Have you ever bent over to help your puppy untangle a front leg from his leash, and then you drop everything you are carrying? Well, there is a command to “Fix It”!
Command #20 – "Fix It"
“Fix It” means your dog must untangle the leash from their legs.
When to use: When the dog has tangled their leg in the leash.
Create an environment for success by ensuring your puppy is in a quiet space, with minimal distractions, on a leash, and that you have plenty of small yummy treats easily accessible.
If possible, have your puppy sitting on a raised object, such as a training box. If you do not have a training box, you can sit on the floor.
Tell Flower to “Sit.” Be sure to praise, “Yes! Good Sit.”
Place the leash behind your puppy’s front leg (only one leg!) down by the paw.
Gently and steadily pull the leash with both hands. Pull with one hand on each side of her leg, directly towards you (not up) while you give the command, “Flower, Fix It.”
When the leash slips from under her paw or Flower raises her leg to release the leash, praise, “Yes! Good Fix It,” and give her a treat.
Again, command, “Flower Sit,” and repeat Steps 3 through 5 above.
Once Flower has gotten to the point of raising her leg to release the leash out from behind it, raise the leash behind her leg slightly (but not all the way to under her armpit), and repeat Steps 3 through 5 above.
Always remember to praise, “Yes! Good Fix It,” until Flower is raising her leg consistently to release the leash. At that point, you can switch to just using a “Yes!”
When your puppy is doing a good “Fix It,” it is time to make the command a little harder by trying with you standing up and Flower still sitting.
Position the leash behind her front leg, and using only your end of the leash, steadily and gently pull on the leash while commanding “Flower, Fix It.” Be sure you are not pulling up on the leash--pull outwards instead.
When your puppy raises her leg to release the leash, praise, “Yes!” and give her a treat.
To make the command even harder once Flower is consistently releasing the leash, you can have her stand and then try it while walking.
After you have taught Flower to become a pro at fixing her leash with her front leg, teach her to “Fix It” with a back leg by using the steps above!
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All training tips in this series are from ECAD (Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities), a non-profit organization dedicated to training service dogs for veterans with disabilities. Learn more about ECAD.