Teaching your dog to army crawl can be a fun and useful trick for both you and your dog. This trick involves having your dog lie flat on their belly and then crawl forward on their elbows and knees, much like a soldier would. Army crawling can be useful for getting through tight spaces, avoiding obstacles, or just for a fun way to show off your dog’s training. Here are the steps to teach your dog to army crawl.
Step 1: Start with the Down Command
Before you can teach your dog to army crawl, they need to be comfortable lying down on their belly. If your dog doesn’t know the down command, start by teaching them this basic obedience command. To teach the down command, start by luring your dog into a lying down position with a treat, and then rewarding them when they are in the correct position. Once your dog is able to lie down on command, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Encourage Crawling
Once your dog is comfortable lying down on their belly, you can start to encourage them to crawl. To do this, hold a treat in front of your dog’s nose and move it slowly along the ground. As your dog follows the treat with their nose, they should start to move their elbows and knees to crawl forward.
Step 3: Add the Command
Once your dog is crawling forward, you can start to add the command to the trick. Start by saying “Army crawl” as your dog is crawling, and then rewarding them with the treat. Repeat this several times, using the command and treat to encourage your dog to crawl.
Step 4: Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice makes perfect when it comes to teaching your dog to army crawl. Set aside time each day to practice the trick with your dog, using treats and positive reinforcement to encourage them. As your dog gets better at the trick, you can gradually reduce the number of treats you use, and start using praise and affection as rewards instead.
Step 5: Add Distance
Once your dog is comfortable crawling a few feet, you can start to add distance to the trick. Encourage your dog to crawl longer distances by holding the treat further away and using the command to keep them moving. As your dog gets better at crawling longer distances, you can gradually increase the distance until they are able to army crawl across a room or even an entire house.
Step 6: Add Complexity
Once your dog is comfortable army crawling, you can start to add complexity to the trick. For example, you can have your dog army crawl under furniture, around obstacles, or even through a tunnel. These challenges will help keep your dog engaged and make the trick even more fun and rewarding.
The Bottom Line:
Teaching your dog to army crawl is a fun and useful trick that can be a great addition to your dog’s training repertoire. By following these steps and using positive reinforcement, you can teach your dog to army crawl in no time. Just remember to be patient and consistent, and to always reward your dog for their hard work and progress.