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Get on Up Challenge

by | 10 Jan, 2021

I heard recently that most people abandon their New Year resolutions before mid-January.

So before we get there, I thought I’d post a January Challenge to motivate us and keep us training fun things. Have a look:

Get the theme?

The challenge revolves around doing things with your dog on one object.

Teach your dog to do the following exercises using a range of objects:

  • Put his front paws on the object and stay there for 5 seconds
  • Put his rear paws on the object and stay there for 5 seconds
  • Put all four paws on the object and stay there for 5 seconds

That’s easy, right?

So use at least four different types of objects:

  • Stable
    • think table, pavement, aerobic step – anything solid
  • Unstable
    • think mattress, couch cushions, gym stability equipment, yourself
  • Rounded
    • logs are good, or pipes, rollers – get creative
  • Slanted
    • you can prop a board at an angle (anything up to vertical), use a ramp – look around and see what you can find

You can decide on the width, length and height of the object. If your dog finds all of that easy, maybe reduce one of the dimensions. But BE CAREFUL – this challenge is NOT about turning your dog into a circus elephant!

Got all these paw behaviours on four types of object?

Now add duration – one full chorus of James Brown’s ‘Get on Up/Sex Machine’ song (that’s about 20 seconds – it’s a long time!

Now let’s do something active with all four paws on the object:

  • Spin clockwise and counter clockwise
  • Do a sit-stand-down-stand-sit sequence
    • Can you do it with the front paws stationary?
    • And how about the rear paws?

It’s important that you don’t do these exercises fast – slow deliberate movement is much more beneficial!


And let’s have some fun!

Here’s a summary/checklist of all the exercises:

You can download a copy of the checklist and some more information here:


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Liz is a Certified Trick Dog Trainer and offers private and small class dog training. She uses force-free training methods and believes in developing the handler's skills as much as the dog's. She has worked with many different breeds, ages and ability of dogs. Liz doesn't use a cookie-cutter approach to training – each dog and their human get what they need to meet their goals.