Purpose: In this Rock Back Sit-Push Forward Stand variation the REAR feet stay still while the front feet move. This is different than a Tuck Sit-Kick Back Stand where the front feet stay still and the rear feet move. This is an important distinction that should not be overlooked. This graphic shows the handler motion used to influence the dog’s movement, and breaks down the movement strategy the dog should be implementing.
Equipment: Sitting Platform, Rubber Bowl or Raised Foot Target.
Targets: At this Foundation Level this is mostly a body awareness exercise. The most important thing that’s happening is we are reinforcing the pup’s attempt at controlling their rear legs.
Later this will become a rear limb strengthening exercise, as keeping the rear feet still loads the rear end more, requiring the hip stabilizers, gluteals and hamstrings to power on and push the body forward. Also, during the eccentric phase (return back down to a sit), the quads and proximal hamstrings have to control the speed of descent… which is really the hardest part and most important piece of the movement. This can be seen in the Rock Back Sit-Push Forward Stand: Beginner video
NOTE: If using a verbal cue when teaching this behavior (which is not required at all), it’s critical to have a separate verbal cue for the two different types of sit-stand motions.
But first things first.
Watchpoints: I included in this video some content I might have otherwise edited out, so you can see the early stages of fatigue. Remember, fatigue can be physical and/or mental. Sometimes we think of fatigue as “shaking” or “failure of the muscle” or something that would look extreme. THAT’S NOT THE CASE!
Fatigue signals are subtle in the beginning, soon afterwards the dog will start to…
- Move more quickly/slowly
- Try something else
- Take treats roughly/Hard mouth
I make a point of pointing those things out in this video so your attention is drawn to Ron Burgundy’s body language. I should have stopped at :40… But asked for a few more repetitions because I was focused on getting “one more rep”. I’m glad I stopped when I did… And didn’t push it further.
We can’t be perfect all the time, but once I know better… I need to do better.
I hope you find the second half of the video as helpful as the first.
- Follow a tossed cookie
- Follow a lure in your hand