How to Train a Puppy to Bounce Up

Easy
1-6 Weeks
Fun

Introduction

Have you ever been to a Canine Dance Competition? Canine Freestyle is so much fun to watch. The human and canine couple show off all of their obedience skills, choreography, harmony with one another, and personalities to the rhythm of music and to the delight of those watching them. There are so many unique tricks that can be utilized in Canine Freestyle. Imagine that your pup is dancing with you at a competition. He twirls and scoots backwards, moving in step with you. The beat of the music picks up and your pup jumps up and down, then he takes a couple of steps toward you on his hind legs as the two of you dance together. He finishes the dance with a twirl and leaps into your arms, and the two of you look at each other and grin as you both catch your breaths and the crowds cheer.

'Bounce' is a fun trick to teach to your puppy. Not only can it be a fun addition to a Canine Freestyle routine but it can also be a lot of fun for your pup to learn and good preparation for other, even more athletic tricks. Teaching Fido tricks is wonderful for your relationship, and it is great for his mental, emotional, and physical well being. On top of all of that, it's fun!

Defining Tasks

How easy 'bounce' will be to teach to your puppy will depend on your puppy's physical ability to jump and whether or not he has a natural tendency to jump up. Generally, expect this trick to take between one and six weeks for him to learn.

If your puppy is younger than one year of age, then be very careful while teaching this trick to him. Before the age of one year, dogs' joints and bones are more prone to injury. For this reason, keep your pup's jumps very low while he is young and do not allow him to twist or fall backward when he jumps up. Because of the risk of injury, also be sure to only teach this while he is standing on a secure, non-slippery, padded, yet firm, surface that can absorb the impact of his landing a bit. Such surfaces might include grassy areas, carpeted areas, rugs that do not slide, and possibly thick rubber mats that do not slide and are not slippery. If your puppy has ever broken a bone or has hip dysplasia or any other disorder that affects his bones, joints, or balance, then do not teach this trick or encourage jumping. 

If your pup tends to jump on you, then be aware that teaching 'bounce' before you have gotten the jumping onto you under control might make the jumping even worse. You might need to wait until your puppy understands your rules better before you teach him this trick.

While teaching this trick, remember to have fun! Your pup's main motivation for jumping up and learning this trick will be the fun and rewards that you provide. The more motivated he is to jump up the quicker he will likely learn this trick. 

Getting Started

To get started you will need a floor surface that is stable, padded, and not slippery. Make sure that this surface is not squishy though. The padding should be firm and shock absorbent but should not give way underneath your pup's paws when he lands on it. You will also need lots of small, tasty treats, that are easy for your buddy to eat, as well as something to place the treats into, such as a treat pouch or a small Ziploc bag.

If you are using 'The Toy Wiggle Method' then you will also need a couple of your pup's favorite toys. If you are using 'The Play Ball Method' then you will also need a ball and good aim. With all of the methods, you will need enthusiasm, excitement, patience, and a positive attitude.  

The Treat Temptation Method

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Step
1
Choose your surface area
To begin, grab lots of long treats that your puppy loves and something to place them into, such as a small Ziploc bag or a treat pouch. Go to a location with a stable but padded floor surface, such as a grassy area, a non-slip rug or carpeted surface, a non slip rubber mat, or a very firm and stable foam pad.
Step
2
Tempt with a treat
When your puppy is on the secure surface, then hold a treat six to twelve inches above his head, tell him to "Bounce", and wiggle the treat above him until he jumps up or attempts to jump up.
Step
3
Reward
As soon as your pup jumps up or attempts to jump up, then praise him and give him the treat.
Step
4
Repeat
Repeat wiggling the treat above your pup, telling him to "Bounce", and then praising him and rewarding him when he does so. Repeat this at least thirty times over the next couple of weeks.
Step
5
Test
After you have repeated the treat wiggling and rewarding at least thirty times, then test whether or not your pup has learned the command by holding your hand above him without a treat in it, and telling him to "Bounce". If he jumps up, then praise him and give him a treat from your other hand. Repeat this up to six times, until he jumps up.
Step
6
Try again
If your puppy will not jump up when you tell him to "Bounce" any of the times, without a treat in your hand, then go back to practicing with the treat for longer, and after every ten repetitions of "Bounce" try telling him to "Bounce" without a treat in your hand. Do this until he will jump up when you tell him to "Bounce" without holding a treat above him.
Step
7
Practice until consistent
When you buddy will jump up when you tell him to bounce without a treat in your hand, then practice the command until he can do it consistently without a treat in your hand. If your pup becomes confused and will not jump up after five repetitions of "Bounce", then practice the command with the treat again one time, then go back to using only your hand again after that.
Step
8
Do it without the hand signal
When your puppy can bouce consistently when you tell him to, then practice with and without your hand above him. To do this, tell him to "Bounce", and wait five seconds before moving your hand above him. Whenever he jumps up, even if you had to place your hand above him, then praise him and give him one treat. The first time that he jumps up when you tell him "Bounce" before you have placed your hand above him, then praise him enthusiastically and give him five treats, one at a time. Practice the command with the five seconds between your verbal command and your hand signal until your pup can bounce up every time that you tell him to, with and without your hand above him.
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The Toy Wiggle Method

