Difficulty: Easy Prerequisite: Touch Items Needed: Clicker, Treats
This trick teaches your dog to jump straight up in the air. It's not teaching him to jump 'over' and object, rather, it teaches him to jump in the air, with all four paws off the ground. This trick paves the way for teaching your dog to jump rope, (Trick #45). Again, as we've said in the beginning of this book: before attempting any jumping tricks, consult your veterinarian to see if these tricks are okay for your dog to do. Again, it's not a good idea to teach puppies jumping tricks; it's possible to hurt their developing hips. And if your dog has any history of hip dysplasia, these jumping tricks can hurt your dog. Teaching your dog to jump is both fun for you and your dog, just make sure a vet give you the okay so that you don't hurt your pet. The point of teaching this trick to your dog is to have fun, and this trick especially encourages your dog to be excited; and you'll find yourself getting pretty excited as well!
Step 1: With your touch stick, hold it high in the air so that he has to jump up to touch it. As soon as his legs come off the ground, click and treat. If he's having trouble, start out with just having your dog touch the touch stick closer to the ground, then gradually getting higher. Step 2: With your touch stick, hold it high in the air so that he has to jump up to touch it. As soon as his legs come off the ground, click and treat. If he's having trouble, start out with just having your dog touch the touch stick closer to the ground, then gradually getting higher. Step 3: Keep doing this until he jumps at your command. Gradually stop using the touch stick and use your command instead. Click and treat whenever he does this.
The secret to this trick was first of all to get Caspian excited! Once Caspian was all happy and excited, I grabbed my touch stick and started out by re-acquainting him with it. I gave him a couple of easy ones on the ground, then got higher. I placed the touch stick high enough in the air so that he had to jump (with all four paws off the ground) in order to touch it. As soon as all four paws came off the floor, I clicked and treated. After the first few, I started saying "Jump" as I clicked and treated. I used a hand signal to help him out and took away the touch stick. As I did my hand signal, I also gave the command - "Jump!" He did it right away.
This was the hardest thing for Caspian to learn. The main thing that helped him out was that he knew he needed to touch the stick at first in order to get the treat. When I held the touch stick high enough so that he had to jump to touch it, he learned that he got his treat when he jumped all the way.
Tip: "Short sessions are the key to this trick. Jumping up and down is hard on dogs' hips, especially larger dogs, so keep that in mind when you are training your dog."