No back feet!

I’d always read that dogs don’t have great awareness of their hind legs. Agility people go to a lot of trouble to create what they call “rear end awareness.” Since Silas taught himself to go up the stairs backwards, I figured he had a pretty decent grasp.

I was wrong.

Yesterday I tried to shape Silas to stand in a box. It is slightly smaller than his natural stance, meaning that it wasn’t inevitable that his back feet would wind up in with his front feet.

He was completely clueless about what I could possibly want. He got front feet very quickly. Then he progressed through things like: sitting, with his front feet in the box. Lying down, with his front feet in the box. Sitting next to the box. Sitting next to the box, while barking. Scratching the bottom of the box.

We seem to have some work to do!

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5 thoughts on “No back feet!

  1. It takes a lot of work to get them to understand they have a back end. We started by practicing ‘back up’ in our Freestyle class. You basically stand in front of your dog (hopefully they are standing too) and then you can make shooing motions with your hands and you step towards them. Hopefully they will back up. It does take time. Delilah tends to want to sit down, but I just say, “Sorry” and we start again.

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  2. Cool! I taught Kaya to stand on something an spin around it, it took a long time to teach her to just move her hind end.

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  3. If you saw the post we did about Doggy Gym, a number of the exercises we worked on there for for ‘back feet awareness’ and it was interesting to watch Gizmo try to figure them out

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