Today I'm joining Dachshund Nola, Cascadian Nomads and Tenacious Little Terrier for the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop! This months theme is "Rear End Awareness" but any positive reinforcement posts are welcome.
What is Rear End Awareness? Rear End Awareness is about reminding a dog that they have back legs and teaching him/her how to move them. Most dogs forget that they have hind legs. Their back legs just follow along while their front end makes all the decisions. It's a very important foundation behavior if you want to teach advanced tricks and competition heelwork. It's also good for general body awareness and fitness while helping to build muscles.
I absolutely love teaching rear end awareness. I think it's so much fun and there are so many things you can do with it.
Here's a video of Zoe showing off her fancy heelwork and tricks using her rear end awareness at the beach. The video also includes some of my other favorite tricks and we also get washed away by the ocean at the end. It's pretty funny.
There's a few ways to teach rear end awareness and you can even find free videos on YouTube. I initially taught it with YouTube videos but wanted to make it better so I took a Heelwork online class at the Fenzi Academy. I really enjoyed it and learned so much. I'd highly recommend checking them out as they have tons of different classes you can take and they only use Positive Reinforcement methods.
A Few Free Online Resources from YouTube:
Denise Fenzi (owner of the Fenzi Academy) came up with a brilliant way to teach pivoting without the use of a book as well and she also has her technique for keeping the dog's head up called "pocket hand". Here's a video of Zoe learning both "pocket hand" and to pivot without a book.
Some of my favorite tricks using rear end awareness include:
- Backwards Circles
- Backwards Leg Weaves
- Heelwork Pivoting
- Back Up
- General Body Awareness
- Lifting a Back Leg on cue (Zoe and I are currently working on this one)
Have you taught your dog Rear End Awareness yet? What are some of your favorite tricks?
Comment Below! :)