#52WeeksOfTricks – Week Four – Hoops


Week Four: Hoops!

Teaching your dog to jump through hoops looks hard, but it’s really quite simple when you break it down.

1. Teach your dog to walk through a hoop that is touching the ground, this helps them learn that it’s not a scary thing (as Bonnie is learning in the photo).

2. Once they’ve got that down pat, lift the hoop a couple of centimetres off the ground and encourage them through again.

3. Place you foot and leg under the hoop (like in Cynder’s shot) and encourage your dog to jump ‘through’. Placing your foot under the hoop helps your dog to realise that they should go through, not under.

4. Once your dog is a pro, you can start lifting the hoop higher!
If your dog has a tendency to go around the hoop instead, place it up against a wall so they can only go through and not around.
Good luck, and have fun! Take your time and with consistent training your dog will be jumping hoops in no time


Sprocket Pupdate: First Visit to Dog Dancing

Meet Sprocket – the newest member of our family. He’s an 11 month old Terrier cross (We’re not sure what’s in the mix!) adopted puppy from Melbourne’s The Lost Dogs’ Home. Follow along as I share his and my story as a new dog owner learning how to raise a healthy and happy little dog. I’ll also be doing regular updates on JOY 94.9′s Pets-A-Loud about my experiences and what I learn along the way.

Our lesson for this Sprocket update? Never leave the cupboard door open.

Our terrier cross Sprocket (the sneaky little bugger) has broken not once, but TWICE into his food and filled his belly up to the point he can barely move. As the months go on we can see more parts of Sprocket’s personality and his sneaky side is definitely a feature. We’ll be keeping a closer eye on the cupboard door in future! Sneaky is just one trait though – he’s a very affectionate pup (sometimes overly!) and loves to lick, lick, lick, lick, lick – particularly first thing in the morning to wake you up. When he’s tired he can be a bit of a grump, but loves nothing more than at the end of the day to jump up into your lap, curl up and have a bit of a snuggle and a snooze.

For the first time we’ve taken Sprocket to try dog dancing to see whether it’s something he enjoys. We’ve started teaching Sprocket some fun tricks such as spins and twirls, but what he really loves is standing up on his hind legs. Ever since we taught it to him – it’s all he wants to do! At dog dancing we learned about refining our techniques, back leg awareness and some of the basic building blocks that put together a routine. Dog dancing was fun, but because he’s still just a puppy he only got a little while in before getting a bit tired and distracted – though I reckon he loved all the attention…and treats!

My challenge ahead is keeping up a regular training schedule with Sprocket and making sure we fit the time in each day for at least five minutes. He’s progressing well with his training, but it’ll all be made much easier if we’re consistent. It’s been a few weeks since a proper obedience class, but we have been practising so I look forward to seeing how he goes in our next class.


You can also listen to this update here:

Kevin’s Note: JB is my partner and will be writing a monthly blog sharing his experiences with little Sprocket. Reblogged from jbau.com.au


International Dog Dancers: Tristan Underwood of Canada

Whilst Dances with Dogs is a relatively new and somewhat unknown sport in Australia its popularity worldwide is increasing every year. It’s a fun and creative activity that you can do with your dog that really strengthens the bond between you. Come with me on a journey around the world as I meet some other people just like me, people who love dancing with their dogs! 

First up is Tristan Underwood from Canada. Tristan has been training and showing dogs since he started walking and started competing at age 7. He currently teaches basic and advanced obedience, and Freestyle classes at Underwood’s Dog Obedience with his father, Ray Underwood. Tristan is also an avid kite flyer and appeared on Canada’s Got Talent in 2012.


How did you first hear about Dances with Dogs? What made you want to start and how did you get involved?

My family were apart of the original committee that founded the sport about 25 years ago here in Canada. Being born into the sport, I began training at 6 years old with my mother’s Shetland Sheepdog and entered my first competition at the age of 7.

What is the Dances with Dogs community like in Canada?

Freestyle is known to be a very artistic sport here in North America. Each routine tells a story through either a dance, skit, or combination of both. Each team has their own style and specialized skills.

Do you think that your country brings something unique to the sport?

Canada brings an amount of artistry that differs from everywhere else in the world. I am currently working on a new act, the dog animator, which will be making its debut in the near future.

What is your favourite thing about Dances with Dogs? Why?

My favorite thing is the challenge of always coming up with something new, innovative, and modern.

Tell us about your dancing dog.

Right now, I am currently dancing with my 2-year-old Shoreland Border Collie, Magic. Her and I will be representing Canada at the International Freestyle Competition at Crufts 2015.

What is Magic’s favourite trick?

Magic’s favourite trick has to be rapidly spinning on the spot. It’s her favourite move and always gets her revved up and ready to work.

Do you feel that Dances with Dogs has strengthened your bond with your dog? How?

Of course. The bond is everything when it comes to training. Your dog has to learn to trust and love its handler more than anyone in this world. For me, seeing someone who has a tremendous bond with their dog is a beauty to the eye.

We’re in @DogsLifeMags latest issue. Check it out.

1922101_10152053902343003_621181846_nI was asked a little while ago to contribute to an article for DogsLife about Dances with Dogs and it’s just been published!

You can pick up a copy if you’re in Australia from many pet supply stores including Best Friends Pet Supercentres.