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A SESSION WITH THE DOG TRAINER: WEAVING BETWEEN YOUR LEGS

There are countless ways to have fun with your furry friend other than taking her for a walk or playing catch with a ball. You may not know it, but dogs love doing things that require our active presence. We asked Elisa, our favourite dog trainer, to teach us a nice fun trick that involves teamwork. The trick she chose is fantastic: weaving between your legs.

Teaching your dog to weave between your legs is very useful. “Weaving” means passing between your legs while you’re walking forward, and this skill will help your dog keep in shape and improve her reflexes. It also strengthens the relationship between you and your dog – what other reason to teach her this trick could you possibly want?

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You will be needing only food (treats), and a toy to add speed to the exercise.

First ask your dog to stand still on your left for a few seconds, so you can position yourself to start the trick: standing tall with your right leg forward. Keep a treat in your right hand and use it to make your dog pass between your legs and then turn around your right leg. Reward her with the treat while she’s standing in front of your leg; meanwhile, step forward with your left leg and repeat the procedure while holding a treat in your left hand.

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Repeat the exercise several times, adding a verbal command before your dog moves – for instance, “UNDER”. Start by rewarding your dog every time she passes between your legs, then wait a little more to give her the treat – every two passes, for instance. Gradually reduce any help you might give her with your hand.

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Don’t hurry. When you notice your dog is beginning to learn the trick, add some speed to it by offering a toy as a reward – it usually results in added enthusiasm and faster execution. After doing it for a couple of steps, throw the toy some distance ahead of you: the expectation of playing with the toy will make her weave faster to get to it!

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Elisa and her doggie always have loads of fun!

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