There are plenty of ways in which you can help your dog stay in good shape. Dogs, depending on their breed, need frequent physical activity. Walks, jogs, swimming, and more can all help them keep a healthy, manageable weight.
There are some other activities that might not jump immediately to mind but can be just as viable. One of those involves having your dog jumping rope. But there are a lot of questions that bear asking before doing so.
Can Dogs Do Jump Rope?
So, can you use a jump rope with a dog? Absolutely! By training your dog to jump rope, you can provide a fun way for it to stay physically active. Of course, it requires a little bit of training for your dog to learn to do so safely.
It involves implementing a command, typically “jump” or “jump rope.” You can choose any word or short phrase that you want your dog to associate with the act. Just make sure that you are consistent in its use so that you don’t confuse your dog.
Make sure that you allow the dog to mature out of the puppy stages; any earlier, it may not have achieved the proper growth, having the strong muscles, bones, and ligaments necessary to prevent it from suffering injuries.
There are any number of ways in which you can use the rope. You can use it together, but the best method may be to tie one end to an inanimate object and hold the other end yourself. This way, you can have greater control over the rope and give the dog the space that it needs to learn successfully.
How High Can a Dog Safely Jump?
When it comes to using a jump rope with a dog, you want to ensure that the dog is going to be safe each step of the way. Determining the right jumping height can depend not only on the breed of the dog but also on your dog individually.
A good rule of thumb is that most dogs can jump anywhere between one and three times their height. For the larger breeds out there, their max is roughly six inches or so. That said, a fit, healthier, younger dog might be able to go higher.
You can work with your dog on jumping height if it really concerns you, but it shouldn’t be an issue. Just make sure to watch your dog as he jumps rope to ensure that it is safe. There are some training methods that can allow your dog to jump even higher than the rule of thumb as well.
What Does Jump Roping Do?
There are a plethora of reasons to implement jump roping into your dog’s exercise routine. The simplest is that it gives the dog the physical activity that it requires to stay fit and as healthy as it can be.
Of course, there are further benefits. It is more efficient cardio, enhances balance, improves coordination, improves their power, boosts their bone density, increases agility, and gives them total-body strengthening.
Though walks are still a good idea—they are both healthy and calming—jump roping is a great way to keep your dog physically fit. You can do it in your home or in a larger backyard space. It just takes some simple training to get the message through.
Direct Training Method
The method of choice when teaching your dog to jump rope is called the direct method. First and foremost, make sure that you work on the “jump” command. Getting them to jump is important and they need to follow the command with regularity. Make sure to give them a treat anytime that they successfully jump.
Next, it is time to bring in the rope. You can tie the rope to your fence or a post, grabbing the other end. Move the rope back and forth so that your dog can get used to having it move. At first, it will seem apprehensive, but it will get used to it before long.
It is now time to start the revolutions (almost). Swing the rope over their head, stopping before it hits their legs. From here, you can issue the jump command. Start to implement a full revolution, bringing the rope under their legs.
Do this several times, issuing the command when it comes time. With repetition, your dog should become familiar with the action. With some breeds, you may not even have to issue the command.
All Together Method
There is another method that works as well. Instead of leaving the dog to jump on its own, you can join in. Make sure that it has the “jump” command down first. Start the dog jumping, joining in yourself. You can even get to a point where your jumping signals to them that it is time to jump.
Put the rope on the ground nearby so that the dog can get used to it. While you both jump, start introducing revolutions. It may take time for your dog to get used to those revolutions, but it will look to you for the cue to jump.
Keep practicing over and over again. There will be hiccups initially, especially with timing. But before long, the movements should become much more fluid. Be sure to reward your dog whenever it gets your command right, and it will eventually become a great, fun trick.
Jumping rope is a great way not only to give your dog the physical activity that it requires but can also involve a little bit of training as well. The dog may be apprehensive at first but will eventually come around and even enjoy doing it.
With patience, you can teach your dog to jump rope. It is a unique, fun way to keep your dog active. Just make sure that you use positive reinforcement every step of the way because negative reactions can stunt the learning process.