We’ve talked about teaching your Shiba Inu the Open Tunnel and how fun it is. The other type of tunnel found in agility courses is the collapsed tunnel. This tunnel is usually shorter and has a long cloth dangling over one end. Of course, you can always use a towel.
Before you attempt the collapsed tunnel you should master the open tunnel. It’s important to do so because this one is a lot scarier and incorporates something most dogs detest, things touching their head.
It will probably be more frustrating than the open tunnel, will take more time and you won’t enjoy it as much, as quickly. But if you first teach him to run the open tunnel on command then this one is going to be a piece of cake.
Teaching your Shiba Inu to run the Collapsed Tunnel
I’m going to assume you and your merry Shiba Inu have already mastered the Open Tunnel. You’re going to build upon that, so if it isn’t reliable yet you’ll have a hard time with this one. So, if you think he’s not ready go back to the open tunnel and practice more.
Start practice by folding the towel completely at the top of the tunnel then giving him his open tunnel command. Reward when he comes through on the other side and repeat.
Only this time you will lower the towel just a little bit. Enough so he can see it, but not so far to touch him. Now say the tunnel command and add the “collapse” or whichever word you chose for the collapsed tunnel.
Change between the towel completely up and seeable but not touchable. When he can see the fabric, add the collapse word; when he can’t, just say the open tunnel word. Shiba Inus love agility tunnels and will quickly understand the difference.
Now gradually lower the towel one or two inches until it will eventually cover the bottom of the opening. Here, even if the fabric is all the way down you can try to hold it up so he sees you’re there to have fun with him, not to trap him inside.
What to do if your Shiba Inu doesn’t want to run through the Collapsed Tunnel
Whenever this happens, whatever you’re teaching your dog, and he doesn’t comply anymore, slow it down. Slow it way down. You’ve most likely seen some good progress and went a little too fast. So start again, you’ll quickly figure out where he’s stuck.
Go back to ground one. Start doing the open tunnel a little bit; see if he gets that right. If that’s all good start adding a little fabric again. Then proceed from there.
Another reason might be he just doesn’t like things on his head. So get him used to that, if you think that’s the case. He might have eye problems that make him shy away from things on his face. Take him to the vet and check up on anything.
Chances are he just isn’t used to having things cover his face. Though Shiba Inus love playing however they can they just need to practice this. Help him by touching his face plenty.
The Collapsed tunnel is just another cool environment for your Shiba Inu that just happens to have something that touches his face. It’s no big deal. After he knows those you can start linking them together with the hurdles and creating your very own, first agility course.
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