AKC GoodDog! Helpline trainer Milena Barreto has taught her Standard Poodle, Phoebe, dozens of tricks and the two often entertain on their therapy dog visits. Here, Milena tells us how to teach your dog to go Under the Bridge! This is a fun and easy trick to teach your dog. Your dog learns how to crawl under your upraised knees – going under the bridge.
Using his favorite treat or toy, just sit on the floor with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent, leaving a gap under them.
With your dog sitting on one side, take a treat or the toy with opposite hand, at floor level and close to you, and allow him to smell it or see it. As he lowers his head to smell it, move your hand under your legs slowly and allow your dog to move through.
Once he goes under your knees completely, praise him and give him the treat or toy. After doing this a few times, add the command when he is going through. You can say “through”, “bridge” or “under.” After more practice, give him the treat or toy at small intervals of time, allowing him to get used to the feeling of being there and encouraging him to stay there.
If you have a big dog who is hesitant to get low enough to fit under your knees, look for any space that is big enough for him to go under, such as a chair that is high off the ground, and start with that. Once he is comfortable with this, it will be easier to teach him to crawl under your knees.
A rainy day when you’re stuck indoors with your hyperactive dog, grab your four-legged best friend and teach them a trick!
For training advice and behavioral questions, enroll in the AKC GoodDog! Helpline. Experienced trainers are available seven days a week to answer your questions.