I get asked all the time about Bentley's tricks and how she learned to do them so I thought I would share with you this very easy and fun trick. Once your dog knows his basic commands, this trick should come with ease. However remember to be patient with your dog as you should be with every new command or trick you introduce him to. Do not get angry or frustrated and work with your dog. This should be a fun activity for both you and your dog.
Go out and buy a hula hoop! I got mine from Target for about six dollars but I know Walmart, Toys R Us, or any sporting goods store carry them as well.
Note: Your dog might be scared of the hula hoop at first especially since it might be a new object for many dogs. Bentley was a little put off by it, but that's nothing some encouraging words and enticing treats can't cure. If your dog does have issues with the hula hoop do your best to reassure him that it isn't a threat and instead associate it with fun and playtime. Put it on the floor and play with your dog and his favorite toy. Let him investigate and smell the hula hoop. When he gets close to it, praise him and show him it's not something that should frighten him. Start lifting the hula hoop up and praising your dog continuing to reassure him that this object is a good thing. Keep playing with his favorite toy while holding the hula hoop. Let the hula hoop touch him and continue with playtime until you feel he is 100% comfortable around it.
Once your dog is comfortable around the hula hoop you're ready. You may wish to stand up or remain sitting, whichever position is more comfortable for you, I prefer standing. Now extend your arm and hold the hula hoop out to your side with it touching the ground and have your dog sit in front of it. With your opposite hand, hold a treat out on the other side of the hula hoop and encourage your dog to walk through it. Do this a few times and reward your dog.
Now that your dog can comfortably walk through it's time to raise the hula hoop off the ground a little and encourage your dog to walk through in the same way as before. Start raising up the hula hoop more and more so that he has to jump now instead of walk through it. Keep practicing until he no longer needs treats as motivation. You can raise up the hula hoop as high as your dog can manage.
Once your dog has this trick down you can incorporate it into his playtime as it is a great form of exercise.
It doesn't get easier than that. Now go out and buy that hula hoop!