Teach Your Shiba Inu to Jump the Hurdles

You’ve set your foam board, cut it into the designed shapes and you have your hurdle ready. Now it’s time to introduce your Shiba Inu to his new toy. The point of jumping hurdles isn’t to jump as high as possible.

If you’re doing this in the living room, with no backyard access it’s actually very dangerous to try full-height jumps. The fun is negotiating the timing of the jump and the approach. Your dog will have just as much fun jumping 1 inch, as he would, jumping 10.

If you want to do more hurdles in a row you need to space them out at least 8 feet to give him time to recover. On the same safety note, don’t make your dog jump at all until he’s 1 year old. You can provoke serious problems if you do.

Even if your dog likes jumping and does so naturally you still shouldn’t make him jump. The thing is when he does it himself he does it naturally, he wouldn’t jump if he were uncomfortable. But when you ask him to he is trying to please you and will ignore pain. Remember to ask your vet if your dog can jump before you try the hurdles.

Teaching your Shiba Inu tleo jump the hurd

You might think he already knows how to jump, but you want him to jump when and where you want him to. To do that you need to teach him a Jump command. Place the hurdle in a spot that blocks any other pathway. Your hallway is probably the best place to try this.

Before you go on, a word of caution. You should always warm-up with your dog when he’s about to do jumps, even if they’re just 1 inch jumps. To do this, simply run around with him for a few minutes.

Walk beside your dog down the hallway, having him facing the hurdle so that he has to jump over it if he wants to go through. Start a fair way away from the jump. As you approach reinforce him by saying he’s a good dog and, as soon as you near the hurdle, say “Jump” or whatever command you want.

You might want to jump the jump yourself so he sees it’s ok and a lot of fun too. When he jumps, praise him with hugs, warm words and the all-time-favorite: “good boy”. From here on it’s just a question of repeating the exercise while you gradually move away from him and letting your Shiba Inu do it alone.

What to do if your Shiba doesn’t jump

There are a number of possible reasons. He might be afraid he’s going to get hurt, or that you might step on him. If you think this is the case give him more room. Design a wider foam-board if you have to. Also make sure you’re coming at it in a straight line.

If he’s still reluctant to try (very hard to believe as it is) you can try a different approach. Have a friend hold him on one side of the hurdle while you go to the other.

Grab a treat and call him. Once he gathers the courage and momentum to jump say the Jump command so he starts associating the word with the real deal. Finally, he might be reluctant to jump if the hurdle is too high, that’s why I advised you to start with a 1 inch jump.

Once you’re done with your practice make sure you put the hurdles away. For safety’s sake you should never let your dog jump over obstacles unsupervised. Don’t be down if your Shiba Inu doesn’t like jumping hurdles, there’s plenty of other things for you to do.

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