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Step
1
Find the right location
To begin, grab a couple of your pup's favorite toys, lots of small, easy to eat treats that he loves, and something to place the treats into, such as a small Ziploc bag or treat pouch. Go to a calm location that has stable, padded flooring, such as a grassy yard, or a room with thick carpeting or a non-slip rug or a non-slip rubber mat.
Step
2
Move the toy
When you are on your secure surface with your pup, then show him the toy and wiggle it right above his head, then raise it above his head so that it is out of his reach and he has to jump up to in order to reach it. Tell him to "Bounce" while you tempt him.
Step
3
Reward
As soon as your puppy jumps up or attempts to jump up, then praise him and play with him with the toy for a minute. After a minute, raise the toy above him again and tempt him with its movement again.
Step
4
Repeat it
When your puppy will jump up when you tempt him with the toy, then repeat telling him to "Bounce" while you move the toy around above his head, and then praising and rewarding him with play when he jumps up or attempts to jump up. Do all of this until he will consistently jump up when you tell him to "Bounce" and show him the toy. After he has jumped up at least two times, then only reward him when he jumps up and not when he just attempts to jump up.
Step
5
Begin to phase out the toy
When your pup will consistently jump up when you tell him to "Bounce" and show him the toy, then raise the toy even higher, tell him to "Bounce", but do not wiggle the toy. When he jumps up, then praise him and reward him with a treat rather than the toy.
Step
6
Work with the treat
Practice the 'bounce' command without wiggling the toy and with the treat reward, until your puppy will jump up consistently when you tell him to "Bounce" in order to receive the treat.
Step
7
Use just your hand
When you buddy will consistently jump up when you tell him to bounce, in order to receive a treat, then remove the toy from your hand and simply hold your empty hand above him and tell him to "Bounce". The first time that he jumps up without the toy, praise him enthusiastically and reward him with five treats, one treat at a time. After that time go back to giving him only one treat whenever he does it.
Step
8
Repeat with your hand
When your pup will jump up when you tell him to "Bounce" when you do not have a toy, then practice the command until he will do it consistently.
Step
9
Improve the verbal command
When your pup can consistently bounce when you tell him to and hold out your hand, then phase out your hand signal. To phase out your hand, tell Fido to "Bounce", and then wait seven seconds before holding your empty hand out above him. Practice this until he will consistently jump up when you tell him to bounce before you show him your hand. Continue to reward him with a treat whenever he jumps up, even if you have to show him your hand before will do it. Do this until he masters the command without your hand held out above him. When he has mastered the command, then you can vary your rewards with praise, toys, treats, affection, fun, and other things that he finds rewarding.
Recommend training method?

The Play Ball Method

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Step
1
Grab supplies
To begin, grab lots of treats that your pup loves, something to place them into, such as a treat pouch or a small Ziploc bag, and a ball that your pup likes. Go somewhere with a stable but padded floor surface, such as a grassy yard, a thick rug or carpeted area, or a foam mat.
Step
2
Call your pup over
Next, call your pup over to you and then back two feet away from him. From that distance toss him the ball in an upward arch. Toss the ball directly to him and not past him. You do not want him to spin or to flip backwards or he might become injured, so make the toss easy for him to catch.
Step
3
Repeat tossing the ball
Repeat tossing the ball to your pup until he can consistently catch it and he is excited about catching the ball. Expect this to take several days or weeks of practice. When he becomes skilled at catching the ball, then toss him the ball again, but this time toss it higher above him so that it comes down directly in front of his face. Do this to encourage him to jump up for the ball while it is above him.
Step
4
Encourage jumping
Repeat tossing the ball above your puppy until he jumps up to catch it. The first time that he jumps up to catch the ball, then praise him and reward him by setting a treat on the ball for him to eat off of the ball. Give him the treat on the ball rather than from your hand to keep his interest on the ball rather than on your treat dispensing hand.
Step
5
Add command
When your pup will jump up to catch the ball in the air at least part of the time, then when you toss the ball, tell him to "Bounce", and after he jumps, praise him and give him a treat by placing a treat on the ball for him to eat off of it. Only praise him and reward him when he jumps up to catch the ball.
Step
6
Test his knowledge
When your pup will consistently jump up to catch the ball when you tell him to bounce and throw the ball, then test whether or not he knows the command by telling him to "Bounce", and then pretending to throw the ball. Repeat this up to five times, until he jumps up. If he jumps up when you tell him to "Bounce" when you have not thrown the ball, then praise him and give him a treat from your hand.
Step
7
Keep practicing
If Fido does not jump up any of the times, then go back to practicing with the ball for longer, and test him again after every two training sessions with the ball. Do this until he will bounce without the ball being tossed to him, when you tell him to bounce and pretend to toss the ball.
Step
8
Enjoy!
When Fido will jump up when you tell him to bounce, without a ball being tossed at him, then practice 'bounce' until he can do it consistently, even when you do not pretend to toss a ball. Now enjoy your springy pup's new trick!
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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