Learning how to jump comes automatically to some dogs, while others call for a little extra effort. It is rare for a dog that doesn’t prefer to go for a ride. However, some dogs can feel nervous and nauseated while others usually enjoy traveling. If you have a dog that doesn’t like to get into the truck on its own, you might be in trouble. For smaller dogs, like a chihuahua, it is easier for you to pick them and carry them into the truck.
While, if you have a 60-pound hound it doesn’t sound like such a great idea. Normal tasks like getting your pet to a vet’s clinic or any other place can spin into a squabble for you. Teaching your dog to jump into a truck is not a tough task to accomplish, it mainly comprises of, a lot of patience and repetition.
It also depends on the breed and other natural prospects of your dog. Not all dogs are capable of jumping, some dogs just built that way. The body proportion of a dog also plays an integral role in taking that bounce. Some dogs can be easy to train while others may take more time.
Steps To Follow While Training
Fortunately, even if he cannot hop and come onto the truck on its own, it is achievable to teach them. In this method, we’ll first use a prop to train the dog and then move on to training with the truck. It requires a basic routine of a few steps, which you need to repeat until he learns to jump on your command.
- Find Motivation
Figure out early if your dog gets excited to see a snack or he prefers to play with his favorite toy. Whatever he prefers, use that as a reward during the sessions, it will keep him motivated. Some dogs may be easy to train while others may take more time, but if you stay persistent, you can surely train him. Training your hound to jump is a gradual step by step process. Forcing your dog to do something will not benefit you.
- Use Verbal Commands
Using verbal commands like “stay”, “stop” and “sit” from the start is important. Another essential fact, do not change commands once your dog learns to react to them, otherwise, your dog will not learn the commands. Once your dog gets acquainted with the commands, it becomes simpler for your pet to understand what you need him to do.
- Practice With Prop
Select a toy or any prop and use it as a target. Put the prop in an open space so that your dog can interact with it. Place it in a neutral room with no distractions, so that your dog can focus on the prop. Click and treat him with his favorite toy for interacting with the prop a little, like, sniffing it or even observing it from a distance or walking past it, this will encourage him.
In the beginning, you need to experiment and see what’s working for him based on his interests. You can find plenty of ways to train your dog, what works with you and your dog completely depends on your dog. It interrelates the training time of your dog with how focused your dog is.
- Be Patient And Repeat
Repeat the first step, pick up the prop which stole your dog’s attention and place it at a different position in the same room, and wait for your dog to interact with it again. Once he does that, praise him verbally with “good job” and reward him for making efforts. Gradually increase the level of difficulty for your dog by moving the prop further away gradually, don’t rush it.
- Elevate The Prop
In the next step put the prop on some height, make sure the level top is big enough so that your dog can stand on it. Now encourage your dog to step on it, pat on the prop, once he reaches there, treat him and praise him. Usually, you just move the prop from the first position to a different position which is a little further away from it, in this way the dog follows the prop and keeps jumping to the new position.
- Increase The Level
All the above steps used to train your dog are with the help of a prop. Gradually increase the height of the prop to a reasonable level and encourage him to make the jump while pointing towards the prop. Use commands like “jump” when you encourage him to take that step. Repeat these steps several times and do not forget to take a break in between while training. Once your dog reacts to your command, reward him.
Dogs that have not been socialized much, could have anxiety issues. Be patient with your dog, do not force him, it is always the least effective path.
- Practice With Truck
Once your dog learns to “jump” on your command, it’s time to move on to our next step, which is to start the training with the truck. In this step, we will bring the dog closer to the truck once when the engine is off and then again when the engine is turned on. Our purpose here is to make the dog familiar with the engine sound so that when we start the truck he does not get scared of the engine noise and remains calm.
- Check Your Dog’s Capabilities
For some dogs, it will be natural to go straight to jumping in the truck from the ground, but with some dogs, it can be challenging. Now position your truck in such a way that jumping inside is more like a long step. If your truck is very high for small height dogs, place a small step stool, so they can hop on easily.
Before moving on to the next step, it is vital to know about the physical capabilities of your dog. If he’s hesitating or trying to jump but couldn’t, your dog may be injured or have some joint issues. It is important to know that if your dog is physically capable of getting into the truck on his own. Check up on his health.
- Increase The Difficulty Level
It’s time to set the standard bar a little high by slowly increasing the difficulty level for your dog. In this step, move your truck a little further from the previous position and encourage your dog to jump into it. Keep it a little simple at first, so that he can jump into the truck easily and reward your dog for trying without hesitation.
Repeat these steps several times throughout the day with brief breaks in between. Bring him closer and sit next to him during the breaks, give him treats, and pat his back, show some affection, which will build his confidence.
- Load Up
The last step is to put a treat at the back of your truck, from where he can smell it and see it. Command your dog to “load up” while pointing towards the treat. It will reward the dog immediately for his efforts.
If your dog hesitates and doesn’t jump, do not panic or lose patience. If you lose your calm and start panicking or screaming, it will make your dog nervous which will set him back and you’ll lose all the progress that you have made. Teaching your dog to jump into the truck can be time-consuming, but trust me, it’s worth it, once he learns to do it. Repetition is the key.
