A Tree Climbing Dog

Teaching a cautious dog a few good tricks can boost his confidence, social skills, and the joy in his doggy life!
Teaching a cautious dog a few good tricks can boost his confidence, social skills, and the joy in his doggy life! | Source

Why My Dog Climbs Trees

My two year old Golden Retriever was showing signs of low self confidence, by always submitting to other dogs. He has a very sweet disposition naturally, but this was something I felt needed to be revised for the sake of his doggy-happiness. I had to think about the best way to motivate this particular dog, while providing him with the desire to drive hard and through the tougher portion of the training process. He has always had an affinity towards his Frisbee disc, so that is where I began.

Tree Climbing Dog [click thumbnails to enlarge images]

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Getting his nerve to retrieve his disc.First try was a pretty good one!Doing a doggy pull-up helped to increase his shoulder strength as well as hip strength.Holding himself in place and attempting to pull the disc from its roost, Kal tried using the gravity of his jump and fall to work the disc loose.The disc as it started low in the tree, as a tempting tool for training.
Getting his nerve to retrieve his disc.
Getting his nerve to retrieve his disc. | Source
First try was a pretty good one!
First try was a pretty good one! | Source
Doing a doggy pull-up helped to increase his shoulder strength as well as hip strength.
Doing a doggy pull-up helped to increase his shoulder strength as well as hip strength. | Source
Holding himself in place and attempting to pull the disc from its roost, Kal tried using the gravity of his jump and fall to work the disc loose.
Holding himself in place and attempting to pull the disc from its roost, Kal tried using the gravity of his jump and fall to work the disc loose. | Source
The disc as it started low in the tree, as a tempting tool for training.
The disc as it started low in the tree, as a tempting tool for training. | Source

More Tree Climbing [click thumbnails to enlarge images]

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More doggy pull-ups will continue to strengthen shoulders and hips, making this summer's water sports a much more macho scenario for Kal.After getting the disc out of the tree, he gets to "own it" as reward for a job well done! Until the next round that is...
More doggy pull-ups will continue to strengthen shoulders and hips, making this summer's water sports a much more macho scenario for Kal.
More doggy pull-ups will continue to strengthen shoulders and hips, making this summer's water sports a much more macho scenario for Kal. | Source
After getting the disc out of the tree, he gets to "own it" as reward for a job well done! Until the next round that is...
After getting the disc out of the tree, he gets to "own it" as reward for a job well done! Until the next round that is... | Source

Every day I would begin to toss the Frisbee for my dog harder and faster, requiring him to move with deliberate speed and intention. As he grew in speed and stamina (about a two week period dedicated to just building strength and stamina was maintained. This was to prevent a higher probability of injury from occurring once the dog began to actually climb the tree), I started to place his Frisbee in a low part of an old dead tree in the backyard, just high enough so he could reach it if he stretched for it. Then, as he became more familiar with the game, I would put the Frisbee a little farther up in the tree. Eventually my dog had to jump a bit to reach the disc. Now that he was stronger, retrieving the Frisbee from the tree became the goal. We practiced this initial climb for about an hour until he flew off of the ground and made his way up the side of the tree.

Eventually, I placed the disc far enough up in the tree that the dog had to give a really solid jump in an effort to retrieve the Frisbee. As we went through this process, he began to show an unexpected talent for this game.He can really climb, using his now larger shoulder muscles he conducts a 'doggy pull-up' and can get his fit body up that tree and acquire his tree-branch- perched Frisbee time and time again. We play this tree game several times a week and he just can't wait to get out the back door when he sees me pick up that old Frisbee disc.
My dog's confidence has improved and his mental state is far happier as is evident when we meet new or unfamiliar dogs. He is sure of himself and no longer becomes instantly submissive. He is able to hold his ground and do some of his own sniffing and dominance displays in a wolf-like passive, yet assertive manner, you know, like the big boys do! Now that he has found himself, I expect he will be dating soon and I will have to start considering an adequate mate for my big strong agile AKC Golden Retriever Dog!

WHAT YOU THINK REALLY DOES MATTER!

Have you ever tried to teach your dog to play a unique game or do a unique trick?

