If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent a few too many minutes on Youtube watching Tillman the Bulldog ride a skateboard, and wondering how cool it would be to teach your own dog to do the same.
Well, lucky for you, I’m going to show you how to do just that! All you’ll need is a dog, an hour, and a whole lot of patience. Before you plop your buddy on a board, however, you’ll need to assess whether or not he/she is capable of learning this trick. Some breeds of dogs, like the Dachshund, have short knees and firm backs that make riding a skateboard unsafe, so you’ll first need to determine whether or not your furry pal has the genes to master this skill safely and without harm being done. Bigger dog breeds, such as Pit Bulls or Siberian Huskies (in my case) are perfectly equipped with wide paws and firm backs that make them perfect for this trick. Just make sure you’re being safe and considerate of the unique abilities of your animal before trying this maneuver.
Step 1: Getting your dog used to the skateboard. Before teaching your dog to skateboard, you have to ensure that he/she likes the physical board. Try introducing the skateboard to your dog by plopping it in front of him and letting him get used to the smell and feel of it. Some dogs get scared or anxious easily, and may not respond to the presentation of the board, in which case you may need to reconsider whether or not to proceed with teaching your pet this trick. Once he is used to the stationary board, try moving the deck around a bit to communicate to the animal that the object moves. Reward your furry pal with some treats if he notices it! Positive reinforcement is an important part of dog training.
Step 2: Introducing the Stationary Board. For this step, it is important that the board does not move. Place the skateboard on a sturdy platform such as an area of grass or carpeting. If the dog is introduced to the board while it’s in motion, he/she may get scared and never approach it again. The goal is to familiarize your dog with the motions and abilities of the skateboard and to establish the muscle memory required to ride it.
Stand behind the board and coerce your pup closer to the deck with a treat until he/she is comfortable stepping onto it. Reward him as soon as he is able to stand on the board, and then again when he is able to “stay” on top of it. Repeat this step over the course of a few days and repeat.