Teaching a dog to walk the rungs of a ladder increases back leg awareness and balance and improves your dog's confidence if you take it slow. Great for agility contact training and just as a neat trick!
Start by shaping the dog to interact with the ladder on the ground, and the dog walking between the rungs. Then ask for one foot, two feet then more to be on the rungs or the side. Then only click for feet on rungs. At that point, you can raise one end, then the other so it is just off the ground (about 4 inches) to get your dog to walk the rungs.
I used a clicker at first, then faded it once Jessie (min pin mix) had the main idea. It took about 6 training sessions to get to this point. This was her first try doing the whole ladder with the verbal marker and reward only at the end so she got a jackpot & lots of love!
I am not planning on increasing the incline as I have achieved my goal of improving back foot awareness, balance and confidence. I am also concerned that if she fell from a higher height, she may hurt herself as these rungs are slippery when wet.
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