Many of us want to have our dog along with us when we’re with our horses. Or maybe you’ve day dreamed of doing something with them together?
I will talk later about certain ground rules a dog has to understand around horses (how he can act, where he can be…) in another post or two. For now, let’s talk about loading up! This is a great next step if your dog is not aggressive, etc towards horses and listens fairly well.
I just taught a german shepherd I have for training this command and it can be really fun and super useful. Ok. Time to simplify: it’s similar to “stay”. I teach my dogs that when I say a word (I use “load up” – in German “hopp”), I want them to jump on to the nearest, ideal object. Their job is then to stay there until I give them a release word. (Learn all about teaching stay and a release command in my DVD.)
We want to say “load up” as little as possible when we ask. If after two times they still don’t load up, just take them to the pedestal or stump. If they jump off out of excitement or boredom, simply lead them back to their load up spot. This way, they learn that load up means both jumping up on something and staying there. It’s my go-to command for my dog when I’m at the ranch! Loads up on logs, pedestals, stumps, chairs… They can even be on a barrel in the middle of the arena! (Or on random logs on walks. It’s a great way to keep them entertained and attentive!)