Dogs are intelligent creatures. According to research done by animal psychologists, they found that dogs can understand up to 250 words and gestures. They then categorized a dog’s intelligence similar to that of an average two-year-old child. Your dog is capable of learning a variety of tricks, including crawling.
As pack animals, dogs understand social structure and obligations, which allows them to learn and obey commands. Teaching dogs new tricks adds fun to how you interact with them. In this article, you will learn how to teach your dog to crawl quickly and effectively.
But before you we get to the training, it is essential to bring to your awareness a list of dogs that are generally easier to train than others. These include Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, Poodles, Miniature Schnauzers, German Shepherds, Bearded Collie, and Labrador Retrievers, Australian Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, and Papillion’s.
Furthermore, it is also vital to learn more about what is involved in dog training. The training requires that you award your dog every time it behaves well, which also means it should be corrected when it acts unacceptable.
The Essentials of Dog Training
By awarding positive behavior, your dog will understand what the right thing to do is. Therefore, you should get some healthy treats or toys ready for the training. When picking rewards for success, find out what the dog likes and values. However, you should try not to overfeed your dog with treats.
When training your dog, you will find out that they can easily be distracted. As you focus on training your dog, make sure the environment allows that otherwise, the dog might start barking at birds, rolling around on the ground or even staring off into the distance.
Most dog trainers praise the use of clickers and collars during the training. Training your dog how to crawl with a collar on helps you to keep him or her focused or under your control. The clicker helps to cue a correct behavior for a treat. You can still use verbal praise before rewarding your dog.
You have to make sure that you are the most exciting thing in the environment. Therefore, you have to find a quiet environment that is free of distraction. If you feel that your dog can easily be distracted, then you should start with attention training. If your dog can maintain proper attention, sit on its own and lie down under command, then you can skip the “Attention,” “sit down” and “lie down” training and go straight to the crawl training.
During attention training, you aim to make it fun and exciting. The dog might get bored and lose focus during the training. You can choose to end the session when you feel that the dog has started losing interest. It takes patience and time for a dog to learn to pay attention to you. You can try short training sessions of 10 minutes.
- Find a quiet room where it is only you and your dog, for instance, the living room
- You can sit or stand anywhere in the room close to your dog.
- Every time the dog looks at you, give a reward.
- You can extend the duration of focus by rewarding when the dog maintains eye contact.
Gradually, the training will condition your dog always to pay attention to you. You can also make your dog pay attention when you are walking. Similarly, you award the dog when it decides to walk with you. In the end, the dog will learn that paying attention to you is a great thing.
You can train for attention using distraction method by calling out the name of the dog or using a toy to create the switch. Using toys allow for switching attention or focus. To achieve this, you will have to leave one toy and play with another one.
If your dog is easily distracted by things in his or her environment instead of paying attention to you, then you need to address those issues first before you begin with crawl training. As a reminder, you do not have to force your dog to do as you please, so take it
Now that your dog pays full attention, the next step is getting the dog to lie down. But before you get it to that position; you must make it sit down. In most cases, when a dog gives you attention, it may be in the standing or sitting position. If the dog can sit on itself well and good, but if it doesn’t, then you will have to work on that issue.
Sit Down Training
For this command,
- Select a quiet place like the living room and gather enough treats
- Place the reward over the head of your dog and move down until it automatically sits to have a good view of the award.
- You only feed your dog when it reliably sits down.
- You can associate the action by saying “sit” when your dog is about to hit the floor with its bum.
- If the dog can sit down with the “sit” command, then you should double the treat.
- Repeat this in 5 minutes until you are comfortable with the results.
- You can perfect the command by requesting your dog to sit in increasingly distracting situations.
In the same light, you should avoid rewarding your dog every time it sat when you didn’t ask, only feed when you command it to sit down. You can couple the “sit” command with the “stay” command to hold the position until released.
Lie Down Training
When your dog can get to a sitting position, it is now time to move to the lie-down command. Getting your dog to lie down makes it easy for you to teach it how to crawl.
The training requires you to:
- Find a quiet place like the living room and some treats.
- Command your dog to sit.
- Keep the reward stuck on the dog’s nose as you draw it downwards to the floor, close to its paws, While in the sitting position,
- Reward the dog when it dog lies down correctly
You can try the action by using an empty hand, just when it is about to lie down, you can say “down.” The dog will associate the downward motion with the word “down.” In the end, the dog can lie down with the “down” command or hand signal, whichever one you choose. You can then perfect the lie-down command by training in more distracting environments and less rewarding when not cued.
It is now time to learn how to Teach Your Dog to Crawl. Basically, you place a treat close to the ground and having your dog come closer while still in the “lie down” command. At this point, your dog is ready to learn how to crawl while lying down on the floor.
- Similar to the other training, you have to find a quiet place and treats for your dog.
- Command your dog to lie down on the floor.
- The next step is to cover the treat and place it on the dog’s paw, and in your squat position, slowly move your hand back.
- Reward your dog with a treat or toy if it moves a leg or even a small shift without standing up
- As your dog lies on the floor and paying attention to you, squat a few steps Infront of him or her holding the treat on your hand and as low as possible on the ground.
- The dog may respond by standing and walking or crawling to get the award from you. The moment it crawls correctly, you should immediately reward it.
- If the dog stands and walks over to you, then you should start all over again in the lying down position.
- Repeat the training until you are confident with your dog’s reactions.
- When your dog is about to crawl, say the word “crawl” so that it can associate the behavior with the word.
- You can perfect this by increasing the distance and holding the training in a more distracting environment.
You can practice this trick once a day and work gradually until your dog can crawl reliably. This trick might take time to master as it highly depends on your patience and the dog’s attention during the entire process.
Now that you know how to Teach Your Dog to Crawl, it is time to practice and perfect the skill. Keep working with your dog to make the crawl command a smooth and natural thing for him or her. It is also important not to force your dog to crawl, so if your dog becomes tired and gives up, then this is a clear indication that you should end the training. Avoid using a strict or raised voice, but speak to the dog in a soft, authoritative but calm tone of voice
First, you can try once a day and then graduate to twice a day for 5 to 15 minutes per session. A dog repeats whatever behavior you reward, so it is essential to award your dog when he or she does the trick correctly.