Interested in training your dog to play a great game of soccer? The trick is to train them while interacting with fun.
Here are five steps on how to train your dog to play soccer.
STEP 1: UNDERSTAND THE SHAPING METHOD
Shaping is a training method that allows you to gradually build behavior until it is instilled. For example, if you were to train a cat to turn in a circle with the shaping method, you will need to move the light to the left, then slightly turn, then halfway, and reach a complete circle. Short shaping will help you train your dog to play soccer.
STEP 2: USE A CLICKER
This plastic training tool is used to make a clicking noise to mark the moment when the dog performs as desired. When the dog sits during his training, the dog will know that sitting will give him a reward. Clicking will provide a faster way of praise and provide a distinctive sound that is easy to comprehend.
The clicker relies on timing. If you are training your dog to touch the ball, then you must click the moment the dog touches the ball. Be sure to practice your timing prior to training with this tool.
Find a friend and grab a soccer ball. Ask your friend to slowly bounce the ball and click every time the ball hits the ground. This will give you enough practice on your timing. After you click on your dog’s action, you must give him a treat right away.
STEP 3: INTRODUCE THE BALL
Training your dog to play soccer will require a reward when the dog is looking at the ball. Choose a soccer ball that can handle rough play. Head to a quiet room with little to no distractions and have your dog look at the ball. If your dog is not interested in the ball nor the treats, move the ball or catch his attention.
STEP 4: MAKE THE CHALLENGE HARDER
Once your dog has earned a few clicks, they must now touch the ball with their paw. The “paws up” trick will encourage the dog to put his paw on the ball. The longer the dog is holding the ball, continue to reward with treats. From there, learn to build up on the ball and work until your dog uses both paws to finish the command.
STEP 5: INCREASE THE CHALLENGE TO MOVING THE BALL
For this step, don’t lick and reward the dog just because they touched the ball. Be sure to make your task exact or else they will be confused with the move. Allow the dog to push it and receive a click and reward. Even if the moves are slight, this step can be increased later on.
Follow these five easy steps on how to train your dog to play soccer, and you will be playing in no time.
Got any tips for us? Let us know in the comments below!