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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys! I am always looking for new ways to tire out Jax. :wave: I have an old scooter I ride around my property, and he constantly tries to nip my heels and pull at my pants AS I'm riding. He also has a tendency to try and cross in front of the scooter, or my brother's longboard. So we've been trying to take it slow with him, but how do
I get him to stop biting/tugging at my heels and paints, and also to stop crossing in front of me? He seems to have a strong herding instinct from what I've seen, lol.

The only other time Jax consistently nips my heels is when I'm going down the stairs. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Fast moving objects = prey.

First, is your intention for him to just run alongside? If so, try to do this on grass/dirt and not cement or asphalt as prolonged running on hard surfaces can hurt joints (much like for runners/joggers). Is Jax a puppy? You want to avoid prolonged forced running if your dog is a year or younger for the same reason (harsh on joints). Granted, running is fine, but not forced running where the dog is encouraged to run at a certain pace for some distance.

I would get a bowl of good treats and bring out the scooter. Put Jax on a lead and bring him out. Have someone else just lightly move the scooter and while this happens give Jax a treat. If he can't focus on the treats move him further away and try again. You want to be able to move the scooter, him to watch, and not react (trying to get to the scooter or bite it). So move the scooter just a little and give a treat. Do this again. And again. Then move the scooter a little more and same thing. Move Jax closer. Keep it easy, short sessions. No more than 10 min each.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow I thought I replied, but I suppose it didn't go through. Jax is still a puppy but I'm trying to work him up to being run alongside a scooter when he's fully grown. I let him run off leash along side me so he could choose the pace he wanted.

Thank you, I shall try desensitizing him with treats. I need to do the same with my brother's long board. :)
 

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Well good thinking. Depending on his size you can look in to bikejoring and scootering too. Really tires dogs out.

Honestly, I would still be very hesitant in trying to get him to run, even off leash. Off leash is the potential to run off, chase cats, etc. Believe me, we regularly encounter a lot of distractions on our rides and with cars and such it is important she is on leash unless we are on specific trails. It's not always her behavior (I know she'll stay near me) but the dangers that I run into all the time (loose dogs I have to chase off, drivers not paying attention, etc.) Even off leash the puppy is trying to keep up with you and will run harder to keep up and keep going so off leash isn't all that much better as far as forced running.

The basics of learning to run alongside the scooter can and should be started with walking, which is fine. You can teach him right and left, slow down, stop, leave it, on by, etc. That's a lot to learn. Get him to learn to walk calmly while you push/ride the scooter really slow and work on directions and such. Then once he is old enough, build up to running. Having that initial foundation is nice though because otherwise you are on a wild ride. But it's your pup so if you want to run him, that's your decision. I just encourage you to research into this.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Would it be worth trying to jor with him? He is a schipperke, so he is going to only weigh 15-18 pounds max- though he has SO much energy. Also somewhere down the line I want to more than likely adopt a retired alaskan husky as a recreational sled dog and try canicross, bikejoring, scootering -pulling sports. Training Jax to some degree will at least get me started down that road perhaps? :)

I know I would like him to run along side me, but would it even be safe for him to pull? I'm not even sure if he would enjoy pulling. :p I have done a lot of research on the pulling sports because I am very eager to try them out, I just assumed all this time that I couldn't do anything like that with Jax.
 

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Pulling might be difficult. I know small dogs can and do pull, however the wheels need to have a larger diameter and it could get expensive trying to accommodate his size (special size harness, etc). Plus with only one of him it might be difficult. Maybe canicross? About any dog could do that and you would be able to teach the general mushing commands and encourage pulling but without stressing him out too much.

However, I know LOTS of small dogs can and do weight pull. I also know Schipperkes in general enjoy Agility and Rally-O. Agility is fast paced and he would probably have a blast. Rally-O is a lot like Obedience, so slow paced and more about training. But training a dog for Rally-O is great practice in training and communicating with a dog.

In all honesty, I would do some kind of sport with him just because if you plan to get another dog in the future then everything you learn now with Jax can be applied to your future dog. Learning the foundations to sports is pretty simple and foundation exercises go across the board in all different kinds of venues. The same training rules that apply to teaching a dog to pull could apply to teaching basics of Agility (attention, focus, drive, etc.)

I too would love to get an Alaskan Husky. Either that or a racing bred Siberian. So much fun! If you want to get practice, teach Jax the commands and get used to saying them. I use "Let's go, gee, haw, easy, whoa" with my dog. Took me forever to get used to remembering to say "gee, haw" to her. Nowadays she will kind of stop near junctions if I haven't said anything, then I remember to tell her which direction (bad owner!). It applies to everything now. We jog, hike, bikejor, scooter, etc. and I use the same commands.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's awesome! Yeah, I think I'll just have him walk on the side, I know there are all sorts of attachments for dogs to walk on the side of things, and I can try canicross and teach him mushing commands to get used to that. :)

Jax is actually in an agility class right now! The instructor calls him the circus dog, haha. He is getting used to/through the equipment very well, but it's the in between that seems to be the hardest. For example, while we were waiting our turn to go through the tunnel, he starts trying to bite the leash, play with other dogs (it looks kind of like lunging because he so desperately wants to play with them), and then he goes into watch dog mode and has to look at everything around him, and I'm just a distant memory. I am hoping he will gain focus with age, but that is definitely his weak point as of now. Otherwise, he seems to love going through the obstacles.
 

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Very cool! If my dog was younger and not so scared of the teeter I would love to do agility (I might still take a foundations class with her).

I know the downtime can be frustrating with such a high intensity kind of sport. I know people who try working with their dog (eye contact, paw, targets, etc.) to keep their dog focused on them and not causing a disturbance. It can be hard though!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would completely recommend a foundation class! In my class, they do everything in baby steps. Right now, our dogs are walking over little plastic bars to get used to walking over obstacles with that texture. The tunnel they went through was much shorter than what would be seen at a trial. I think if you found the right training facility, they would ease her slowly into the teeter, with having it very low at first, and eventually leading into the actual teeter. Either way it helps you form a closer bond with your dog, and if it doesn't work out, worse case scenario you still gain a better sense of focus and working with your dog, and learn fun commands like touch. :)

I try having him do commands in between down time, but it feels like his attention span isn't there. I have tried bringing a toy, but he shows no interest in them at the agility facility. I'm considering trying to buy a toy exclusively for agility classes and see if that gets his attention. Either way definitely a work in progress!
 
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