Dumbbell Size

When teaching a dog to retrieve, it is important to use a dumbbell of correct size for the dog. The length of the bar should be about one inch more than the width between the dog's eyes for unobstructed vision. The bells should keep the bar far enough off the ground for the dog to grasp it behind his canine teeth without touching the ground with his nose. The bar should be large enough not to rock in his mouth and pinch his lips but not so large that he drools.

Study the size of your dog's mouth carefully before selecting or making a dumbbell. Paint the bells white; your dog may be able to locate the dumbbell more easily and perform better in competition. Do not paint the bar.

Retrieve Over High Jump

Dogs seem to enjoy jumping and will do it readily after they understand the commands. Teach the exercise in parts; do not advance to following parts until your dog performs the first parts well.

For most dogs, the height of the hurdle is one and one half times higher than their withers (shoulder) or three feet, whichever is less. The Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Mastiff, Bull Mastiff, Newfoundland, St. Bernard and Bloodhound are required to jump only the height of their withers or three feet, whichever is less. Learn to make the hurdle by studying the illustration.

TOP VIEW OF GROOVE

Figure 19- As you approach the hurdle, aim for the right upright and go around the end. Keep the lead high in your left hand and take your dog over the top. Your dog may try to follow your path around the hurdle. If he does, say "No!", quickly go back about 15 feet and rush at the hurdle again. A dog needs at least that much distance to get up enough speed to make the jump.

Figure 19- As you approach the hurdle, aim for the right upright and go around the end. Keep the lead high in your left hand and take your dog over the top. Your dog may try to follow your path around the hurdle. If he does, say "No!", quickly go back about 15 feet and rush at the hurdle again. A dog needs at least that much distance to get up enough speed to make the jump.

Hurdle Sitting Position

Figure 18- First week. Start with the 8-inch board or, if your dog is very small, the 4-inch board. Face the hurdle 15 feet away with your dog in the sitting position at your heel. Give the command, "Duke, heel! Jump!" With your dog on leash and heeling, approach the hurdle and step over it. As your dog goes over, repeat "Jump!" if he refuses to jump, do not drag him over. Coax him by running at the hurdle and jumping with him. Praise him the moment he makes it. Raise the hurdle 2 inches at a time until it is about even with his withers. Regardless of your dog's size, he now recognizes this as a jump. When he clears it with you readily, go on to the next step.

Figure 18- First week. Start with the 8-inch board or, if your dog is very small, the 4-inch board. Face the hurdle 15 feet away with your dog in the sitting position at your heel. Give the command, "Duke, heel! Jump!" With your dog on leash and heeling, approach the hurdle and step over it. As your dog goes over, repeat "Jump!" if he refuses to jump, do not drag him over. Coax him by running at the hurdle and jumping with him. Praise him the moment he makes it. Raise the hurdle 2 inches at a time until it is about even with his withers. Regardless of your dog's size, he now recognizes this as a jump. When he clears it with you readily, go on to the next step.

Figure 20- Second week. Set the hurdle about as high as your dog's withers. Place him in the sitting position at your heel. Give the command, "Duke, heel! Jump!" Run toward the hurdle, stop just short of it and send your dog over with a repeat command, "Jump!" After he makes the jump, give the command to come and guide him back over the hurdle with the leash.

Figure 20- Second week. Set the hurdle about as high as your dog's withers. Place him in the sitting position at your heel. Give the command, "Duke, heel! Jump!" Run toward the hurdle, stop just short of it and send your dog over with a repeat command, "Jump!" After he makes the jump, give the command to come and guide him back over the hurdle with the leash.

Figure 21- The next step involves retrieving the dumbbell. With your dog sitting at your heel and the leash attached as before, say "Stay" and throw the dumbbell over the hurdle about a foot beyond the spot where he lands. Be sure he cannot see the dumbbell until he jumps the hurdle; otherwise he will simply retrieve it without jumping. Give the command, "Duke, heel! Jump!" Run toward the hurdle and send your dog over. As soon as he has the dumbbell, give the commands, "Come!" and "Jump!" to get him back across the hurdle. Don't forget the praise when he succeeds. Praise is just as important in advanced training as it is in early training.

