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Dog Tricks: Jumping Over Another Dog

Down, Boy!

Don't ask a timid, shy, or fearful dog to jump over another dog, especially a bolder one. The bolder dog will probably protest and make the timid dog even more fearful.

This can be a great trick when you have two cooperative dogs. You need one that can hold a very secure Down Stay and another that is confident enough to jump over his buddy. This is best done with dogs who know each other well and get along. Dogs who play together will usually cooperate with this trick.

The dog doing the Down Stay needs to be very good at this command, even with lots of distractions, so practice this a lot. Remember to use lots of praise and rewards as you step up the difficulty of the Stay.

  1. Have him Down Stay while someone walks around him, steps over him, and makes noise.
  2. Make sure he can hold the Down Stay while the other dog is heeling and being praised.
  3. Have him hold it, too, while the other dog is jumping over a stick and being praised for that.
  4. The dog doing the jumping should be jumping the stick very well, and needs to have a good understanding of the Jump command.

When both dogs are ready, you can put the act together.

  1. The owner of the dog doing the Down should have her dog lie down and stay, and then step to her dog's head.
  2. The owner of the jumping dog should have her dog Sit a few steps away from the down dog.

    If the dog doing the Down Stay is unsure about holding the Stay, his owner can kneel in front of him, keeping one hand on his collar and encouraging him to do a Watch Me. When he does, praise him for watching and for ignoring the dog doing the jumping.

  3. She should then step to the down dog and hold the jumping stick next to the down dog, horizontal to the ground, at about the height of the down dog's back.
  4. She should then send her dog, “Fido, Jump!” and praise him as he's jumping.
  5. Praise and release the down dog.
  6. Repeat for a total of five repetitions.

After several training sessions over several days, when both dogs are cooperating and have relaxed, remove the jumping stick and ask the jumping dog to jump over the down dog without it. If the jumping dog hesitates, bring the stick back but place it on the ground next to the down dog. You can then make it disappear quickly!

This trick can turn into other tricks. You can have your dog jump two dogs lying next to each other, or a dog and a child. You can also teach several dogs to play leap frog. Have two or three lie down with landing space in between each, and have one jump each one in succession. Then have the jumping dog lie down at the end of the line and have each of the others take their turn jumping and adding to the line. It's fast, requires good training skills, and looks very impressive.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dog Tricks 2005 by Liz Palika. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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