Workout Wednesday – Four on the floor
Wednesday rolls round all too soon, and today’s workout is all about tips for keeping your doggie from jumping up.
The best place to start for this is reinforcing what is generally known as “four on the floor”. Now, we’re not talking about cars here, but having the dog’s paws (all four of them) on the ground during training and rewards.
10 minutes in the morning or evening, or 5 minutes for both is really all you need to keep your dog interested, working and having fun.
You can start this really easily from when your dog is just a puppy, and all the way through their lives, whenever you need to reinforce the behaviour.
Simple exercises such as walking together, come, heel, and stay can all be places where you reinforce this habit.
And it’s as simple as holding off your reward until the dog has all four feet on the ground. This is especially for owners of small dogs, who have a lot further to go when treating. You may also find that small dogs tend to jump a bit more for attention. I’ve certainly found that a hard habit to break with Jaxon, who loves food and attention.
For example, when you are teaching your dog to walk with you, ‘click/yes and treat’ can be difficult to get in a timely fashion.
The first important thing here is treat the right behaviour of walking by your side (ie: not in front of you dragging you down the street), and secondly when you do treat, to treat with all four feet on the ground. This is where a clicker or marker word like ‘yes’ comes in handy, as it gives you some time to reward, and ensure that all four paws are on the floor.