Shiloh Jumps the Blue Barrels

Well, jump isn’t perhaps the right word, as it implies a major exertion of energy.

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However, he was pretty interested in them, especially once he learned I’d reward him for interacting with the barrels with a click and a treat. First, Shiloh nudged the barrel with his nose a few times. This evolved to licking them and later biting on them. After a bit, he consented to walk back and forth over them a few times in exchange for a treat.

He’s gone over barrels before, but not in a long time and never in the doorway to the round pen! To get him to cross the barrels, I adopted the same strategy as when I worked with Shimmer on trailer loading. I didn’t pressure or force him over them–I just patiently waited and rewarded the slightest try. He was walking slowly enough that his legs hit against the barrels a few times. At first, he was a bit unsure about this, but by the end, he didn’t really care. Walking over barrels is a great way for him to work on figuring out where his feet are and how he needs to pick them up to clear the barrels. It also gets him more comfortable with strange objects and textures bumping into him. Check out the series of pictures below to watch him take his time walking over the barrels.

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