Have you ever wanted to teach your dog to take a bow? Well, if so you're in luck! We've asked Maria Ruiz, owner of Gus the talented dog she rescued in Spain, for an easy step by step guide to follow.
If you've read my recent feature about how Gus came to be a part of our lives, you'll have read that he's never been a dog who eats a lot but will do anything for a treat.
The first trick we ever taught him was 'conejito' (this means 'little bunny' in English, and the trick would be 'beg'). After that, he learnt lots of things, some were just behaviours he already had, which we encouraged and rewarded, like give hugs or jump onto our arms (this is so useful living in London and having to travel on the tube); some others needed more training, like 'play dead' or 'salute'.
One of the most fun to teach is the bow and here's how you can teach your dog to take a bow in six easy steps.
1. Firstly, have your dog standing in front of you (you can kneel or sit on the floor).
2. Then, take a treat hidden in your hand and and move your hand under your dog’s head, towards his/her back legs.
3. You will then see your dog trying to follow the treat, stretching his front legs. He/she should leave his bum up, like their stretching position with front legs stretched and bum in the air.
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4. He/she might lie down completely, in this case, don’t give the treat and instead, tell your dog to stand and try again.
5. Once you get him/her to do the position, introduce the verbal/visual cue (we use 'bow'), so your dog get used to the word and associates it with the cue and position.
6. Little by little, wait more time to release the treat and then stop moving your hand and just give the cue.
Top Tips: Practice during short periods of time, several days, long sessions will tire your dog.
Don’t get angry or show any frustration with your dog if he/she doesn’t get the trick quickly, talk gently and reward every little improvement.
Let us know how you get on, we'd love to hear from you!