Difficulty: Easy Prerequisite: None Items Needed: Clicker, Treats
By now your dog most likely knows a whole repertoire of tricks, from simple ones like Sit to more complicated ones like Put Toys Away. With good treats, your dog can perform a string of impressive tricks for your friends—but you are still lacking one thing: an ending. The perfect way for your dog to to end a performance is the same way any professional does: with a bow. If you follow these three simple steps, you will be set up for a perfect dog show.
Step 1: Start 'rough-housing' with your dog. Whenever he starts to get into the "bow" position, click and treat. Keep doing this until he starts doing it on his own. Step 2: Start saying "Bow" whenever he gets into the Bow position; then click and treat. Step 3: Keep doing this until he will bow at your command! Always give your dog a jackpot when he obeys your command for the first time.
My dog loves to play. Whenever I would play with him, and start to chase him, I noticed that he would "Bow" by laying his front two legs down before he ran from me. I decided to shape this behavior into a "Take a Bow" trick. I started by chasing him. As soon as his front legs touched the floor, I clicked and treated. We did this again and again until he understood that I was clicking for his "Bow" position. Soon, he started to do it more frequently. I used the command "Bow" whenever I clicked. Eventually, Caspian was able to obey my command when I told him to bow. And it all started by playing a game of chase!
My dog never bows when he is playful! When does he bow? Is it when he gets up from his nap to stretch? Or when he is meeting other dogs? Notice when he gets in that position and use that to shape the behavior.
Tip: "Although many trainers teach Bow by forcing the dog into a Bow position, we believe it is much easier and less frustrating to capture the natural behavior of your dog. We will use this way to teach "Take a Bow."