Rear End Awareness Exercises

How does one teach their dog that they have a rear end?

Some dogs who only go for leash walks seem to not realize that they can do stuff with their rear end.    When I first learned this, and then saw it, I was stunned!  How could a dog get like this?

I’ve never had, nor do I ever think I will have, a dog who doesn’t know just how important their rear end is.   How do I get this?

I run them off leash A LOT as a puppy.  Through a bush, through culverts, over hills, over toys in the backyard.    Can you get down to this stream?  Let’s go swimming?  Fetch that stick that I’ve tossed hither and yon!

The question becomes more important as the dog ages and this type (the above) of play/work hasn’t been done.   So how to teach it in an older dog.

1. ladder work – have the dog walk slowly through a ladder.  This teaches the dog that they have to actively do something with their back feet, they can’t just follow along in a ladder.

2. walk over odd surfaces.  i.e. carefully walk down those rocks that they often has a soil barriers down to the water surfaces (or anything like that).

3. teach a spin, turn, circle on a piece of wood that is off the ground (perhaps don’t start off the ground, but add that height).

There are other things one can do, but my time is short and I’ll need to come back to this.  🙂

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5 thoughts on “Rear End Awareness Exercises

  1. Does the ladder really work? I well coordinated dog will be able to place his back feet on the same place as his front. I have just wondered for a long time if it teaches rear end awareness, or if it just teaches them to walk through a ladder. 🙂

  2. yes it does, as long as it is up high enough to be noticed if the dog doesn’t. It’s amazing the number of dogs that just expect their feet to follow along and don’t realize that sometimes they need to pick those feet up!
    Our old dog was like this a bit, walking him over rough ground (with branches and stuff strewn about – forest floor bottom) did the trick for him though, then it was like oh…picking my feet up means I won’t fall down! YEAH!!!!! 🙂 Granted as he got older he lost some mobility so we were back to start one, but it was good for him to learn for a few years anyways. 🙂

    Ladder work does help teach foot awareness anyways. 🙂 And then helps them to think about their rear a bit so you can do circles and stuff on planks up a bit from the ground.

  3. Some say that laying jump bars on the ground in odd arrangements and angles, criss crossed, close together and far apart – walking across this will create rear end awareness too.

    Good post!

    Woofs, Johann

  4. thank you Johann,
    I suppose for people who don’t have access to a naturally maintained bush/forest, that this would be a positive option for them. 🙂 thanks for sharing that.

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