How to Train Your Dog to Jump on Your Back

Medium
4-8 Weeks
Fun

Introduction

So, you've taught your pup to jump into the car, over sticks, and maybe even through hoops, but are you ready for the next challenge: training your dog to jump on your back? Not only will this be a lot of fun for you and your pup, but it’s a great trick for you to teach him and is sure to be entertaining for the rest of the family and your friends. Teaching him to jump on and off a range of objects such as your back, your couch, is fun, but most of all it gives you even more control over your dog.

Of course, if you haven't taught him to jump over anything yet, teaching him to jump on your back is a great starter. Bear in mind that his ability to jump safely and well relies on a number of key factors, including self-confidence, power, and the skills needed to do so. The only real limits to his jumping skills are your desire to train him and any limits based on his physical size. For example, a Welsh Corgi is not going to be able to jump as high as a Border Collie. 

Defining Tasks

The basis of this command is that you want your pup to be able to jump up on your back and stay there until you release him. One word of warning, you may not want to teach your St. Bernard or Alaskan Malamute this trick unless you have a really strong back. Teaching your dog to jump on your back not only helps to build a strong bond between the two of you, it also helps to build stronger muscles and, most importantly, trust.

Learning to jump on command is a very impressive skill for any dog to learn. It is not an easy one to learn, but most dogs can be taught this trick at any age as long as they are physically capable of doing so. Be patient, train regularly, and it won’t be long before he will jump on your back when you are playing, when it's time to go for a ride, and more. 

Getting Started

Before you get started, a few words of warning: jumping can put a lot of strain on your dog's joints, ligaments, and muscles. Be sure your pup has finished growing before trying to teach him to jump too high. Most vets agree that you should not try teaching your dog to jump until he is at least one year of age, especially if you have a larger breed dog. And now the supplies list:

  • Treats: No training is complete without some way to reward your pup for doing a good job.
  • Couch: You need something soft for him to practice jumping on and off of without injury.
  • Clicker: If you have already been using one for training your dog, it will be handy now too.
  • Time: It takes a lot of time to train your dog to jump on your back
  • Patience: Be patient because it will take time for him to master this trick

Lastly, you will need a quiet place to work so that your dog doesn't have to deal with distractions while he is trying to master this new skill. 

The Furniture Method

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Step
1
Prepare the training area
Using either a padded grooming box or couch, find a quiet place to train your dog
Step
2
On a leash
With your pup on a leash, lead him up to the couch and tell him to "jump on". Pat the couch with your hand to help him get the idea.
Step
3
When he does
When he gets the clue, and jumps on the couch, praise him and give him a treat.
Step
4
Repeat this
Repeat this training until he will jump on the couch when you give the command.
Step
5
Different scenarios
Try this in several different scenarios until he will jump on the couch, the bed, or in the car.
Step
6
Your turn
Now crouch down on the floor on your hands and knees, pat your back and give the 'jump on' command. He should follow this command just like he has been doing. It might take a few attempts, but be ready with those treats, because given enough time he is sure to master it.
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The Treat Method

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Step
1
Grab your pup's treats
Grab a few of your dog's favorite treats
Step
2
On the floor
Get down on the floor in a crouched position that puts your back flat and low enough for your dog to jump up on it.
Step
3
Place the treat
Place a treat on your back where your dog can see it but don't let him have it.
Step
4
Jump on
Give your pup the 'jump on' command and pat your back with one hand
Step
5
Repeat
Keep doing this until your dog gets the clue and jumps up on your back. Give him the treat and tons of praise.
Step
6
Continue the training
Keep working at this until your pup will jump on your back every time you tell him to and slowly reduce the number of times he gets a treat. Eventually, all you should have to do is get into position and give the command.
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The Back-Stall Method

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Step
1
Safety first
Step number one in this training is to never hurt your dog or, for that matter, yourself
Step
2
Start low
Start by having your dog jump on a footstool or a low couch using treats to get him to do what you are asking.
Step
3
To the back, we go
Lay on the floor and give the jump on command while patting your back. Give him a treat when he does.
Step
4
Going up
Repeat this process from a crouching on the floor position until he will jump on your back when told to.
Step
5
Keep it up
You can now start adjusting your position until you reach a point where your dog can jump on your back when you are bent over at the waist and hang on. This is a lot of fun for both you and your dog, just be careful not to kill your back.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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