To use a sled?
For obedience training.
Because of course. Right?
Thinking outside the box (or inside the sled) is fun!
One thing I have learned in my dog training journey is if I’m getting frustrated and the dog isn’t understanding, I’m doing it wrong. I train because it’s fun, enjoyable, rewarding for me and for the dogs. If it isn’t that, then what the hell?
So Zora and I have been working on our pivots. Me pivoting around her, we’ve got that. Makes sense to me. Makes sense to her. Can do it on a pivot front feet platform. Can do it without.
Her pivoting around me. Quite another story. After numerous “AHH! Why isn’t this making sense to you dog!!” attempts. “Other people seem to have dogs that understand using this approach or this one or this one, why isn’t this making sense to you?!” Until I had the epiphany to try the sled.
Eureka! Makes sense now. “OH you want me to move my rear feet? Why didn’t you say so earlier human!!”
For a few short sessions I stood on the sticker in the middle of the sled. Zora beside me. And we moved with the goal of her staying beside me while also keeping herself within the bounds of the sled. Which is impossible unless she actually moves her rear feet back. Which because of the contrast bright orange sled and black and white dog I could tell instantly when the feet moved, mark and reward it. Clarity! For us both.
Couple of times pivoting with the sled, we transferred to the floor. She can do it! She is excited! She goes, “This, right?” And I go, “YES! You are brilliant you little dog!” And we both smile and wag our tails.
Relief. Training is fun and exciting and rewarding. Yay!
And that is why it’s always good to keep a sled lying around. Because dog training. Of course.