  • No. Not really my thing.
  • Yes! I love teaching my dog new tricks and how to play games!
See results without voting

More tree climbing dog [click thumbnails to enlarge images]

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Being able to gain the confidence to get the disc was an important step. Starting out with it positioned low enough he could stand and reach it, convinces the dog he can possibly go even higher...and he does!As the disc is placed higher in the tree, he realizes it is okay for him to get the Frisbee, as this part of the game. Big rewards for the first few times are in order to build his desire to play along.
Being able to gain the confidence to get the disc was an important step. Starting out with it positioned low enough he could stand and reach it, convinces the dog he can possibly go even higher...and he does!
Being able to gain the confidence to get the disc was an important step. Starting out with it positioned low enough he could stand and reach it, convinces the dog he can possibly go even higher...and he does! | Source
As the disc is placed higher in the tree, he realizes it is okay for him to get the Frisbee, as this part of the game. Big rewards for the first few times are in order to build his desire to play along.
As the disc is placed higher in the tree, he realizes it is okay for him to get the Frisbee, as this part of the game. Big rewards for the first few times are in order to build his desire to play along. | Source
  1. Being able to gain the confidence to get the disc was an important step. Starting out with it positioned low enough so he could stand and reach it, convinces the dog he can possibly go even higher...and he does! Because he can see the disc, he is already thinking through how to get it out of the tree. Make sure his attention is geared around the fact that this is his object, and he has the right to retrieve it from the tree.
  2. As the disc is placed higher in the tree, he realizes it is okay for him to go after the Frisbee more assertively, as this is just part of the game. Big rewards for the first few times are in order, the idea is to start to build his desire to play along. If he knows that getting the Frisbee out of the tree means he can play with it on is own terms for a few minutes, his motivation will grow.

At first Kal wasn't quite sure how the game was supposed to work, so patience when first teaching your dog the game is really important. Any negative reaction can hinder the dog's learning desires and also creates a bad experience for you both. Manage the first training sessions with respect, and your dog will learn much quicker, and probably have far more fun playing the tree climbing game overall.

[click thumbnails to enlarge images]

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Pulling the disc out of the tree from the lower position.A bit of a shoulder work-out is required to get the disc down from this higher position. He did a great job!
Pulling the disc out of the tree from the lower position.
Pulling the disc out of the tree from the lower position. | Source
A bit of a shoulder work-out is required to get the disc down from this higher position. He did a great job!
A bit of a shoulder work-out is required to get the disc down from this higher position. He did a great job! | Source

Pulling the disc out of the tree from the lower position gives the dog a boost in believing he can accomplish the task.

A bit of a shoulder work-out is required to get the disc down from this higher position. He did a great job! Building the muscles also increases the testosterone content, making the dog "feel" more able and confident.

As the training continued, I saw day after day how much Kal grew in strength as well as his ability. It was pretty amazing just how quickly a K9 develops muscle mass when put to the task. I did increase his protein intake, as amino acids are very important to muscle growth, and real meat offers the highest amount of any food. When increasing the exercise a dog has on a daily basis, remember to also increase his protein intake. Many specialty dog foods are formulated for the athletic dog. These should be the kind of foods you feed your dog when taking on a regular high-energy regiment. His diet is just as important as the exercise itself!

Below you will find a really cool video on getting and keeping a dogs attention during training or any other reason. You will also find several pictures showing you the progression of the tree climbing game and Kal got better on each new training day.

Building Attention (2 min. and 11 sec. video)

Tree Climbing Dog Pull-ups! [click thumbnails to enlarge images]

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The dog's confidence was growing more and more with each retrieve, as were his shoulder, hip, and back muscles.Using his rear legs as leverage, and his shoulders as power, the mighty Golden Retriever warrior was beginning to surface in Kal.
The dog's confidence was growing more and more with each retrieve, as were his shoulder, hip, and back muscles.
The dog's confidence was growing more and more with each retrieve, as were his shoulder, hip, and back muscles. | Source
Using his rear legs as leverage, and his shoulders as power, the mighty Golden Retriever warrior was beginning to surface in Kal.
Using his rear legs as leverage, and his shoulders as power, the mighty Golden Retriever warrior was beginning to surface in Kal. | Source

Dog Climbing Tree continued [click thumbnails to enlarge images]

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After a relatively short amount of time, Kal began to take a running start at the tree and would simply bound from the ground to gather his disc.Once in a while, while bounding at the disc, it would get knocked down and he would find that his new stronger shoulders allowed him to stay his position and reaquire the disc. This was a very exciting moment for me.
After a relatively short amount of time, Kal began to take a running start at the tree and would simply bound from the ground to gather his disc.
After a relatively short amount of time, Kal began to take a running start at the tree and would simply bound from the ground to gather his disc. | Source
Once in a while, while bounding at the disc, it would get knocked down and he would find that his new stronger shoulders allowed him to stay his position and reaquire the disc. This was a very exciting moment for me.
Once in a while, while bounding at the disc, it would get knocked down and he would find that his new stronger shoulders allowed him to stay his position and reaquire the disc. This was a very exciting moment for me. | Source

