agentlycurvingroadThe road ahead is long and what better to do for your dog than teach him – anything.  Whatever you teach makes the next thing you teach go faster.  Whatever you teach makes your dog’s brain more lively, more attentive, more ready to absorb.  Whatever you teach can and should be fun for you and your dog AND should make your life saner and his life safer.  But, really, jumping through a hoop?

Teaching a dog to jump through a hoop is easy and like any other training, it will teach your dog to listen to your words and understand that they mean something, something relevant to him.  Your bond – ah, that! – will grow stronger as your work at hoop jumping.  Your dog will regard his lessons as fun.  You will regard your dog as more fun than he was before.  And if you show the finished project to your friends, they will be amazed and may even go out and adopt a dog so that they can teach him to jump through a hoop.

Convinced?  Great.  Take a hula hoop and put it, resting on the ground, in a doorway.  In this way, your dog has to go through the hoop to get into the next room.  As he steps over the hoop, tell him Over.  And then GOOD DOG.  Toss a toy through the hoop.  Put his food bowl on the other side of the hoop at dinner time.  Step, praise, step, praise.  Next, in a few days, raise the hoop an inch.  And in a few more days, another inch.  See?  Easy.  When your enthusiastic praise has convinced your dog that going through the hoop, now over and through, is great fun, try moving the hoop out of the doorway.  Even if you have to move the hoop as your dog approaches, make sure he goes over and through rather than around.   Put some bells on his collar.  Invite your friends.  Have a good time.

Anything you teach your dog makes him a better, more attentive companion, and makes you a better and more attentive companion as well.  It’s 2014.  Happy training.