How to Train Your Dog to Do Push Ups

Easy
2-4 Weeks
Fun

Introduction

Giving your dog a task to earn attention gives him confidence as he learns to predict his environment and apply constructive behavior to achieving his goals. Teaching your dog to do puppy push ups to get your attention, or a meal, is a great way to give your dog a task which he can use to earn the things he needs and wants.

Teaching your dog to do puppy push ups is a great game for your dog that provides him with entertainment and has some great fitness benefits too. Do you have a dog that is bored, stuck inside due to weather, or needs to be distracted from a behavior that is becoming obsessive? Puppy push ups can also be used as a substitute behavior to distract your dog in a situation where he is becoming anxious or out of control by proving another activity to draw his focus. Push ups can also be a great way to provide your dog a job that allows him to earn something, like a walk, play time, or a meal. When you give your dog a job, and he understands the pay off for successfully completing his job, it builds confidence which can be used to counteract psychological issues such as boredom and anxiety.

Defining Tasks

Puppy push ups consist of three commands performed in succession, a sit, a down, and a stand. You can also mix these commands up for a bit of variety. You can teach a very young dog to perform these commands, and ‘sit’ and ‘down’ are often commands a dog already knows, so adding 'stand' and practicing these tasks in sequence is usually not that difficult for most dogs. Many dogs can be taught the sequence in one or two short sessions and then master them with practice over the next few weeks. Once they master the push up behavior, you can start using it to accomplish goals. You can then use the push up sequence to allow your dog to earn your attention, or distract him from an unwanted behavior.

Getting Started

You will need lots of treats to teach your dog the sit-down-stand sequence. Use patience, and do not punish your dog during training, or force him into position, as this will make your dog resistant. Also, it helps to teach your dog this trick on a surface with good traction, as slippery surfaces make it hard, and your dog can be injured. Practice this activity before your dog has eaten so he does not fill up too quickly on treats, and is motivated by his treats. Keep sessions short; 5 minutes long, several times a day is ideal. Using a clicker may be a useful way to capture and reinforce this behavior.

The Capture and Reward Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Prepare
Sit on the floor with your dog or stand next to him with a treat in hand.
Step
2
Reward sit
Wait until your dog sits on his own, then say “sit” and reward. Practice until your dog sits in response to the verbal command.
Step
3
Reward down
Wait for your dog to lie down from either a sitting or standing position. When your dog lies down say “down” and reward. Practice until your dog lies down in response to the verbal command.
Step
4
Reward stand
While your dog is sitting or lying down, wait for him to stand. Say “stand” and reward. Practice until your dog stands in response to the verbal command.
Step
5
Sequence
Start asking your dog to ‘sit’, ‘down’, and ‘stand’ in sequence, and provide a reward only after the entire sequence is completed.
Step
6
Vary
Vary the order of the commands and take the game to various locations, like out in your yard, on walks, etc.
Recommend training method?

The Capture with Clicker Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Prepare
Sit on the floor with your dog, or stand next to him with a clicker in hand.
Step
2
Click
When you “catch” your dog sitting, use the clicker and then give your dog a treat.
Step
3
Repeat
Practice, then add the command ‘sit’ when you see your dog about to sit, click, and treat. Repeat until the behavior is established.
Step
4
Remove click
Eventually, you can remove the click and just use the verbal command to get your dog to sit.
Step
5
Down and stand
Repeat steps 1-4 for the ‘down’ and ‘stand’ commands.
Step
6
Sequence and vary
Gradually move to rewarding your dog after giving him ‘sit-down’ commands in succession, then ‘sit-down-stand’. Vary how often you give treats and the order your give commands in.
Recommend training method?

The Lure and Shape Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Shape sit
Hold a treat above your dog’s nose to encourage him to sit on his haunches. Say “sit”, when your dog sits, provide the treat. Practice until well established.
Step
2
Shape down
While your dog is sitting, hold a treat down on the ground. When your dog lies down to get the treat, say “down” and reward, practice. If your dog has trouble with this you can sit on the floor with your leg bent, and put the treat under your knee. This will encourage your dog to reach down under your leg for the treat, resulting in him lying down.
Step
3
Shape stand
While your dog is either sitting or standing, hold the treat out in front of you in a flat hand, not so high that your dog has to jump up to reach or so low so he lies down. When your dog stands, say “stand” and treat. Practice.
Step
4
Sequence
Start sequencing ‘sit’, ‘down’, and ‘stand’.
Step
5
Vary
Start providing treats to the ‘sit’, ‘down’ or ‘stand’ commands on a varying schedules and in varying order. For instance, every 2 commands or every 3 or 4, so your dog completes the sequence before being rewarded.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Maya
Border collie lab
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Maya
Border collie lab
4 Years

I’m trying to train my aunts puppy or dog to be a service dog to help my aunts and help them with things and I’m also trying to train her doing a lot of other things I want to train her to like crawl, push-ups , take it , give back , leave it , clap , back , open a door for that one I want to train her to open are mini fridge door and bring my aunt her Diet Coke kind of specific but she won’t grab the strap in her mouth and Then have her take the Diet Coke in her mouth and bring it to my aunt, and then I also want to train her to weave, yoga, clean up, hush, and dog catch. But I’m not to sure how to do all of that and I really want her too and for the service dog part . One part is the like open the mini fridge door and then the fridge door also doesn’t have a handle but we got it like so it’s tied in there so when she would pull the strap then the door opens, but then I want her to like carry a bag in her mouth too and help like carry in groceries that aren’t to heavy and bring them in but she won’t put any type of bag in her mouth at all either so I don’t know what I can do . I’m sorry if that’s kind of a lot but I really want to do it because my aunts getting back surgery today and she’s gonna be in the hospital for a few more dahs and then after That can’t do much and my other aunt that like there together and she had a few strokes and that and her one arm is paralyzed and she needs help and like grabbing things and that but if you can help me figure this stuff out please that would be really nice and helpful thank you

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
422 Dog owners recommended

Hello Athena, I suggest finding a few good trick trainers on YouTube and watching their individual videos on how to train certain tricks. Most tricks are small tricks put together to form more complex tricks. For example, bringing you a can involves: "Take It" - picking something up with their mouth "Hold" - continuing to hold something "Tug" - tugging on the strap to open the door "Fetch" - bring you an item "name of object" teaching the name of an item "Leave It" - leave other items alone in the fridge "Drop It" - releasing the item into your hand You teach the small tricks first, one by one. Once the dog can perform those simple steps, you gradually add the tricks together by having the dog do tricks 1 and 2 before giving the reward, then tricks 1, 2 and 3 before giving the reward, ect...until the reward comes at the end of all the small tricks that were part of that one bigger trick. Reward baby steps along the way and small successes. Trick training builds on itself. It may seem daunting to teach 7 tricks just to get a can from the fridge, but some of those smaller tricks also make up the other bigger tricks you want to teach, like holding a bag and carrying it for her. The more tricks you teach the easier it tends to get to teach new things, but you have to break things down into smaller steps for the dog. A couple of good trick trainers on YouTube are: Zach George's Dog Training Revolution KikoPup Kristin Crestejo Follow those trainer's channels, but also look for others who teach the specific things you want to learn on YouTube. Look for wording like "how to teach..." opposed to just funny videos showing dogs doing the trick without how to instructions. A few things that may help with the drink, put the container in a coozy and start with an empty can so that it's easier to hold, easier to grip, and not cold feeling. For the door opening, play tug with a similar strap and reward your pup for tugging on a strap when you say "Tug". Transition to the fridge strap when pup can tug on the other strap when told "Tug" without you having to wiggle it around and tempt with it first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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