We're getting ready to start another agility season, and so last week Rocco and I visited his doggie chiropractor to make sure he's feeling good and all nice and aligned before competition heats up!
Good news is he needed just some minor adjusting, and as a bonus, his vet/chiropractor who is also certified in dog physical therapy gave us some good strength-training exercises.
As she says, strength = speed... so Rocco is building up muscle power so he can run fast (and run clean) on the agility course!
Today we're sharing one of the exercises she gave us...
Sit Pretty or Beg
Sitting pretty is a great core strengthener and we also think it looks pretty cute, so I started teaching it to Rocco when he was just a wee pup.
How to teach it
There are a few methods. Experiment to find the one that works best for your pup.
- From a sit, lure your dog's head up and back with a treat. Allow him to nibble the treat while in the position. Tip: keep your hand with the treat low to encourage your dog to hold his hindquarters in the sit position.
- If your dog needs more support while learning, position him in a sit in the corner of a sofa. Then, lure his head up and back with a treat while he leans back into the sofa.
- Another option is to position your dog in a sit while you stand directly behind him. Lure him into sit pretty position with a treat so that his back rests on your legs. Then steady his chest with your hand if necessary.
Tip: Start slow, only asking for a few moments of balancing in position, and reward your dog in the sit pretty position. Be sure to reward the behavior while it's happening, not after it is finished! Add duration and distance once your dog masters the trick!
|Rocco IS sitting pretty, though it's hard to tell through all the fluff! Here he's sitting facing uphill.|
In the photo at the top of this post he's sitting facing downhill.
Our vet gave us a few additional challenges to make Sit Pretty a little more challenging. Once you've mastered the trick, here are a few more things you can do to increase intensity.
- Change up the surfaces
- Start on a flat and level surface
- Add more challenge with a balance disc or FitPAWS Donut, or use a pillow
- Sit Pretty on a hill facing all four directions -- uphill, downhill and both sides
We have a slight hill in our backyard that we've started working on, and Rocco's practicing on the Donut, too. One more note: It took Rocco a good long while to master this trick. He couldn't hold the position until he was two. We're still working on duration and some distance (he's three now!).
|The donut is challenging, but Rocco can handle it!|
Can your dog sit pretty? Let us know in the comments below!
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