We love to teach our dogs tricks, as they are fun for the owner and the dog alike if taught properly. Most dogs learn tricks faster than they learn “obedience behaviors,” because our attitude is relaxed and fun.
A trick that every dog should know is how to take a bow
1. Using a high valued dog treat will ensure more cooperation from your pup. Give your dog one treat to let him know just how yummy they are. Next, place a treat right at your dog’s nose. Allow the dog to smell and even lick the treat throughout the whole exercise. When he is interested and engaged, slowly lower the treat to the floor.
2. Most dogs will follow the treat down with their nose to the point that their elbows touch the floor. At this point mark the behavior with a “yes” or “good” and feed him the treat. You may have to pull the treat down between the paws and then towards the dog’s body to get the exaggerated pose. If your dog lowers his rear end too, just keep your other hand gently under his belly to keep his rear up. Over time, you can phase this part of the trick away.
3. Once the dog is performing the action, add your command just before you lower the treat. Your command can be anything from “bow” to “TaDaaaa!”
Benefits of teaching your dog to take a bow
1. When you train a dog to bow, you get several benefits. A bow with the front end down and the back end up, is what most dogs do to initiate play from another dog or person. The bow should naturally put your dog in a calm and playful mood.
2. For health benefits, the bow is also a form of stretching that your dog does upon first waking up. The stretch is good for his spine, joints and muscles. It is also a calming behavior when done slow like a stretch. As dogs age, they tend to stretch less. Having taught him to bow, you will now be able to help an older dog stretch his aging body.
3. Finally, the bow will always be the grand finale during your show to family and friends!
Does your dog know how to take a bow?
What other tricks are you working on?
Read more from The Dog Training Secret here.