Dogs That Crawl

by Catherine Holden Robinson
    If your dog can lie down, you can teach him to crawl.

    If your dog can lie down, you can teach him to crawl.

    Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    It is said you must learn to crawl before you walk, and the same holds true for your dog. During the early days and weeks of his life he will wiggle and crawl about in his birthing nest. He'll learn to romp with his litter mates; he'll walk, then run. That cute little crawl becomes little more than a memory, but with a little training, your dog can be crawling again.

    Grab the Treats

    Dogs respond to certain sounds -- the sound of your voice calling his name, the rattle of a leash before a long walk and the much-loved noise the treat bag makes as you open it. Get them ready, because your dog can learn to crawl. If your dog doesn't already know the "down" command, you'll need to start there. Give the "sit" command. Once your dog sits, take a treat and hold it in your hand. Tell him to lie down. Allow him to smell the coveted treat, but don't give it to him just yet. Ease him toward the ground, using the treat as your guide. His head will follow the treat. Move the treat slowly along the floor until your dog lies down. Praise him and offer the treat as a reward.

    The Crawl

    Once your dog has learned to lie down on command, teaching him to crawl isn't difficult. He's already had one treat, and you know he wants another one. Hold the treat in your hand, while your dog retains the "down" position. Drag the treat toward you. If your dog crawls, reward him. If he doesn't, resume the "down" position and try again until he crawls. Repeat the crawl training, but don't overdo it. Crawling uses muscles your dog might not normally utilize. Similar to a human who hits the gym too hard that first time, your dog needs to build these muscles.

    Building Strength

    Once your dog has learned to crawl, practice using the crawl command. This will help your dog build strength in his legs and torso. Crawling is used in agility training, and your dog might enjoy playing in a tunnel, especially if a treat is awaiting him at the other end. Your dog loves spending time with you. You have a life away from your dog. Your dog has you. Training provides an opportunity for you to bond with your dog, and a well-trained dog is a more enjoyable canine companion.

    Exercise for Good Health

    Most dogs can be taught to crawl, and crawling is good exercise. When your dog engages in healthy exercise and builds lean muscle, his overall health improves. A healthy dog with a healthy weight has the best opportunity for a long and happy life.

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Catherine Holden Robinson is the award-winning author of "The House of Roses," and "Becoming Mona Lisa", published by Black Rose Writing, the creator of the blog, Tommy's Tool Town, and has contributed articles as an animal advocate. Robinson resides in upstate New York, surrounded by all things shiny.

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