Ever since impressive videos of skateboarding dogs hit the internet, skateboarding has turned to a standard trick that owners try to teach their dogs. If you want to teach a dog to ride a skateboard, there are steps to be taken. A large number of owners start off by using basic methods to lure their dogs onto the board. These include either giving them treats or just pointing at the skateboard and hoping that the dog gets on it. If he/she gets on the board, they get praised and patted like a kid who has managed to ride a bike for the first time without training wheels.
For some natural skateboarding dogs, this crude technique will work. In no time, your dog will become a sensation at parks. For other dogs, you might end up training them to an extent that they sometimes want to ride their board, and at other times, try to eat it. For people who have dogs that aren’t natural skateboarders, this step-by-step plan should be helpful in teaching them how to skateboard. It is important that these steps should be taken with a lot of patience as your dog needs it.
How To Teach A Dog To Ride A Skateboard – Step By Step
Step 1: Consider The Age, Athletic Ability And Breed Of Your Dog
Before you start to teach your dog how to skateboard, it’s very important to assess a handful of things. First of all, you should ensure that this is a trick that your pet is able to do physically. For instance, it is easier for a Pitbull to learn how to skateboard because it has a muscular build – making it easier for this breed to be able to balance on skateboards. As for smaller dogs with wonky knees, they might find it harder to learn this trick.
They could also get hurt easily. While it might be possible for any dog to learn the basics of skateboarding, it is a fact that some breeds are more suited than others. For example, Welsh Corgis possess short legs which are just too little to touch the floor if the dog is on the board.
It is also pertinent that you find out from the veterinarian to ensure your pet is fit, in good shape, and is in good enough health to take part in skateboarding and all the complex tricks you might be planning on teaching him/her. You really don’t want to place a dog that is nervous on a skateboard. You’d prefer a dog who has a positive and agile attitude.
At first, your dog might be nervous about the board, but he’ll ultimately get more comfortable with it. If you own a shy dog that doesn’t like to get accustomed to new objects, it’s important not to force him/her. That might be very detrimental and counterproductive. Ruining the relationship with your dog because of a trick isn’t worth it.
Step 2: Choosing The Right Skateboard
Just like any other athlete, dogs can get injured while using a skateboard. So, it’s very important to choose the best board that provides the most stability. This is to ensure that they’re comfortable and stable on the board. For dogs, the ideal choice is a flat board without a flip at the end because this kind of board will not flip up whenever your dog steps on that part.
Step 3: Make Your Dog Accustomed To A Board
Before commencing the process of teaching your dog the basics of skateboarding, you need to ensure that he/she likes the board. It is advisable that you initially introduce the board to the dog as well as ensuring he/she is okay being close to it. Allow your dog to walk around it, sniff it, and ensure that you give him/her a lot of praise. Once he becomes accustomed to the board being stationary, start to slowly push the board around so as to make the dog comfortable knowing that it isn’t meant to be stationary. Push the skateboard little by little and give your dog a reward whenever he/she notices this.
Step 4: Initially Use A Stationary Board
For this next step, it is very pertinent the board doesn’t move. Put it on carpet or grass to make sure it is stabilized. The goal is to get your dog comfortable enough to continually get on top of the board and you need the board in a stationary position because if there’s movement when your dog is on top of it, he/she might become scared and never try it again.
You can additionally try to get your dog to get on top aerobic steps since they’re a similar height to skateboards but are stationary. The idea behind this is to get your dog acclimated with the muscles and movements that are needed to step on top of something.
Stand at the back of the board and put your arm over with a treat close to your dog’s nose. Gently direct your dog towards the board till he/she climbs on it. As soon as your dog climbs on the board, ensure that you praise him/her for doing this. Give your dog top quality rewards like cheese, boiled chicken, or hot dogs and tell him/her to stay. Also, give him/her more treats when he/she stays put.
It is advisable not to rush through this particular process. Ensure that you work with the pace of your dog so that you don’t scare him/her. Considering your kind of dog, this step might take five minutes to several hours. Do this for two consecutive days.
Step 5: Moving Outside To The Grass
As soon as your dog feels comfortable touching the skateboard and climbing it, it’s time for the next stage. Take the board outside on the grass and try to coax your dog to get on top of it the way he’s been doing inside. When your dog has become completely comfortable with the skateboard, gently begin to move the board little by little. It’s perfectly alright if he is startled and decides to jump off. The board will move a little on the grass, but it won’t move as much as when it’s on the pavement. You need to go slowly during this stage because this movement will surely surprise your dog.
It is important to take a lot of time to get your dog accustomed to that slight movement. When he/she routinely puts his/her front paw on top of the board, you can hold the treat just a bit out of reach so that your dog will have to push forward to be able to reach it. At this point, tell him to push. This is the easiest way to teach your dog to push off without any help. Praise him/her for each little success. This will show your dog just exactly what you want from him/her.
Step 6: Progressing To The Pavement
It is important that you don’t move on to training on the pavement until your dog is comfortable on grass. When you finally move on to the pavement, try to avoid uneven surfaces. To be frank with you, this is the stage that your dog might most likely get injured. So, ensure that you stay close to him/her just in case your help is needed.
This is also the stage where you’ll be able to tell if your dog is destined to be a complete skateboard rider. If he/she is comfortable with the movement, he/she may naturally climb the board for a short ride. Praise your dog and try to keep the whole training session upbeat and fun. It won’t take long before your dog starts to look forward to these sessions and begin to operate the skateboard on his/her own.
- Ensure that you make use of a skateboard ideal and appropriate enough for your dog’s size. This is to ensure that they can comfortably stand on it. It is important to never make use of a skateboard that has a width of 10.5 inches or lower.
- When teaching a pet this trick, ensure that you’re doing it at a confined and safe area. You certainly don’t need your pet to start his/her skateboarding experience at a parking spot where he/she might roll off and get hit by an automobile. Also, when you’re teaching your dog this trick, whether at a park or at the front of your garage, ensure that you’re always very close to the board so you’re perpetually in control. Start training in a safe place (it can be indoors) and gently work your way up to whatever place you plan on training your dog.
- It is also very important to pay the utmost attention to the paws of your dog. If you own a dog who isn’t big on long walks outside or who isn’t that agile, the pads located on their feet may be very soft – meaning the movement of pushing a board might actually hurt them. That’s why it’s significant to keep a watchful eye on their paws.
Teaching a dog a trick as awesome as skateboarding can become a bonding experience on your part and that of the dog. Skateboarding can also be an awesome mental stimulation for dog breeds with high energy levels. Teaching these dogs to climb a skateboard will mentally put them at work. And if you own an energetic dog, this might just be the most ideal way to get him/her tired out.