- If your dog can already jump but is only scared to hop onto the truck, this method is for them. The idea behind this method is to lure the dog into the truck.
- Take a piece of his favorite food item, bring it close to his face so he can get a sniff, and lure him to get inside the vehicle. Don’t move your hands too fast out, he may lose interest. Do it with a slow-paced hand. This way most of the dogs will follow the lure and get into the truck. It’s the treat that will lure him to hop on, once that is done, give him the treat or place it on the seat.
- You must follow through these steps carefully and call him to heel and rub his back every time at the end of each session. While you’re doing all of that, use verbal commands like “load up” or “jump” so that whenever he hears that command he is ready to bounce onto the truck. Use this command repetitively while training, it’s important.
- Sit in the truck with the dog for some time, so that he can get a hang of it and feels comfortable inside it. Do not forget to praise him with “good job” or “well done”. One can’t say how much time your dog will take to learn this, it depends upon the time of practice and your dog’s temperament, as every dog is different. But if you follow all the steps properly and every day, it will take around a month for a normal dog to jump into the truck on its own.
The Good Link Process
Understanding: Some dogs can jump but just refuses to get on the truck or any vehicle. This could be because of several reasons, motion sickness, injury, joint pains, or maybe his fear of trucks or the sound of the engine, maybe he hasn’t been socialized enough.
Unsteady surface issues: If the seat or the surface where the dog has to jump is unstable and moves, the dog may find it difficult to balance himself, which is why he might hesitate to jump. Resolve this issue by making him jump on the prop on a steady surface first and then on a shaky surface, in this way he will get used to the unsteadiness and also will learn to balance. Practice this step first and then try again with the truck.
Making your dog comfortable: Build a good association with your dog by spending time inside the truck with him. Open all the doors and windows so that he can see an escape route if he feels claustrophobic. Place delicious food items everywhere in the truck while he is still inside so that he moves around a little.
Spend more time inside the truck: Try to spend more and more time inside the truck with your dog, so he gets familiar with the inside of the truck. Give his meal inside the truck can be a good idea too. Do it first while keeping the engine off and then again with the engine on, this way he will get used to the engine sound as well and don’t get scared of it.
Let’s Talk About The Safety
Safety is the utmost important thing to remember before you start training. Jumping into the truck can be dangerous and potentially injure your dog while doing so.
Use some fluffy mat or cushion on the back of the truck so that your dog doesn’t get hurt. Also, use a rubber mat to have something to grip onto so that your dog doesn’t slip and get injured. Sometimes your dog cannot control his speed on its own and can get injured directly on the face.
Protecting the joints and ligaments of your dog is crucial because they carry all the pressure while jumping. Jumping can put a lot of strain on your dog’s joints, so it is vital to take care of them. Experts recommend that it is not suitable for dogs under the age of one year to jump, as it can seriously damage their growing body.
Use Fun Tricks To Train
- Shower them with love. Kiss them, dogs do so much to show their affection it is always good if you reciprocate those feelings back. You can also teach them to kiss on command, yes it’s possible.
- Some dog owners train their dogs to bark on their command, which sounds cool and impressive. This trick is quite advanced though for any dog to learn, it can take a lot of time to teach him this trick but it sure is impressive. If you can master this trick, to bark at the command, you can train him to do anything.
- “Shake Hands” is another trick that is the cutest and simpler for dogs to learn. It’s one of the easiest tricks to teach a dog, your dog will paw at you naturally if he needs something. When you put a fistful of treats in front of his face, he will naturally paw at your hand to get those treats. Once they paw, use the command “Shake,” and shake his paw, repeat it several times throughout the day.
- Such tricks are used to build a communication link between the dog and its owner. These small steps will help you achieve your goal while training him to do almost anything. Hence, these tricks play an important role in the entire process of training.
Can All Dogs Jump?
Unfortunately, not all dogs can jump. Some dogs should never be involved in such activities that require jumping. There are dog breeds who cannot jump naturally as the ration of the dogleg and spine is not favorable.
While training dogs can get injured or may hurt their spine. So a dog’s health and safety are the most crucial thing while training him for literally anything. To jump, a dog needs a leg length equal to the distance between his front and back legs, make sure to check that. Your dog’s age is another factor that you should consider before training him, these elements will help you and save you from jeopardizing your dog’s health.
Best Breeds At Jumping
Border collies and spaniels are best in participating in any kind of jumping activities while Labrador Retrievers make a pleasant companion as working dogs. German Shepherds are considered good guard dog, also they are excellent in all kinds of physical activities. Many dog breeds and mixed breed dogs can be easily trained to jump with some practice.
There is a consensus which says the more you train your dog, the faster he will learn. Training daily requires more teaching sessions, which improve his performance. During training sessions, if your dog is still scared to hop onto the truck, take him for a small ride around, make him feel comfortable by giving him his favorite toy. After taking small rides for a few times, he will start feeling more comfortable. Also, make sure you check with your local authorities as in some states transporting any live animal at the back of the vehicle or pickup truck, unsecured is considered illegal. The last thing to remember is, our primary motive is to teach the dog to get into the truck so you can take trips together and enjoy the ride with your beloved dog.