By Sophia Yin, DVM, MS
Today is Lucy’s second day of transitioning to jumping through my arms. After practicing through a smaller and smaller hoop a bunch of times, I try with my arms. I’m using the MannersMinder remote controlled treat dispenser to reward her once she jumps through the hoop. The remote control is in my hand and as soon as she jumps through I press it and a food treat is dispensed.
First try: Unlike yesterday, today she jumps right though.
Second try: Oops here I put my human hoop too high. I’ll have to practice with the hoop lower at first and then sequentially raise it a little higher until I have it at full height.
Third try: Now I put it at a level she’s familiar with and she has no problems jumping through again. Lucy’s a star pupil!
Additional tries: Lucy’s a good jumper already so it’s easy to increase the height. For dogs who are new to jumping it’s much safer to have them jump at a low level a lot until they love to jump the lower level jumps.
Note: The other behavior my dad wanted me to work on? The boring down-stay. After spending just two sessions working with the MannersMinder, I can now have her lie down and stay while I train Jonesy for agility. Then I have Jonesy lie down and stay while I train Lucy. Although Lucy’s newer to the training, she’s calmer and more willing to take direction. So she’s already better at staying in a down-stay than Jonesy.