Jumping is a great way to provide your dog with fun, exercise, and mental stimulation. It can also build their confidence!
Here are some ways to help your dog learn to go over a jump:
- Together: When first introducing a new jump, use your treat hand to lure your dog over the jump with you.
- Hand Signal: Use your pointing hand to guide your dog over the jump while you walk (or eventually run) aside of it.
- Back and Forth: Have two people each stand on either side of the jump and call your dog back and forth! If they go around the jump instead of over it, just don’t reward them with a treat. (You can also put the sides of the jump up against barriers so that it’s a natural choice to go over it! Couches and walls are handy for this.)
- Human holding the jump: With your dog to one side of you, hold the jump in your hand (ideally against a wall or couch to start). Say “Puppy, jump!” and then toss a treat to the other side of the jump. Once your dog eats that one, repeat on the other side!
- The jump should be nice and easy to start. You can make it higher as your dog is successful.
- You can also help your dog out by placing barriers on either end of the jump so they’re more likely to choose to go over it. Once they understands the concept, you can remove the barriers!
- You can even set up multiple jumps and have your dog more than one in a row!
- Jumps don’t have to be fancy. You can use anything from around the house that’s safe, like broomsticks or pillows. You can also use your arms or legs!
- Only jump your dog on surfaces with good traction. (Grass, dirt, carpets.) Avoid slippery floors at all times.
- Generally, adult dogs should not be jumping any higher than their shoulders on a regular basis.
- Puppies younger than 18 months or so should not be jumping more than a few inches, and not for more than a few repetitions.
- Speak to your vet if you have any questions about your dog’s jumping and their health!