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35 - Create confidence using the low-level walk-over board

35 - Create confidence using the low-level walk-over board

Teaching a dog to walk over a raised board will help him learn to negotiate steps and to feel confident about being on a table when at the vet or groomer. It is also a nice starting exercise for dogs that may go on to compete in agility, and a good opportunity to practice the ‘sit’, ‘stand’ and ‘down’ positions.

You can create a walk-over board by placing a wide plank of wood on low crates, or make a more permanent structure if you are lucky enough to have some DIY skills. Make sure that the board is securely fixed and will not wobble – your dog must feel safe when walking over the apparatus.

How it''s done

Start with your dog on a harness,  at collar and double clipped leash. A nervous dog may be reluctant to leave the ground on cue, so begin with the board on the  oor if necessary. Do not drag your dog over the board. Let him work it out in his own time, using the hand target exercise (way 24) to show him what you want him to do. Eventually you can ask him to stand or to sit on the board and use TTouches to give him the experience of being handled when off the ground. Finally, if he is happy and you are in a safe space, ask him to walk over the board off-leash.

Using TTouches gives Cookie the experience of being handled when off the ground

Cookie is learning to walk over a raised board. This adds variety to training and teaches her to feel confident when standing on a raised platform

From 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog, Copyright by Sarah Fisher, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with D & C

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