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Playing Jump Rope | The German Shepherd

Perhaps the hardest trick in the book, “jump-rope” involves teaching your German Shepherd how to, quite literally, jump rope – to play the game in a manner that a small child might do. This trick is a real crowd-pleaser, so while it may involve many hours and weeks of training, the expression on admiration and envy on your friends' faces may well make the whole ordeal worth it. To start teaching your German Shepherd dog this trick, have him or her stand on a sturdy wooden or plastic box, one that is sure to hold their weight. This box should be large in size, allowing your dog to comfortably move and turn around on the box. Hold your dog's collar and slowly, gently slide a stick (one that you have examined and made sure is free of rough edges or splinters) under his or her belly, calmly enough to avoid frightening your dog into jumping up and running away.

Start with your dog's front legs, having him “step” over the stick, then move back to his or hder hindquarters. Your dog will want to remain relatively stationary, given that he or she is standing on a box, and so will step or hop over the stick. Use a phrase like “Jump” to get your dog to associate an auditory idea with the trick's motions. Do this trick repeatedly, each time moving the stick faster and faster. Then, eventually, progress to using a rope, upping your speed with each repetition of the trick. Throughout, you should make sure to reward your dog accordingly. The final iteration of this trick involves trying a “jump rope” with your German Shepherd dog not on a box, but rather on the ground, with two people holding the rope for which the German Shepherd dog is to jump over.

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