Testing Your Dog’s Desire
Once your dog grasps the concept, step away from the jump to gauge how much value your dog places on choosing to jump. This phase helps assess your dog’s enthusiasm for the activity.
When you’re confident that your dog will willingly jump on its own, introduce the cue “jump.” Begin to increase the distance from the jump and walk alongside it. This video clip demonstrates this step:
Jumping Games for Distance
Continue refining the game until your dog will reliably seek out and jump over the obstacle, even when you’re positioned 20 feet away. It’s an enjoyable challenge of “Can you find the jump?”
Sending to the Jump
As a variation, explore how far your dog will venture away from you to take the jump. This exercise encourages your dog to embrace a bit of independence while retaining a connection with you.
Calling Over the Jump
Finally, practice calling your dog to jump over the obstacle. This exercise reinforces the idea that sometimes, after a fun activity, your dog needs to return to the heel position for precision work.
These jump games serve the purpose of illustrating to your dog that jumping is valuable, which can significantly benefit their performance in any sport involving jumping. Enjoy the process, and don’t hesitate to adjust the difficulty level as needed. With a systematic approach, you’ll nurture a dog that can confidently and skillfully navigate any jump with ease.