Thursday, September 8, 2016

How to Train a Bernese Mountain Dog to Jump Over a Hurdle

The Bernese mountain dog is a large breed that is easy to train. Although this dog has a naturally easygoing temperament the American Kennel Club states on its website that the breed benefits from agility training, such as jumping over hurdles. This is because it is a hard-working, intelligent dog that requires mental stimulation to keep it content. Train your Bernese to jump over a hurdle in your own backyard using positive reinforcement, consistency and patience.



    Introduce the stick that you intend to use for the hurdle. Use a broom handle or bamboo stake. Allow your dog to sniff the stick. Place it on the ground and reward your dog for showing interest in it by feeding it a special treat, such as small piece of chicken or cheese.


    Encourage your Bernese to step over the stick by standing next to the dog with the stick on the ground in front of you. Toss a treat so it lands on the ground on the far side of the stick. Give your Bernese lots of verbal praise when it successfully steps over the stick. Repeat this exercise until your dog is comfortable with stepping over the stick.


    Elevate the hurdle slightly by placing a brick under each end of the stick. Again throw treats over the stick and introduce the command "jump" when the dog jumps over the hurdle. Give lots of verbal praise and do not become frustrated if the dog knocks the hurdle over. Repeat the exercise for five minutes every day until your Bernese learns to jump when you give the command "jump."


    Progress with hurdle training by elevating the stick to a higher level. Ensure that you keep it at a level that your dog can jump comfortably.

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