Body Awareness Exercises

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.

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52 Responses

  1. Lilly Burkhart says:

    Great job Harlow!! You kick butt at rear end awareness!!

  2. summer schyff says:

    AWESOME video! Totally helpful!! I will definitely be trying some of these ideas that we don't already do šŸ˜

  3. Katrina Wright says:

    I love this! I do this all the time to regain my dogs attention.

  4. Jane Budde says:

    can you show us in more detail how you got harlow to follow you around the stool going in the opposite of your normal turn? (sorry if that is very confusing) we are working on rear end awareness to help with her feeling and we can do right turns very well because she is on my left but when I do a left turn with her it doesn't go very smoothly šŸ˜…

  5. Kimberly Ashman says:

    I love your training videos!

  6. Nicole McAdams says:

    Great tips! Is there a way to always get my dog to tuck in his own tail when he is under a table or chair?

  7. Nightshade says:

    What is the sound you make before you give harlow the treat? And what food are u using for treats?

  8. Kirk Sklar says:

    Thank you for the video, very useful information

  9. Abigail Gutierrez says:

    for sit pretty you can put her against your legs and move the treat towards you. shell follow it.

  10. TheHorrorFam. says:

    thanks Jacquie I've been following you and Harlow on ig for a while I get lots of tips for your training and add it with my training for my service pup. I also like how you always educate people on disabilities and how they are not always visible I run into a lot of issues when I go out to the store or wherever with my pup and I don't have his vest cause legally he doesn't need to wear it even though he is really well trained and still training. ppl in California are just not as educated when it comes to ppl with disabilities or how to approach them. so thank you for educating

  11. vance adams says:

    My girlfriend has a brain injury and we are trying to train a mobility service dog ourselves. We tried the exercise where you back up with the treat but she just gets behind her when she walks toward her because she is used to moving out of the way when my girlfriend comes toward her. Any suggestions?

  12. Olivia Wainstein says:

    How will this work if your dog is twice that size aka a english mastiff….

  13. ApplePecan Sews says:

    Wow! Dogs are so amazing. I taught school at a Juvenile Detention center in TX and we had students in a program called P.A.W.S. I don't remember what that got but Inmates that had worked hard to improve behavior were paired with a dog from our local Humane Society and they trained the dogs. There was a gentleman who visited periodically to teach the girls how to train their dogs. When the dogs were trained to pass a rigid test and become certified, they were adopted out by the humane society. It was generally a win-win situation. The dog's life was saved and the girls learned many life skills as well as possible training to help them find jobs when they were released.

  14. Ellie Rogers says:

    Where did you get the little pocket thing your getting the treats out of?

  15. aimee lawson says:

    Way off subject, love the shawl shirt It's gorgeous

  16. Cujo Hart says:

    You and Harlow make everything look so easy! Haha. I have an 8 month old SDiT and he's so rough and gets hyper with training. Sometimes it's hard for me to catch him in right right action.

  17. Nameless One says:

    Be cool if you made a second channel called training Harlo. You have great ideas and method.

  18. Livmay 08 says:

    Please do more training tutorials I love them! ā¤ļøšŸ˜

  19. Heidi Kendall says:

    Hey I got a question I am owner training a mobility service dog he pulls my wheelchair as a task I love Harlow harness with the packs is possible to get this harness for him with the metal ring so I can still attach him to the wheelchair for pulling?

  20. Bratt Rox says:

    lol she's like I'm moving I'm moving XD and you're just talking to the camera

  21. Emma Coe says:

    These videos are really helpful! I am training my pup some of these skills at home. He's not training to be a service dog as I don't have a disability and he's a little "high-strung" for service work, but I wanted to build some new skills to keep his mind sharp and work on overall obedience. So far, he's loving it!

  22. Alex B says:

    Watched these vidoes when they first came out, watched them again when my future service dog was born, and now watching them AGAIN now that he's home! Hoping his training goes well with your amazing advice!

  23. imfreetobeme8 says:

    Makes me want a dog

  24. Twichl says:

    I wonder if doing this will help my dog stop body slamming my other dog šŸ˜‰

  25. JacquelineL1019 says:

    My new puppy isnt going to be a service dog, but your training videos are so helpful to not only helping train my puppy, but in understanding her better and keeping my patience šŸ™‚ ā¤ my aim is to have her as well behaved and trained as Harlow.