Tree Climbing Improves a Dog's Shoulder Strength

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The dog's strength just kept on increasing.He was becoming a truly studly K9 with every new training day. His muscles bulged and his confidence began to soar!
The dog's strength just kept on increasing.
The dog's strength just kept on increasing. | Source
He was becoming a truly studly K9 with every new training day. His muscles bulged and his confidence began to soar!
He was becoming a truly studly K9 with every new training day. His muscles bulged and his confidence began to soar! | Source
Getting the disc was now becoming second nature to Kal. He would hardly hesitate to jump into that tree.
Getting the disc was now becoming second nature to Kal. He would hardly hesitate to jump into that tree. | Source

Getting the frisbee out of the tree improved my dog's confidence in himself

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He was quite skilled at leaping into the tree and wiggling the disc free from its perch now. His attitude about the game became enthusiastic as his tail rode high as he went on his quest.I was amazed at how quickly his muscles grew.With a little flip in his tail and a smile on his face Kal would initiate the tree climbing game now. Looking forward to fun and training of the dog workday.After the schedule of exercise and training Kal had become a strong confident dog. He now pretty much runs the dog park when we go, but with a wolf-like classiness!
He was quite skilled at leaping into the tree and wiggling the disc free from its perch now. His attitude about the game became enthusiastic as his tail rode high as he went on his quest.
He was quite skilled at leaping into the tree and wiggling the disc free from its perch now. His attitude about the game became enthusiastic as his tail rode high as he went on his quest. | Source
I was amazed at how quickly his muscles grew.
I was amazed at how quickly his muscles grew. | Source
With a little flip in his tail and a smile on his face Kal would initiate the tree climbing game now. Looking forward to fun and training of the dog workday.
With a little flip in his tail and a smile on his face Kal would initiate the tree climbing game now. Looking forward to fun and training of the dog workday. | Source
After the schedule of exercise and training Kal had become a strong confident dog. He now pretty much runs the dog park when we go, but with a wolf-like classiness!
After the schedule of exercise and training Kal had become a strong confident dog. He now pretty much runs the dog park when we go, but with a wolf-like classiness! | Source

A More Confident Dog

A more confident dog after training and strengthening, Kal holds his tail high when greeted at the dog park, regardless of who stops by for a sniff!
A more confident dog after training and strengthening, Kal holds his tail high when greeted at the dog park, regardless of who stops by for a sniff! | Source

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Comments for "Why My Dog Climbs Trees [pictures]" 29 comments

animal lover 4 years ago

man your dog is fantastic and adorable. how old is he? he is a very smart dog. golden retreviers are beautiful animals. one of my favorite dogs. have a good time with your dog they are mans best friend.


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 4 years ago from australia

K9keystrokes Hi. What a very handsome guy he is.

Your patience and training has brought out the very best in him, he looks and sounds like a very very happy and healthy dog.

You should be so proud of yourself and him.

I loved reading this story and the photographs are so beautiful.

Thank you for sharing with us.Voted up and awesome.:):)


Marc Babineau profile image

Marc Babineau 4 years ago from Cornwall, Ontario, The Seaway City

I have some eerily similar pictures of my golden retriever, usually sitting on a tree branch. If no sticks are around on the ground he would grab a tree branch and tug and pull until he got it off of the tree.

we done!


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 4 years ago from Southern Clime

Simply awesome!


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Thanks for letting me know Kal is well. He has the most beautiful color. The Retrievers I'm familiar with are much lighter in color: almost blonde. My Baby loves to chase squirrels, too. They taunt her in the yard. Merry Christmas.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

HI Mary~ I read your hub on dogs and found it fantastic! I do still have Kal, he is about 3-1/2 years old now, so I am hoping for a long joyous life together. We still play the tree climbing game once in a while. However, his new game of choice has to do with those lightening-quick squirrels that now occupy his Frisbee tree! Thank you so much for stopping by today! I hope Baby and Baily are flourishing in your friendship!

HubHugs~

K9


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Hi K9, this is a related Hub to the one I just did on dog health and safety. I'm so glad I read it. What a dog! What a sense of satisfaction you must have to see the results, too. Kal is a beautiful dog. I can't help but wonder if you still have him, since this Hub is not new. Retrievers are wonderful dogs, I understand. I voted this UP, etc.etc.


karemals 5 years ago

This is amazing. Another reason why you do not need a cat ;)


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

K9-I am in awe of your amazing dog. I am so impressed you trained him little by little to climb trees. You sound like such a proud parent as you should. I couldn't help but think your dog should be on stupid pet tricks on David Letterman. I had so much fun checking out your pictures. He is so beautiful. Thanks for making me smile ear to ear:)


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

Nellieanna~I saw your comment and am hoping you can as well now? Thank you for the return trip, and the added comment! I am always humbled by your visits.

