Lee from Philly emailed me about her bulldog Bertha who is learning to skateboard. Bertha is only three and one-half months old.
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I worked with Margaret for several days teaching her to get on the board when it was on the living room rug. This video shows some of her attempts to get on the board while it was sitting on a hard surface where it can easily move.
Today we passed another small step in teaching Margaret, my bulldog, to skateboard. Steps to date:
Step 1: Get over fear of the board
Now I am not talking about standing all four paws on the board, just two. Margaret was afraid of the skateboard so first I sat on a step with the skateboard beside me. The board was leaning on my leg. All I wanted her to was put her front paws on the board while eating. By letting her confront the board sideways while stabilized to me, her desire for food overcame her fear.
Step 2: Standing on the board
For this I sat on a step with the board between my legs and my feet stabilizing the the board.
Step 3: Basic gliding
Step 4: Pulling the board
Now she has to stabilizer herself while the board moves.
Now for the new step:
Step 5: Getting on the board without me holding it
I break getting on a skateboard into two smaller tasks. Tonight Margaret got on the board resting on a rug. The rug is pretty flat so it will move but not as easily. It also helped that it was her supper and she was hungry. I will repeat this a few times then move to a hard surface.
The next step is getting Margaret used to being pulled. One interesting thing is that she finds it easier to sit rather than stand. Sitting does not require as much balance. She still needs the board stabilized to get on. Also, I am trying to figure out how to teach her to propel herself.
On Saturday, we took Margaret to the Uxbridge Skateboard park. She had never seen anyone skateboard before that afternoon. One of the boys skated for her. While at first intimidated, Margaret enjoyed running with Steven and seemed to think it was a fun game.