A Cute Trick That Builds Confidence
How cute would it be if your dog could push a shopping cart?
This trick is not only a crowd pleaser, it also is a great way for dogs to work on balance, body awareness and confidence building.
Using a toy shopping cart, you can train your small dog to push it by standing on their hind legs and walking forward with their two front paws on the cart. The cart might need some modifications so it does not tip, but when dogs get really good with this trick, they learn how to use their bodies to keep the cart from tipping. Dogs are incredible!
I just started training Max to push a shopping cart today as it is trick of the day here at MJ’s Pet Training Academy.
To train your dog this trick follow these steps:
Get your dog comfortable around the cart. Reward them for interacting with it. Roll it, move it, tip it over and make sure your dog will not get startled. Do not move to the next step until your dog in comfortable.
Lay the cart flat on the ground and teach your dog to put their paws on the bar that they will be balancing on when the cart is upright. Let them get used to the feel of the bar under their paws and build a reinforcement history.
Stand the cart upright and put your foot in it or kneel and hold it very tightly. Use shaping or luring to train your dog to put their paws up with the cart upright. The cart should not move at all in the beginning.
Reward your dog for paws up and cue them when to move off of the cart with your release cue. When they have this down (still holding the cart so it does not move) start rewarding correct body positions. They should be leaning forward holding their balance so they can move their hind legs to walk and keep the cart from tipping.
Start rewarding small steps of the hind legs as you guide the cart forward.
Keep working on it and slowly removing the training wheels (you). Make it easy for your dog to be successful and do not overdue training. Use lots of praise!