You’re out playing the timeless game fetch with your canine pal. But he insists on standing right at your feet, giving you no space to move. Or, you’re coming in the house with the shopping and once again, he’s right in front of you so you’re unable to get through the door. If you had a dollar for every time you had nearly tripped over him you’d be living on a yacht and sipping cocktails by now.
Training your dog to back up would give you some much needed space and avoid an inevitable accident and injury. It’s also a fun party trick to entertain friends and family with. I mean, who doesn’t love a dog that can walk backwards on command? Training obedience commands like this will also make teaching him other commands more straightforward.
The actual command itself is relatively straightforward. With just one phrase you will be able to put your pooch in reverse. The training consists mainly of obedience commands that are reinforced with food and verbal praise. If he’s a young puppy he should be a fast learner and eager to please. This will mean you can expect results from training in just a few days. If he’s greying and lost the odd marble or two, then be prepared to invest a couple of weeks into this regime.
It may seem like a whole lot of work just for a crowd pleaser, but if your dog is always at your feet, one day you may go flying over him. While it’s easy for you to maneuver around him, guests and strangers may not expect such close proximity and will be even more likely to fall and injure themselves.
Before you teach your dog to back up you will need a few bits. The most essential training component is food or treats. The more he loves the food the more eager he will be to learn, so break up his favorite food into small chunks, whether it’s cheese, meat or potato peelings.
You will also need a spacious room or yard, that has enough space to avoid breaking something and is free from distractions such as noisy kids. A clicker can also come in handy for this training. Then just set aside 10 minutes a day for the next couple of weeks, bring a proactive attitude and you’re ready to get to work!