Figure 21- The next step involves retrieving the dumbbell. With your dog sitting at your heel and the leash attached as before, say "Stay" and throw the dumbbell over the hurdle about a foot beyond the spot where he lands. Be sure he cannot see the dumbbell until he jumps the hurdle; otherwise he will simply retrieve it without jumping. Give the command, "Duke, heel! Jump!" Run toward the hurdle and send your dog over. As soon as he has the dumbbell, give the commands, "Come!" and "Jump!" to get him back across the hurdle. Don't forget the praise when he succeeds. Praise is just as important in advanced training as it is in early training.

Training Dog Dumbbell Jump

Figure 22- Third week. Try off-leash jumping and retrieving. Gradually increase the height of the hurdle until you reach the required height for your dog. If your dog drops the dumbbell at your feet upon returning, do not move or praise him, but give the command, "Take it", and let him hold it a moment before you take it. Use patience, firmness and lots of praise. Remember that jumping can be tiring.

Figure 22- Third week. Try off-leash jumping and retrieving. Gradually increase the height of the hurdle until you reach the required height for your dog. If your dog drops the dumbbell at your feet upon returning, do not move or praise him, but give the command, "Take it", and let him hold it a moment before you take it. Use patience, firmness and lots of praise. Remember that jumping can be tiring.

The Broad Jump

The broad jump is twice as long as the height of the high jump. The greatest length is therefore 6 feet for large dogs and 2 feet for small dogs. Build the jump according to the illustration.

Figure 23- Fourth week. Place the two lowest jumps apart at a distance equal to half the jumping distance required for your dog. If, for example, he is a large dog who must jump 6 feet, make the distance 3 feet. With your dog on lead in the sitting position- at your heel and the lead in your left hand, face the jumps from about 10 feet away. At the command, "Duke, heel! Jump!", run and leap over the jumps. As you leap, repeat the command to jump and make a broad, sweeping motion with your left hand. The motion will become a signal to jump, so it is important for your dog to learn it soon. In competition you may use a voice command or a signal, but not both. if at first your dog comes to a skidding halt instead of jumping, quickly drop the lead to prevent hurting or frightening him. Reassure him, remove one of the jumps and try again.

Figure 24- As soon as your dog can make half his required distance over two jumps, stop jumping with him and simply run alongside. Don't forget the sweeping motion of your left arm and the strong voice command to jump.

Figure 25- Fifth week. Place your dog in the sitting position facing the jumps 10 feet away. Move to a position across the jump from him, give the command, "Duke, come! Jump!" and tug the lead. Repeat the command to jump as he nears the jump. When he lands, guide him directly to you. Praise him lavishly.

Figure 25- Fifth week. Place your dog in the sitting position facing the jumps 10 feet away. Move to a position across the jump from him, give the command, "Duke, come! Jump!" and tug the lead. Repeat the command to jump as he nears the jump. When he lands, guide him directly to you. Praise him lavishly.

Figure 26- Sixth week. Now you are ready to teach your dog to jump on command. Place him in the sitting position 10 feet away facing the jumps. Stand beside the jumps and give the command, "Duke, jump!" At the same time snap the lead lightly and make a sweeping motion with your left arm. As he nears the jump, repeat the command to jump; when he lands, say "Duke, come", and guide him directly to you. Give plenty of praise.

Figure 26- Sixth week. Now you are ready to teach your dog to jump on command. Place him in the sitting position 10 feet away facing the jumps. Stand beside the jumps and give the command, "Duke, jump!" At the same time snap the lead lightly and make a sweeping motion with your left arm. As he nears the jump, repeat the command to jump; when he lands, say "Duke, come", and guide him directly to you. Give plenty of praise.

Figure 27- Seventh week. If your dog is readily jumping on lead, he is now ready to start jumping off lead. Perform the exercise off lead as you did in the sixth week on lead. If your dog does not perform correctly or if you lose control of him after the jump, go back to using the lead.

Figure 28- Gradually increase the length of the jump and the number of jump boards until you reach the requirement for your dog. Use two jumps for lengths up to 2 feet, three jumps for up to 4 feet, and four jumps for up to 6 feet. Begin using only one command to jump. Discontinue calling your dog back because in competition he must do the recall without command.

Figure 28- Gradually increase the length of the jump and the number of jump boards until you reach the requirement for your dog. Use two jumps for lengths up to 2 feet, three jumps for up to 4 feet, and four jumps for up to 6 feet. Begin using only one command to jump. Discontinue calling your dog back because in competition he must do the recall without command.

Figure 29- After your dog makes the jump, call him as you do in the recall and then send him to your heel.
Getting Started With Dumbbells

Getting Started With Dumbbells

The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.

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