Up the Stairs in an Odd Way

Exercise the muscles your dog rarely uses

Grom has learned to climb the stairs in a very unusual way.  Why has he learned this silly thing?  It is as important to exercise and stretch out your working dog as it is for the human half of the team.  Exercises such as climbing the stairs backwards works out muscles that your dog rarely uses.  This give his body the strength, stability, and flexibility to prevent injury and keep in tip top shape.

Steps to teaching your dog to climb the stairs backwards.

  1. Teach your dog to back up by holding a treat in front of his nose and moving it directly towards his chest so he must back up to follow it.  You may also try walking towards your dog while holding the treat under his nose.
  2. Say the word “Back” as your dog steps backwards, give him the treat.
  3. Repeat this several times. Always waiting until he takes a step back before you say the word “Back.” Practice this over several days with very short 3 minute training sessions
  4. Say the word “Back” and wait. When your dog takes one step back, click, and treat. (If he doesn’t, go back to step 3)
  5. Wait for two steps back, then three, etc before giving a click and treat.
  6. Now do this in front of the stairs. Wait until his back foot goes up on a step before rewarding. Once he puts one foot up on the stair when you say “Back” regularly, wait until he gets both back feet up until you reward him.
  7. Wait for your dog to go farther and farther up the stairs until you click and treat.  Eventually he will do the whole stair case with only one command of “Back.”
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3 Responses to “Up the Stairs in an Odd Way”

  1. Thanks! Something we’ll have to try with Freyja.

  2. That is very impressive! We do a lot of stair climbing exercises in our fitness programs for dogs, but I’ve never tried having them do it backward. You’re definitely hitting a whole new set of muscles and increasing their coordination as well. Thanks for the tip!

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