For this activity, all you will need is your dog’s food or treats. When I teach something new like this, I like to use my dog’s treats so he gets high value rewards for all the effort he puts into the task!
Begin by getting your dog used to going between your legs. Hold a small handful of treats or food in both hands and lure him from in front of you, through your legs, and around one leg, then switch directions. This figure eight activity will help your dog get used to following your hands through your legs. Reward the effort your dog is offering, even if he doesn’t get it 100% right. Rewards along the way encourage him to keep going, so the more rewards, the better! It will be helpful to master this figure eight motion with a lure before moving forward. This is a fun one, so you could also give it a name!
Next, try to lure your dog through one or two leg weaves. Put your closed hand full of food on the opposite side of your dog and hold it between your legs open as if you are walking. Holding your closed hand at your dog’s eye level will help get his focus on your hand. This is a little more difficult for smaller dogs, so you can try shaking your hand or using smelly treats. Once he seems to understand what you are asking with one or two leg weaves, try three or four. Keep his confidence and engagement up by rewarding often!
Begin removing the lure a bit, this means that your dog is no longer closely following your hand with its nose. Start with just one or two leg weaves and move your closed hand full of food so that it is further away from your dog as he weaves. You can begin using the command, “Weave” here, or whatever you would like to use. Practice this several times with the command, gradually removing the lure as you see fit with your dog, and reward with food every second or third weave. Remember to keep these training sessions short, and end on a good note so your dog will want to come back for more later on!
To ensure your lure is entirely removed and your dog is completing the weave on his own, I like to put my hands either on my stomach or behind my back. After a few practice sessions like this, you can place your hands back at your sides.
Congratulations, your dog is one step closer to becoming an AKC Trick Dog! Stay safe, and thank you for watching.
The East’s Daily Download takes you across Eastern North Carolina showcasing local people, local businesses, local food and more weekdays at 7 am on Eastern North Carolina the CW.
Submit your photos, videos, and questions using social media with the hashtag #EASTSDAILYDOWNLOAD or email us at DOWNLOAD@WNCT.COM