Teaching a dog to jump can be a helpful trick in agility sports. Suppose you want to know how to train a dog to jump over anything. In that case, you have come to the right place. This article gives you everything that assists you in the training session. Here we go!
Table of Contents
Why Teach Your Dog to Jump?
Jumping can help your dog build strength, and as part of a range of varied forms of exercise, it is a good way of boosting your dog’s fitness. Training a jump trick also requires interaction between a dog and his trainer and helps deepen the bond of friendship and trust.
Teaching a giant dog to jump on command can be a back-saver for his owner. At least, an adult dog should be capable of hopping in and out of your car. Jumping on order is a fantastic skill in a dog of any size, and even small dogs will enjoy learning to jump over an obstacle or through a hoop.
What are the Tools Required to Train Dog to Jump?
What are the Different Types of Jumping to Teach a Dog?
How you teach your dog to jump may depend on why you want him to learn this trick. The different types of jumping to teach your dog include:
- Gun dog training
- Play fetch
Dog Breeds that are Best at Jumping
Herding dogs, gun dogs, and working dogs are exceptional at agility tasks and training sessions such as jumping. A few breeds that excel in jumping are:
- Consider the ratio between the dog’s leg length and spinal length.
- For the dog’s spine safety during physical activity, he needs a leg size similar to the length between his forelimbs and hind limbs.
- Suppose you have Dachshunds or other breeds with an elongated back and short legs. In that case, jumping sessions are not his cup of tea. As a result, he is at significant risk of developing a spinal injury.
- Primarily consult your vet if you are unsure whether your dog is suitable for the jumping sessions or not.
Steps to Teach Dog to Jump
Start with lower heights
- The first step is to have the jump at the lowest height possible. For example, put the horizontal pole on the ground if you have an agility jump.
- Walk over the jump with the dog on the lead as many times as possible between the upright poles.
- Before you start making things complicated, your dog needs to feel comfortable moving across and through this unknown object, with you at his side.
Teach your dog to jump using ‘agility style’
- If you are training your dog to jump in ‘agility style,’ the next step is to raise the pole’s height. At first, just a tiny bit, so have the pole on the lowest range.
- Start the trick by both of you passing between the two poles.
- Now, as the dog passes over the pole with a bit of jump, you can start to add your cue word as you wish, i.e., ‘jump.’
- Say the cue word as he takes off every time—practice approaching the jump from both directions and with your dog on either side of you.
- Practice this several times, and as the days pass by, gradually raise the height of the jump until it becomes difficult for you to jump with him.
- Now head back to the pole on its lowest level again. Start jumping the dog with you on the outside of the jump while you go around.
- With lots of practice, you can raise the height of the jump steadily as your dog’s skill and fitness improve.
Teach your dog to jump using ‘gun dog style’
- You can teach your dog to jump ‘gun dog style’ if he likes to play fetch and retrieves for you on command.
- Give the dog lots of practice in the early stages by crossing the jump at its lowest level with you at his side. Only then should you ask your dog to retrieve it.
- You will need to arrange your jump so that the dog cannot pass around either side of it until the jump-on command habit is well established.
- Because he will soon be working at a distance from you, initially, you will need to make sure he passes over the jump both on his way out and on his return.
- Dogs will take the least demanding route if not sure what is being asked of them.
Use the cue word
- Begin to add your cue when you have walked, jogged, and run with the dog many times over a low-level jump.
- Say ‘jump’ each time the dog takes off. You can practice jumping with him several times. Now you are ready to retrieve.
- It would help if you stood right up against the jump for the first retrieve. Then, ensure your dog is friendly and low.
- If you are using straw bales, you can even give him a couple of retrieves with him starting off by standing on the jump itself. Then stand immediately in front of the jump.
- The concept is to leave the dog in no doubt that he will cross the jump every time he sets off.
- Throw your retrieves to land a short way out on the far side of the jump.
- Cue the dog ‘jump’ as he passes across the jump, and collect the retrieve from him as soon as he lands back in front of you.
Now increase the distance between the two of you and the jump; do it gradually whenever you send the dog to retrieve. If you go too fast, he will find a way around and may even refuse to jump. However, when you progress at the right speed, it will be fun for both you and your pup.
If you have any concerns, go closer to the spot and slowly increase the distance. For example, suppose you raise the height. In that case, go back and send the dog from the vicinity to jump again for a while.
Dog jump through a hoop
To teach your dog to jump through a hoop, you’ll need a lure(treat). Something tasty like a small cube of cheese. It would help if you had a hula hoop or fitness hoop to train this trick, or you could buy one made for dogs. Luring needs to be switched for a fast hand signal to avoid getting stuck on the lure. Also, decide on your cue word. For example, you could use ‘through’ or ‘hoop.’ It’s up to you.
Just like jumping a pole, we start with a walk-through. First, hold the hoop out in front of the dog, ensuring the bottom of the ring is touching the ground. Then, put your hand through the hoop from the far side and lure the dog through it with the treat. Again, there’s no jumping involved at this point. Always reward the dog with the treat whenever he passes through the hoop.
Do this twice or thrice, then lose the lure like this to make sure he is learning the trick: Show the dog your empty hand, then immediately pretend to lure him as before. Reward him from your treat bag as soon as he is through the hoop. This pretends the luring movement of your hands can gradually become your hand signal. In time, you can also teach your verbal command by adding it to the hand signal.
Practice the hoop until your dog rushes through on your hand signal without a lure. Later, start introducing a gap between the bottom of the ring and the ground. Now it is time to decide the height. How high you go will entirely depend on the size of your dog. Do not try your luck; if you go too high and the dog fails to jump, he will be put off, and you may have to start the process from the ground again.
- Remember that jumping will strain your dog’s joints and ligaments. So before you start to teach your dog to jump, build his strength and power up so that his muscles support him well.
- Do not consider an unfit or unwell dog, very long-backed dogs, and puppies under a year old to jump.
- Check first with your vet for any clarifications. Then, both you and your dog should love the training and want to take it further. After that, you can consider joining an agility or working trials club.
- Find a safe environment where you can challenge your dog, build his skills safely, and get expert advice.