Hi friends! Har and I are here to do a video for rear end awareness and core exercises. This has to be the most frequently asked question I get, because I posted videos on Instagram of Har and her awesome kick-ass rear end awareness, and of course people wanna know how to do it too! So, I’m gonna show you some easy drills that Har and I have learned to do together which has really improved her body awareness because, did you know? Dogs do not know that they have back legs. We have to teach them that. ‘Cause they’re just not aware of it like humans are. So, I will get started. The very first thing I did with Harlow is I have her in a sit, and I would simply walk towards her and bump her with my knee. That would cause her to back up, and I treat her for that. So I’d walk towards her and she’d back up, and I’d say, “Back! Back!” Good girl! Now she wouldn’t necessarily–Come!–She wouldn’t necessarily go in a straight line, but that’s okay. As long as she was going backwards. Back! Back! Good! Then, after she learned how to go backwards in a seated position–Come here!– I’d hold my hand under her tummy, very gently, and I’d have her back up again. Leading her with a treat. Good girl! So, I’d just have her hand–my hand on her tummy, so she wouldn’t sit, and I’d lure her back with a treat. Back. Good girl! Now, she can go backwards without sitting, in a standing position. Back! Back! Back! Good girl! So that’s the first exercise I would do with her. The second exercise I do with her is I want her to back up in a straight line. So I would stand on one side and I’d put another object between her and I. This time I’m using the table. And I’d have her back up with me. With me. With me. Good! With me is her heeling command. If I tell her, “With me,” she knows I want her in a heel position and I want her to follow me. With me! Good. With me! With me. This way she can’t sway left or right because there’s an object blocking her on one side, and I’m on the other. So that’s how I teach her to back up in a straight line. Now I’m going to show you one of my favorite rear end awareness exercises. This is my favorite rear end awareness exercise. It has definitely given us the most improvement on Harlow’s body awareness by far. This came from Ikea. It was 8 or 9 bucks. It has good grip on the bottom and is blue, which is the color dogs see the best. I just thought it’d be an extra added use for that color. The first thing you need to do is get your dog confident from getting on the stool. So I’d say, “Paws up!” She’d put both paws on it and I’d click. And then I’d tell her to get off. Off! Good! Harlow, paws up! Yes! Good girl! If you already have a paws up or a up command, it’ll definitely be easier, but if not, that’s fine too. You can teach them here. Harlow, off! Good girl. If your dog is reluctant to get on, I would just lure them, or not. I would just lure them with the treat. Off! Good. Paws up! Good girl! Click when their paws are up. Now, the next thing you do is you want them to move their back legs, and this is gonna feel weird for your dog, so as soon as you see any slight movement of their back legs, you click and treat. So you move them, click it. Good girl! Any slight movement of their back feet, you click. So how I got Harlow to do it is now I can move at her side, but before I had to stand right in front of her. Stay. I had to stand right in front of her and lure her with the treat, around the stool. Good girl! Just like this. Good girl! And we go all the way around. Now I can be right at her side and she knows to move with me. Good! Harlow, with me. With me! Good girl! Now, the other thing I like to do for rear end awareness is called “all four.” What I do is I’ll have her, I’ll lure the treat out here so she’s leaning out, I’ll pick up one leg, and put it on the stool. As soon as it touches the stool, I click and treat. And I would just repeat this exercise over and over again. And eventually she put her foot on by herself. And jackpot, puppy party, yay! That’s what we want! Then once she put one foot on by herself, I would lift up the other foot for her onto the stool. You click and treat. Another jackpot puppy party because that’s what we want! And then I’d tell her, “Off!” Off! Good girl! And we would start again. Good, paws up! Come around. Paws up! Now I call her up, all four. Good girl! And she brings all four paws on by herself. Now we switch from positions and how she’s sitting or standing. So Harlow, stand. That will increase the challenge. Harlow, sit. Very good! Good! All right, off! So I will show you one more time. Harlow, come! Paws up. To get them to pivot, you just lure them with a treat in their nose. Get them to lean out. With the other hand, gently put their feet on. Do one foot first. Once they can put the third foot on by themselves, then move on to helping them put on the fourth foot. Ta da! Good girl! And eventually they can do it on their own. This takes a lot of balance and rear end awareness, so don’t force it on them. Let them go slowly. Very good Harlow! Okay, off! Now, the beauty of this is: Harlow, finish. Now she turns with me. Before we had good rear end awareness, Harlow was so awkward in public because she was always in the way, and I’m always in the way regardless of my dog ’cause I’m clumsy. So it was just not a good mix. And she can come right next to me now. If she’s out somewhere, I can say, “Harlow, finish.” And she’ll go right to a heel position. We can do really tight left turns. We can do tight right turns. Very, very convenient. Now, something else that’s convenient is sometimes people use it as a block, maybe for psychiatric service. I don’t need psychiatric service tasks, but it’s convenient for her to be behind me, rather than beside me. So I just do one little turn of my body. Behind me! Good girl! Finish. Good. Harlow, behind me. Very good. And she’s blocking behind me, or standing behind me. It can be good for psychiatric service dogs and people who just want their dog to learn how to be behind them. If it’s more convenient in a whatever situation. Sit. Good girl. I wanted to show everybody one core exercise that we are currently expanding on. Now, I being the dummy I am, I always do things the hardest way for some reason. I’m trying to teach her sit pretty. So I was over here like, “Huuhhhh, sit pretty Harlow, good, good, click and treat.” There’s a much easier way to do it. Come here. Sit. Very easy. Grab both paws, hold them up like this. Good! And treat. This is why I love the clicker. There’s no way I could hold both paws and give her a treat, but I can click so she understands that’s the behavior I want. So I just have her come up. Good girl. Sit pretty! And treat. Eventually, she suddenly just started doing it on her own. So you wanna click for any attempt to get those paws in the air. Good girl! This is a great core exercise. Good. And eventually, I’d like to be able to tell her, “Harlow, stay,” and she’d hold it. Sit pretty. Stay. Very good! As you can see, we’re working on expanding the time. Now, keep in mind, your dog is gonna get sore abs just like we do when we work our abs. So, they may refuse to do it again and it’s just because they’re hurting. It happens to Harlow sometimes. But it’s good for them, and it’ll improve their balance. So, those are some things that I work on for body awareness and core exercises. And I hope they help you too. There’s–people ask me, “Why does your dog need body awareness?” And honestly, the best explanation is just teach your dog and you will see how magnificent it is to have a dog that is body aware. It’s fantastic. Especially for service dogs who need to maneuver through crowds in public. It’s been one of the best things I’ve taught Harlow by far. So thanks for tuning in, and I hope that helps you.