There are many way to train or condition an animal.  Science tells us about learning theories, reinforcers, punishers, schedules, timing, criteria and a host of different ways to use equipment in the training process.

There are dozens of leashes, collars, harnesses and other devices touted as the new magic wand.  We even have one of our own - Canine Game Theory.  However, Game Theory and it's uses in education has been around for at least 100 years.  Task training and reward based training has been around for 1000's of years and is how shepherds train their sheep dogs, carters train their mountain dogs and guardian breeds are taught self-control and discrimination. 

Here are the six methods that we find most effective in training Canine Parkour and we show how to teach each skill in each of these six methods in our own classes.

Lure Reward Training

Shaping With Markers

Do As I Do - Mimicry



Shaping With Games

Just like tools and equipment, there are at least a few dozen ways to teach a dog how to do those behaviors and tricks we'd like them to do. Because sports are so demanding of a dog, because precision and coordination is so important to preventing injury and obtaining speed, I highly recommend that only positive reinforcement type methods be used to train these sports.

There should never be a need to force a dog to exercise or do behaviors via pain, fear, intimidation, compulsion or moving his body for him. I have no idea if there are any studies comparing methods vs injuries attained. The one thing that I have found is that proper conditioning is usually only a subject on the positive reinforcement based websites. Injury and rehabilitation on the non R+ websites are referred to a sports based Vet. In one PDF I found it suggested:

"The sports in which dogs compete: It is particularly important that the sports re-trainer be actively competing in canine sports and be familiar with current training techniques since they can affect your dog’s return to competition or the potential for later re-injury. In addition, the sports re-trainer should be very familiar with the muscles that are used for different aspects of the various canine sports."

Unfortunately, there is very little research bordering on none, on the risks to dogs engaging in sports and on what is required to prevent injuries. As with humans and according to the research on horses, appropriate conditioning has been known to prevent injury. Overtraining, which is practiced by many who are not positive reinforcement based trainers, may induce injury, and inadequate conditioning may even cause a dog to sustain injury.

In Training

Standard Parkour



Jumpers Parkour

Creative Parkour