Learning to Walk Backwards




Adolescent dogs don’t often have very good body awareness. They are growing rapidly and it takes time and practice to develop controlled movement.

We can help our dogs as they are growing by teaching them to move their bodies with skill. One activity which really helps is teaching your dog to walk backwards.

There are many ways to teach your dog to reverse. One way involves using treat placement to set your dog up to walk backwards onto a raised platform. In a quiet environment start by standing or sitting with your legs apart. Place a treat on the ground just behind you. Let your dog move forward to get the treat and place a small platform behind them. Wait for them to reverse backwards from underneath you, marking when they step on the platform. Reward by placing a treat in the same spot again to set them up for the next repetition.

Soon your dog will realise that they are being marked and rewarded whenever they feel the platform under their back feet. You can lengthen the distance away it is, so that they continue to walk backwards until they find the platform.

In time you will be able to add a cue to walk backwards and fade out the target so your dog can do it anywhere.

As always build up in small increments and keep it fun for your dog.

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