Just in time to get in shape for the New Year, this months featured trick training is the Army Crawl. Army crawling is not only a really adorable trick that always gets a lot of laughs, it helps to strengthen your dog’s core and improve joint flexibility. If your pooch pal is already a pro at the “down” command, the army crawl will be a snap!
1. Teach your dog to lie down (skip this if your dog is already a pro)
2. Place a high value treat (something your dog really loves) in the palm of your hand, making sure that he knows it is there and stay low to the ground (kneel or sit close by)
3. Drag the treat away in front of him on the floor. Keep your free hand over the dog to “help” him stay down near the floor. Don’t use the command “crawl” or “sneak” at first. Make sure your dog understands the action before you associate a verbal command with it.
4. Be patient. Continue asking your dog to inch along the ground until he understands what is wanted, you can then begin adding a verbal cue, such as the word “crawl”, and asking him to shimmy across the ground several times before getting his reward. Try doing this in 10 minute intervals.
5. For extra credit, have your dog stay next to you while you toss a treat a few feet away. Have him crawl away from you to fetch it.