Dog Training and Care - Train Your Dog to Jump a Hurdle

One of the more fun aspects of being a dog owner is play time and one of the most common play time activities is retrieving. Dogs love it because they're getting exercise and doing something that pleases their owners and dog owners love it because they too are getting exercise and are spending quality time with their pets.

But, retrieving play time can be enhanced a bit by adding in the obstacle of a hurdle. If you're dog is already adept at retrieving and trained well to do so, then tossing in this added element is both fun and challenging for your dog.

The very first thing you will want to do is to train your dog to jump the hurdle without worrying about retrieving. Start out with a rather low hurdle, with your dog on the leash walk up to the hurdle and stand with your dog at the left of you. Allow your dog to investigate if he or she wishes, this allows them to become comfortable with the hurdle.

Now, you will need a command for your dog to associate to jumping over the hurdle. Some dog owners use �Jump', others use �Hup' but whatever you choose be sure it's unique to jumping. Next, begin to walk in the direction of the hurdle and just before you reach it quickly pull the leash in front of your dog and over the hurdle and give him or her the command to jump. Remember to let the leash some slack when your dog jumps to prevent any injuries.

Each time you do this, at the conclusion walk backwards away from the hurdle and call your dog to come to you. When your dog successfully returns to your side, offer large amounts of praise. You want your dog to know they are doing a good job and you want them to become eager to do it again and again and again.

After some practice in this manner, you can then step up the difficulty a bit by walking your dog to the hurdle and then leaving their side so they are alone in front of the hurdle. Walk away from your dog now and usher the command to jump. At first, if your dog does not respond, you may have to walk back up and do as you did in the beginning with the leash. However, once your dog jumps the hurdle once on his or her own and you offer them praise they will do it each and every time.

When it comes to training your dog to jump a hurdle, as in all aspects of dog training, it's important to be patient , be consistent in the process and to offer praise. By doing these things, you'll be able to quickly train your dog to jump a hurdle.