by Kelli McCoy (Senior Instructor with Partners Dog Training School, AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, Certified Trick Dog Instructor - Email)
Dog tricks are fun for everyone!
Teaching your dog to jump through a hoop seems quite silly… Until you see how stinkin’ cute it is! I never would have thought of doing this until I attended a workshop to become a Certified Trick Dog Instructor. The demo dog they had there did just about everything you can think of, including jumping through a hoop. Of course, I went and bought hula hoops as soon as I got home to teach my dogs this trick! Once I taught them how to jump through the hoop and saw how proud they were of themselves I knew it was a good choice.
My little boy Tucker LOVES to jump through the hoop! This is by far one of his favorite tricks, and I have been able to transfer it to many other ticks! Now I am going to help you teach your dog. So, let’s get started! As always grab some yummy, smelly treats, get a hula hoop, and your doggy and here we go!
Let's talk Hoops...
First off, we need to talk about the hula hoop…. If there are beads in there make sure to remove them. The rattle of the beads scares a lot of pups, so removing them is best.
Hold the hula hoop upright and steady on the ground with one hand and with the other hand reach through the hoop with tasty treat and get your dog’s nose interested in it, we are going to use that luring technique again! Slowly move your hand through the hoop and bring your dog with as soon as your dog walks through the hoop give him the treat! As your dog gets more comfortable walking through the hoop add a command with it. It is up to you what you use; personally I use “Hoop” or there are some who say “Hup” or “Jump.” Either way, add the command as you are luring your dog through and as soon as they come out make sure to use the verbal marker, “Yes! Good hoop!”
Once your dog is walking nicely through the hoop slowly bring the hoop up from the ground so Fido needs to take a little jump through the hoop! Remember to mark it with the “Yes!” and a treat! Eventually you will be able to wean out the luring for your dog to jump through the hoop without your assistance!
Take it to the next level!
When your team has mastered the single hoop jump it will be easy to add more complex dimensions to your dog’s act! Using two hula hoops you can do a double hoop sequence, or teach your dog to jump through your circled arms!
Double Hoop Sequence!
Once your dog has mastered jumping through the first hoop, add another! Have your pooch jump through the hoop to one side, walk around the back of you and jump through the other hoop! (In the video at the bottom of this blog you can see how we bridge the two!)
Jump through my arms!
Once your dog learns to jump through the hoop, recognizing a circle as something to jump through becomes easier and can be transferred to other tricks such as this one! If your dog doesn't quite get the concept of jumping through your arms at first.... Wrap your arms around the hula hoop and slowly phase it out!
Here's the tricks in real time!
We hope you enjoy this time with your pup, remember training in any capacity will help you and your dog communicate more effectively as well as make that bond between you and your best friend even stronger! Enjoy your time with your fur-kid.
Meet the star!
Tucker is a 4 year old Cocker Spaniel/Poodle Mix. He is one of my pups and loves to do tricks! His favorite treats.... Hotdogs!