Back up and Treat

09/02/2022

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BACK UP AND TREAT

Back Up and Treat is a simple game that you can use when you need to get away from something quickly, for example where another dog is walking towards you and you want to back up to a driveway or to the nearest wider space. You continue to face the scary thing as you back away but your dog turns away from it to face you. It is perfect for situations where you want to avoid your dog even seeing the scary thing.

You will need some of your dog’s favourite, easy to eat treats. Start in your home or garden without distractions.

With a treat in your hand and your dog beside you, walk forwards a few steps. Then hold the treat in front of their nose and quickly move backwards away from them. As your dog follows the food and turns to face you, mark and reward them. Repeat until they are turning and running with you as soon as you move backwards. As you get good at this, you can remove the food from your hand so that your dog responds to your movement and not just the food.

Practice first in a straight line and then introduce changes of direction such as moving in a right angle so that you can guide your dog out of the path of oncoming danger. Practice in different environments and vary the rewards so that you can use this pattern game even if you forget your treat bag!

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