Teaching Buddy Directed Jumping

Progression 1 is to introduce your dog to the bar jump:

1. Set the bar jump at teaching height (the height of your dog at the elbows).

2. Walk your dog up to the jump, on leash (dead ring), and touch the bar with your left hand.

3. Let him investigate the jump.

4. Start from ten feet away, say "Bar," and briskly walk toward the jump.

5. Let him jump as you go over with him or around the jump.

Repeat until he jumps without any hesitation. Progression 2 is to introduce your dog to direction:

1. Set up the high and the bar jumps at teaching height, 18 feet apart.

2. Place your target ten feet from the center of the high jump.

3. Leave your dog in a Sit-Stay facing the high jump.

4. Go over the jump to the target and place a treat on the target.

5. Stand two feet behind the target facing your dog.

6. Say "Jump" and give the signal by bringing your arm up from your side, shoulder height, pointed toward the jump.

Buddy should go over the jump to reach the target and his treat.

7. Praise and release.

8. Repeat the exercise for the bar jump, saying "Bar."

You can now begin to work your way to the center position — 20 feet from the jumps and centered between them. Position Buddy facing the stanchion of the high/bar jump. Go over the jump and position yourself facing the same stanchion from the other side. Send Buddy to the target, praise, and release.

Gradually work your way back and to the center until both you and Buddy are 20 feet from the jumps, facing each other at opposite ends in the center. You always need to be in the mirror position to Buddy. Always step over the jump and place your treat. Then test Buddy's understanding by eliminating the target.

Begin raising the jumps in two- or four-inch increments, depending on your dog's size. Difficulties with jumping are never disciplinary. If your dog is having a problem with a jump, he's trying to tell you something. Listen to him.

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