Scoot!

Scoot is a transitional move often used in freestyle to set a dog up for the next move. It’s often useful if you want the dog to collect to prepare for the upcoming move.

Before you teach a Scoot, you’ll want to teach your dog to back up. If your dog already knows how to back up, you can skip ahead to the Scoot tutorials.

Teaching A Back

There are a number of ways to teach a back, and lots of tutorials are on YouTube. Here is a nice video from Eileen and Dogs, showing one method of teaching a back.

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This is a video I made a couple of years ago, demonstrating how I used a back foot target to teach a back. After the steps shown in the video, I added distance, and started changing my position relative to her and the target, and finally faded the target.

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Edited to add: As luck would have it, Hannah Branigan just posted a blog on this very method! Her blog has additional detail & videos, so check it out! Click Here

Here, Kikipup demonstrates adding some distance to your back. While not necessary to teach a scoot, you may want to add distance for other tricks.

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Teaching a scoot

Here is a nice video from Pam’s Dog Academy, showing how to use either a platform or a target stick to teach a scoot.

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The most common way to teach a scoot is through luring. This works fine if you have a dog who isn’t sensitive to body pressure. Again, it goes much more smoothly if the dog already has a back cue. Set up against a wall, with the dog between you & the wall. Hold them in heel position with a cookie, while you slide your outside foot behind the dog & against the wall. Give the dog their back cue. When they feel your leg, they will turn. Go ahead & reward them at that stage. When they’re confident with it, wait until their nose is out from beneath your leg before rewarding.  You will then want to move away from the wall, and add a cue. Here is a quick video of me & Holly, so you can see the mechanics of luring the scoot.

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Using the scoot in a freestyle routine

Here is an excellent example of using a scoot in a freestyle routine, taken from Matt Bilderback & Bella’s first place performance at the PIDC. In this short sequence, Matt & Bella use two scoots to great advantage. In the first, he makes it extra fancy by extending the backing portion. It also serves the double purpose of getting Bella collected, which helps her make the back stall. If she had been coming towards him in extension, running at full speed, it would be very difficult for her to stay on his back without sliding off. After the back stall, she does another scoot while Matt is kneeling, which sets her up perfectly for the juggling sequence. Great job Matt & Bella!

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