Using “Agility” on Trails
If you hike with your dog, this has likely happened to you. You are on a narrow trail and someone with a dog approaches and you do not have the time or space to have a polite greeting with the dogs. What should you do? Our answer is to use a little agility training to help make the meeting easier. As part of agility, we teach our dogs to get onto a table and lay down. For our dogs, we labeled this behavior “table”. Since there are lots of boulders and big rocks we have taught them “table” to be rocks or big boulders. When other dogs approach and it would be difficult to have a polite greeting, we say “Table” and they jump onto the nearest rock or patch of high ground, and we can let the other dogs pass. This behavior can be especially useful for a dog that is uncomfortable around other dogs or people. This cue will easily get you and your dog off the trail momentarily so others can pass.
Our little “mountain goat”, shown in the picture, will sometimes just jump onto rocks, hoping for a bit of attention or a treat.