Teach Your Dog to Jump Through a Hoop
AKC GoodDog! Helpline Trainer Milena Barreto has taught her certified therapy dog, Phoebe, dozens of tricks that she uses to entertain hospital patients and assisted living center residents. Here, she tells us how to teach your dog to jump through a hoop.
Teaching your dogs to jump through a hula hoop is easy, and this trick will turn your canine companions into stars with family and friends.
First place the hoop on the floor. Put a tasty treat in your hand and lure your dog to step into the center of the hoop. When he does step into it, immediately praise and give him the treat. Repeat a few times.
Once he steps in without hesitation, lift one end of the hoop with one hand (with the bottom of the hoop still on the floor). With a treat in your other hand, lure him to step through the hoop. When he does, immediately praise and give him the treat.
Once he is going through the hoop 100% of the time, you can start raising the hoop off the floor. Start with the hoop just a few inches off the ground, praising and treating once he jumps through it and alternating treats and praises.
When he is consistently jumping through the hoop at a low height, you can start raising the height of the hoop. Keep the height of the hoop in perspective to the size of your dog.
You also can teach him to jump through your arms by placing your arms around the hoop, repeat a few times with the hoop and later without the hoop -- or teach him to jump through two hoops!
Remember to always keep training sessions short and end on a happy note.