The dog lies down
- When you are putting the treat in front of your dog, be sure that you’re not bringing it too low to the ground in front of them. You want to target to put the treat not more than an inch/2,5 cm below their chin. Just enough they dip their head a bit, but not so much they need to drop their shoulders to get it.
- Remember to Click at the moment even 1 paw shuffles a little bit backward!
The dog doesn’t understand
It may take a few repetitions before your dog starts to figure out which part of this exercise is the correct part! Be sure to incorporate the Clicker or another capture command so you can Click at the moment a foot shuffles backward. Don’t be too eager to only Click and Treat for more deliberate backward body movement.
The dog was attempting to go into the bow position with his front paws down and hind legs/butt still up
Using the treat, lure your dog's head back up just a little bit until their legs begin to straighten. Only when their body is more in the correct line-up, then start bringing the treat closer to them again to help them shuffle a paw backward.
Build a narrow corridor, stand inside the corridor facing your dog, and walk toward your dog. This movement will cause your dog to begin walking backward.
- Get some chairs or some other type of object that will allow you to create a barrier.
- Place the chairs close to the wall, to form a narrow corridor, so that only you and your dog can fit.
- Place your dog in the corridor.
- Step into the corridor and face your dog.
- Walk toward your dog.
- As your dog begins to walk backward, click and reward.
The exercise can be done at first with 1 or 2 chairs, and as the dog gains experience and fluidity in movement, more chairs can be added to achieve a longer, straighter reverse walk.
As the dog learns the exercise, make the width of the corridor bigger, as well as the distance between the chairs.
Use a target to make your dog understand that they should walk backward until they reach the target. It works best when used in combination with the strategy of the corridor.
- Lure your dog to the object. Your dog should stand either with all four paws on the object or with both hind legs on the object.
- Click and reward.
- Restart the exercise.
The reward for getting on the object needs to be of a higher value than the one used to restart the exercise. Continuing to reward the dog for standing on the object teaches stability and may also help the dog understand that they are earning the reward for standing on the object, which will make them want to stand on the object more times.