STRENGTHENS: Front Limbs, Hind Limbs, Core, Focus, Limb Awareness
- Start with your dog’s front or hind limbs on the K9FITbone.
- Use treats and lure the dog’s nose while simultaneously stepping towards your dog to encourage lateral movement.
- Advance to encouraging your dog to step all the way around the bone with either hind limb or front limb.
- While your dog is in motion, name the behavior “Step”. This will become a command, like “Sit or Down”.
- Release the dog from the position by saying “OK” or “All done” in a mild tone of voice. Save the praise and excitement for when the dog is doing the behavior.
Aim for good side lateral movement that will strengthen the shoulder muscles and the hips. Paws can cross over. Aim to keep either the hind limbs or front limbs on the bone during the side step action. They may lift independently on the bone and that is ok, just ensure they are stepping back down on the K9FITbone as you circle the bone.
Build this into heeling as a separate exercise to increase interest and focus. Once the dog knows how to cross over in the front and back, you can add in 360 circles during walks. Vary the circumference of the circles to increase or decrease the challenge!