November 2019 Training Challenge: Teach Your Pet to Army Crawl

Since last month’s challenge was more involved (awesome job to everyone who participated!), I figured we should take it easy on you for November. So this month’s training challenge involves trick training:

Teach your pet to army crawl

Professional army crawler! GIF by Nebraska Humane Society.

There are a few different ways to teach this but I prefer to start out luring since it’s typically the easiest. Check out our Facebook Live video for a visual demo on how to teach an army crawl. Below are the steps:

  1. Ask your pet to lie down on a soft surface (it’ll be difficult on slippery surfaces). Put a treat in your fist and place your fist on the ground between your pet’s paws. They’re likely now smelling the treat!
  2. Slowly move your fist forward along the ground. Pretend there’s a magnet in both your fist and your pet’s nose: the two should stay connected. You can only accomplish that connection by moving slowly. 
  3. Frequently mark and treat your pet for following the treat. For many pets that means treating the stretch forward first, then working your way up to treating for one foot forward, then two feet forward, etc. 
  4. Lure your pet (steps 1-3) 5 times. If they do well at least 4 out of 5 times move to the next step. 
  5. Without a treat in your hand, move your hand along the ground as you did before. If your pet follows, great! Mark and treat then repeat this step 4 more times. If your pet does not follow, go back to step 4. 
  6. Congratulations! You’ve finished the fluency stage with a pronounced hand signal. You can either stop here, change the hand signal, add a verbal cue, or proof the behavior. That’s up to you! 

Now what?

  • Have fun training! The great thing about trick training is that there’s no pressure; it’s not a big deal if your pet doesn’t learn this particular trick. Just have fun with it!
  • Post your pet doing an army crawl on our Facebook page! We love to see videos of your pets doing fun stuff. 
  • Need help troubleshooting? Email us at [email protected] to set up a quick phone consult. These are just $1/minute.

Happy training!