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What is tuck?
Tuck is the command we give our pets when we want them to go underneath something and lay down. Simply start with an object your pet can easily fit under, lure them under the object with a treat, guiding them with their leash if needed, and then direct them to lay down with your hand and leash cues. Once you've done that a few times, start naming the behavior as they lay down by saying, "Tuck!" Repeat, slowly moving the word earlier and earlier, until your pet is able to tuck on command!
[Still need help teaching your pet how to tuck? Join the King's Creatures Adventure Team Club for training videos, handouts, and more about Tuck and every other command you and your pet need to know!]
So go ahead! Tell your pet to tuck under there! You can direct your pet to tuck under a table, a chair, a box, a desk, a log... the list goes on! Tuck has variety of uses and benefits, especially serving as a confidence builder and an adventure pet and therapy animal hack.
Have you ever tried doing DIY agility with your pets? Take a close look at your environment -- in your home, in your yard, in your neighborhood, and on your adventures -- and soon you'll start to see how every day objects like chairs, benches, and logs can serve as hurdles, balance beams, and more for your pet!
Using your pet's tuck command in a variety of spaces helps them to be more aware of their body, especially their height and length! As they tuck into a variety of spaces, their confidence about where they can fit and what they can do will begin to grow. Your pet will be able to work through fear or momentary discomfort as they figure out how to arrange themselves in new spaces. Since you'll be there to help and cheer them on, their confidence in you will grow too! You'll be able to hone your leash communication skills as you guide them to tuck into different spaces. Tuck in different places doesn't just build up your pet's confidence... it will strengthen your bond as a team and help you to trust each other wholeheartedly! Soon you'll find that you can direct your pet to tuck under any object and they will happily do it... because it's just plain fun for both of you!
Adventure Pet Hack
I love spending time with my pets! I love spending time with your pets too! In fact, if I see a pet when I am out and about, it generally makes me happy. Pets are awesome.
BUT as a responsible pet owner, I try to keep in mind that not every other person is a pet person. (I can’t wrap my mind around it, but we all know it’s true!) So while I am out and about with my own pet, I want to make sure they are as well-behaved as possible. No nuisances here! In fact, one of my favorite compliments to get when I am out on an adventure with my pets is something like “WHOA! I didn’t even notice there was a dog/cat here!” I’m having fun with my pet, my pet is having fun with me, AND we’re doing so well that even if people HATE pets (I know… so crazy!) we aren’t disrupting their fun on the patio, trail, shuttle, etc that we are on! Bringing our pets on adventures with us is a super fun bonus we get to enjoy with our well-trained pets, and we want to do our best to preserve that fun bonus for our pets and everyone else with pets too! So how do I use tuck on adventures? So many different ways! Like we talked about earlier in this post, tuck can build our pet’s confidence. So whenever I am out on adventures with my pets, I look for places they can tuck just for fun! Maybe we find a crevice under a boulder on a hike, a park bench at our neighborhood park, or even a little nook in my own backyard. I practice tuck in any of those places with my pet to boost their confidence, build their trust in me, and just plain have fun! But I can also direct my pet to tuck under my chair or table to keep our server from tripping over them! I can tuck my pet under my seat on the shuttle bus while we ride to our kayak launch so they don’t interfere with anyone else riding the shuttle. I might even have my pet tuck under the bench where I pause for a break on a long walk so they can stay cool in the shade! If your pet is small enough, you might even tuck them into a carrier under an airplane seat so you can travel with them!
Now what about when Korra and I are out on a therapy animal visit? We only go when we’re invited, so everyone must want and expect Korra to be there! Why would we need to use tuck?
Trust me, friends, it’s still handy! Maybe we’re waiting in a school or nursing home hallway before entering the room where we will be visiting with others. Generally, people aren’t expecting to find a dog in that hallway! They may not even be looking that low, as they’re just keeping their eyes peeled for other humans… not pets! Tucking Korra under my chair or bench while we wait keeps her safe from accidentally getting stepped on or run over by a wheelchair or walker! Volunteering at expos or other events at a booth or table is another time that we use place frequently. Once again, not everyone is expecting a dog to be at all of those events. Tucking Korra safely under the table or my chair can help to keep her safely away from feet that might accidentally land on her tail.
Whether your adventures take you to a different room in your house, out on a trail, or on a visit as a therapy animal team, tuck is a great command to incorporate into your training plans to use as a confidence builder and adventure pet hack for your dog or cat!
Want to get started on training your pet to be a therapy animal or adventure pet right now? Click here to download your free copy of The Ultimate Guide to Actually Enjoying Your Next Adventure with Your Pet and get started on training today!