Leg Weave – Middle

The first part of being able to teach your dog to weave through your legs is to make sure that it is comfortable to be in a middle position between your legs. Therefore, the first step is to practice the Middle Trick.

The “Middle” trick is where you ask for your dog to come and stand or sit between your legs whilst you are in a standing position.

The Middle Trick is one of the tricks I also teach in my Puppy Classes as the puppy learns that this is a position of safety. The following video is taken from the Puppy School and shows how to teach this behaviour:

The key steps are to teaching the Middle are:

  • Position yourself so that your dog is behind you. You can do this simply by throwing a treat on the floor and then turning your back on your dog.
  • Lure your dog to the middle position by bending forwards and offering a treat between your legs.
  • The correct middle position is with your dog standing (or sitting) between your legs with its head facing forwards.
  • Reward your dog whilst it is in the middle position to encourage it to stay in the same position.
  • Release your dog by using your release command.
  • Throw a treat behind you to lure your dog to position itself behind you.
  • Recall your dog into the middle position again.
  • Start adding a command, for example “Middle” moves forwards between your legs before it stops to receive the reward.

Middle from an angle

If your puppy enjoys coming to you and is comfortable in the “Middle” position, it’s time to start to make the entry more difficult to challenge your puppy a little bit.

Make the entries to the “Middle” position a little bit more challenging every time by increasing the angle of where you are throwing the reward treat.

  1. Be patient; do not increase the angle too much too quickly. Start by throwing the luring food at 5 and 7 o’clock positions relative to where you are standing.
  2. Gradually increase the angles towards the 10 and 2 o’clock positions.
  3. Soon you will be able to face your puppy and your puppy will understand it has to go behind you to be able to get into the Middle position.
  4. Do not forget to give your release word when you want your puppy to leave the position.

Middle

The “Middle” game is where you ask for your puppy to come and stand or sit between your legs whilst you are in a standing position.

“Middle” promotes a strong connection with your puppy, makes your puppy love being in your proximity and if needed gets your puppy into a “protected position”. It also helps lower its arousal.

In the future you will be able to ask for this position when you wish to keep your puppy secure, for example if another over boisterous dog is coming toward you.  In the “Middle” position you can fully protect and control your puppy from any danger around the puppy and you.

It is also advantageous to teach your puppy to come into this position when your puppy is scared. It gives them a more rewarding alternative to simply running away.

To achieve the objective of teaching your puppy to come and position itself in between your legs use the following steps:

  • Lure your puppy to the middle position, i.e., standing between your legs and facing forwards.
  • Reward your puppy whilst it is in the middle position to encourage your puppy to stay there.
  • Release your puppy by using your release command.
  • Throw a treat behind you to lure your puppy to position itself behind you.
  • Recall your puppy into the middle position again.

When your puppy is consistently coming to the middle position, start asking it to sit or lie down.