K9


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Odd. I left a comment yesterday. My hubtivity even says I did, but I don't see it. I am puzzled!! It was to say your dog is amazing and so is your photography.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

Nellieanna~Thank you for such a wonderful comment! I am thrilled you stopped by for a read!

K9


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

I am so impressed with your dog! I love golden retrievers anyway - and this one really wins the prize! Amazing feat for a dog! He's just wonderful!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

Patty~ thank you so much for stopping by for a read. I think my dog is pretty a special guy also. You made me smile with your "his own show' comment! Appreciate your time.

K9


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America

Your dog is quite a guy. He should have his own TV show! Voted up across the board.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

Money Glitch~ Thank you for stopping for a read. I think he is a pretty super-dog myself! Good idea about the video, hmmm...

Thank you so much for the comments!

K9


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

Wow, it's super dog! This is just too cute. You should make a video of this and send it to America's Funniest Videos. The dog truly has talent. :) Thanks for sharing!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

MPG~thanks for stopping by to read my humble hub. This was one of the more enjoyable hubs I have written. I had fun spending time with my tree climbing dog, and fun looking at the pictures as I wrote the article. I really appreciate the comments. I sure hope your dog doesn't tell my dog that he could be getting food treats for doing this stuff! he, he!

K9


MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

You dog is too beautiful. Clever too, climbing a tree to get a frisbee, and what perseverance. My dog would probably do it for food but that's about it. Great photos K9.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

Eiddwen~ Glad you enjoyed the pictures of my dog tree climbing. It was a fun training set and it really worked out for my dog. Besides, I got some pretty cute pictures of him climbing! Thank you for your comments, I apprecite the read.

K9

SchoolGirlforreal~Nice to see you again! So happy you found the hub entertaining. I adore Golden Retrievers also and am finding that for the last 2 years that I have had my dog, the breed is very sensitive and loving and, yep, can even climb an old oak tree. I am very pleased to see you today, I think about how you are doing daily. Thanks for the wonderful comments HubBuddy! I'll be by to read some of your new stuff soon, I can't wait to see what fun hubs you have been presenting!

K9


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 6 years ago from USA

Hi K9 Your dog is beautiful, I love golden retreivers, I always have and I think they're my favorite dog a) they are so beautiful and shiny and soft...b) they have a wonderful temperament and are friendly, not scary like a pit bull and c) they are a nice size, not too large not too small and plenty to hug! cute story you must be quite the dog expert and a very loving Mom to this dog. Nice to see him enjoying life and improving his self esteem. good job


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

Thank you so much for sharing these photos of your dog, what a star!!! he deserves to be applauded for his perseverance!!!

Absolutely brilliant, take care.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

Hi Kim~ Love the new series you have presented here on hubpages; chapter two is awesome! Nice to see you get some time to stop by and take a peek at my tree climbing dog. I have only known of a few dogs that can climb trees, but we are still working on getting hire up in that old oak! Thank you for the comments, I really appreciate it.

K9

Pam! Hi glad to see you. Sorry you had to put your dog down last year, so sad. I hope you find another one that just lights up your life! Our two cats sit and watch the dog climb from the dining room bay windows. They seem to find the tree climbing k9 quite interesting. I am very grateful for your comments Pam and am happy you could stop by.

K9


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

Sweetiepie~ Thanks for stopping by. I think my dog is pretty cute also! The icon is a K9 eye that I have modified in photoshop (yours and my fav program). I appreciate the comment.

K9


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

What a beautiful dog! I think that was a suburb idea and it has helped him so much. We don't have a dog right now, just a cat but it makes me want to get another one. We had to put ours to sleep last year. Rated up!


kaltopsyd profile image

kaltopsyd 6 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

Aww. Your dog IS cool! He has such a pretty coat! And he's so cute! ... ok, enough mushing over your adorable dog. Nice Hub. I didn't know dogs were capable of climbing trees. hehe. That's awesome. Good Hub!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA

Cute dog! Now I realize your icon is not an owl's eye, but a dog eye!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 6 years ago from Northern, California Author

wordscribe43~ thanks for the comment. Glad you found the hub fun.

K9


wordscribe43 profile image

wordscribe43 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

Oh my gosh, that's hilarious! What a cool dog. My dog will do almost anything for a floppy disc, but have yet to see him climb a tree. Very cute!

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