This topic was originally covered in Janice’s post “Training on the Pot” since that time her videography has improved and she wanted to offer a better version of the video.

Pot Training for Body Awareness

I use “The Pot” to teach a young puppy, or adult dog how to use their rear. The pot keeps the front feet in place, so that they can maneuver their rear easily and without confusion. The Pot training transfers extremely well to helping your dog to understand front position and also heel position!

Why “The Pot” Training Helps…

  • the dogs really enjoy this exercise
  • the method is easy to teach
  • it helps to improve your dog’s balance
  • teaches your dog how to use his rear
  • keeps your dog supple and limber
  • helps to maintain rear/back muscles
  • use it for a prelude to side stepping
  • use it for a prelude to doing fronts
  • fun, fun, fun!

Finding the Right Pot

Your pot needs to have a non-slip surface on the top, 2 – 3 inches high, it can be round or square, with just enough width to it so your dog can turn and move his front feet comfortably, yet not too wide as you want to teach your dog to keep his front feet under him. Make sure that your pot is solid and does not give under the weight of your dog.The idea sprouted from agility trainers whom use a large round ball that their dogs learn to balance on.

Getting Started Training with the Pot

You will find training the pot alot of fun. First just reward the slightest achievement. For example, encourage your dog onto the pot, even if they just touch the pot, reward that to start. I had one dog that simply would not put one foot on the pot, so I gently put one of her feet onto the pot, said YES, and rewarded. This was enough to give her the confidence to try it herself and from there, she started to offer two paws up.

Don’t get frustrated if your dog doesn’t understand what you want right away, just take it one paw at a time and keep it fun!