First was weaving through the legs.
Have a treat in each hand. With dog on left, take one big step forward with right foot. Lead dog under right leg and forward. Stop and treat dog using right hand.
Take big step with left foot. Lure dog under left leg, stop and treat using left hand.
Put it all together and you are walking forward, your dog weaving in and out of your legs!
Be sure to take plenty of time out to rest. This is exhausting!
Next, we broke out the Pilates balls.
I wasn't sure how this would work with such a heavy dog.
Getting the dog to support first some, then eventually all, of his weight on the ball helps develop core muscles that are key to getting up on hind legs.
Fozzie loved it! I held the ball steady at first, but quickly was able to let it move under him as he climbed up. Watching him roll over it, finally getting all the way over it with back paws dangling, was priceless.
Good job Fozzie, time for another break.
Keep it up and you'll be right up there with those stars in class.
Finally, we did some work on sitting up and begging. This is another great exercise to strengthen the core. When the dog is able to sit up and beg, he is on the way to being able to stand on his hind legs, and even walk on two legs unsupported.
When I saw this was on the agenda, I really didn't think Fozzie would be able to accomplish much. He is such a heavy, big-chested beast, and for all his fine qualities, balance without the help of his front paws is not his strong point.
The key is taking it slow with lots of support. First, put out an arm and prompt the dog to put first one paw, then the other paw on it.
Get the dog to try balancing more of his weight on his own by holding the treat way up above his head, then slowly removing the arm support, then bringing it back.
Fozzie was able to at least put both paws on my arm, and start to balance more of his weight on his hind quarters.
Not like some of the stars in class, but hey--gotta start somewhere!
|Michelle and Joey prove the fancy stuff is not just for the Aussies and Border collies|
|Regina and Link were dancing up a storm too|
Next step? See what music Fozzie wants to dance to!