  26. maxb0t says:

    my family has always taught "sit pretty" by just making the dog reech for the treat

  27. Elisabeth says:

    I was referred to your channel from another handler with my service dog training group. This is the first video I've watched of yours, I'm only 2:30 into your video and already LOVE the style in which you educate. I'm with a trainer who has more than 10 years in service dog training, and an amazing reputation…and I feel like you more precisely explain everything already haha. Thank you for these videos!

  28. Tatiana Cruz says:

    Harlow you are so sweet and cute. šŸ˜˜

  29. super personisme says:

    Is spatial awareness a disability

  30. Ezekiel-Beth Goff says:

    This video has been super helpful for us! Coco's biggest issue is to try to turn around or jump up while backing, but we're getting there with these exercises. She already turns and starts and stops with me well. Backing has been our hurdle.

  31. Jane Lansaw says:

    I am a huge fan. I would like to know however what some of the purposes are to the training that you did in the mall. It looked to me like you had a dog stand between your legs. I couldn't tell if it was you and the other girl because I'm legally blind but I knew it was one of you. Also, why was it important to switch dogs? Is Ryan in training to be someone else's dog and your friend Janisse the trainer?

  32. Jane Lansaw says:

    I have a client with low vision who uses a wheelchair. She has many disabilities and wants to have a service dog instead of a Guide dog. I have left messages and emailed many different schools across the country and I'm having a hard time getting someone to respond. Is it because I'm not the one wanting the dog? Also, we are looking for ways to raise money for her because we know it's very expensive to have a service dog. Any suggestions? Thanks, big fan.

  33. Ana Larson says:

    I love watching this over and over again, you are no dummy. In fact I am a bigger dummy, I tried to hold the dog and the clicker and the treat and then bent over and well total fail and everything fell. I got dizzy she got all the treats and I sprained my hand trying to deal with all of that, silly huh? Thank you always for all the training tips in all the videos. Do you train Harlow on both sides of you? I found my pup started to prefer certain movements so if you don't already have one on this can you do one? Blessings!

  34. lucky dog says:

    Wow looks so different with out her feeding tub bag.

  35. Cas says:

    How did you teach your finish command?

  36. Joe Hernandez says:

    Hi my name is noe please call me I nedd some advice for the gostroperosis pleace call me I am.a born againg cristian anen mt.number is 216 0948 thank you God bless

  37. Graecyn Gudgeon says:

    Hippo looks so different compared to now

  38. Leah says:

    awesome video! You do a great job explaining the training steps and Harlow does a great job showing how it'sā€‹ done! you guys make an awesome team!!

  39. Paws With a Purpose says:

    My SDIT is a Chihuahua. She already knows 50+ commands, but she's always been shy of feet. (Which makes sense, she's 7lbs!) But it made it hard to help her gain confidence. So I used some high quality treats, and whenever she didn't react to a foot movement, I rewarded her. I have since moved on to touching a foot to her side, and it seems to be helping. Is this the right way to be doing this?

  40. Lorievie Delos Reyes says:

    loved it Harlow and jaquie !

  41. Labrador Pathfinder says:

    Awareness is one of the most important things indogtraining

  42. The Goat Mama says:

    This is such an amazing video! Thank you for showing us!
    Puppy party! ^o^

  43. Laura laura says:

    if blue is the color they see the best it make sense why dogs stare at me my hair is blue!!!

  44. heymoon708 says:

    Great video! You did very well explaining the steps and commands! PS your hair is so adorable like that <3

  45. Mason McDixon says:

    Young lady you explain so well in all your videos you would make a great representative for these fine dogs and the orgonisation bravo

  46. Golden Steel says:

    In 2018??šŸ˜‚šŸ˜‚

  47. Smiffy The Aardvark says:

    How often should you practice rear end awareness?

  48. Color Me Zebra says:

    You're a very good teacher. Well understood your instructions.

  49. Shala Carter says:


  50. Freija says:

    This is soo useful. Thank you

  51. Ace The Bc says:

    Iā€™m so upset that this amazing human being is gone RIP Jacquie

  52. Truwoman Capote says:

    I can't believe she is gone…

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