Friday, April 15, 2016

Dog Trainer Confessions #1: Most Challenging Trick

So I've been wanting to start a new series on the blog and today is the first post! This series is going to be my "Trainer Confessions" it's where I answer all of your questions and tell you my deepest, darkest secrets! Let's get started! Feel free to leave your questions in the comments below (or you can also email me at and I will answer them in this series! You can ask me absolutely anything.

What has been your most challenging trick that you've ever taught?

 My most challenging trick that I've ever taught has been Zoe's "limping" and "skipping" trick. 

This trick took so much patients and endless sessions of being bent over and holding her paw up to encourage her to hop on her other legs. I basically broke my back teaching it. It took Zoe about a month to completely understand what I wanted with just one paw. We would do around four training sessions per day and then when I was done with the first front paw, we had to completely repeat the process for the other paw. Then once she had both paws down, we began training the "skip" trick where she hops from one paw to the other. Limping is still a work in progress nearly 4.5 years later and it's something we constantly work on to make sure she maintains her muscles and muscle memory for it. 

Limping and skipping is such a hard, advanced trick that I've avoided teaching it to Phoenix for years because the process is so long and frustrating. I just didn't want to spend all that time bent over again. The past few days I decided it was time to try and work on it with Phoenix. I'm training it a bit differently than I did with Zoe. I'm doing more shaping than I did with Zoe. With Phoenix, I'm teaching her to put one paw up on a platform and take one hop forward with her other paw that's on the ground. She's got that part down, so I'm really hoping she figures out to hold it up on her own soon! Keep your fingers crossed that she does, so I don't lose my mind! ;)

If you have any questions for me regarding dog training or anything else, please be sure to leave them in the comments below or email them to me!


  1. Rollover is the most difficult Mom has mastered teaching Bailie. We don't do tricks really. You do a great job, but you enjoy it and that is what makes it work so well.

  2. This is a fun series! And what a cool trick. I've wanted to teach the spanish walk that you see horses do. And I think Tucker can do it, but haven't quite figured out how to go about it. If you have any ideas feel free to share!

  3. She did that very well. You're so talented and so is she.

    Have a woof woof day you two. My best to your hard working mom. ☺

  4. Wow, that is a great trick! Maybe she will become a Hollywood actress!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  5. I hope this new training method saves your back a little bit! My nephew pup is a corgi dachshund mix, so even just giving him treats on a quick walk makes me feel like I'm 90 years old--I can't imagine having that feeling for months!

  6. Love the series idea! I've been wanting to teach Nola this, but she's even shorter than the girls and I don't think my back could handle that. ;)

  7. Wow, that's a serious commitment to a trick! Major kudos. :)

  8. Wow, I'm glad you told me that about your back. I won't try to teach that trick!!! Zoe is so impressive - great job!!!!!!!


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