There are two basic ways to teach your dog a trick. The first is to get her to make the move the way you want, and then reward her. You can’t physically make her move; you have to convince her to move using treats, encouragement, or both. Plus, you have to reward each tiny step toward the right movement. The other way to teach your dog a trick is to use a movement your dog already makes, and join it with a voice command. Try this easier method to teach your dog to “Take a Bow!”

Teaching “Take a Bow”

Your dog is “bowing” when his front legs are low to the ground along with his head, but his back legs are still standing up. It’s a position your dog comic cartoondog might use to stretch after a nap. To teach the trick, say “take a bow” clearly each time you see your dog stretch into the right position. It will help to get your dog to repeat the behavior if you give him a dog treat after he stands up from the “Take a Bow” position, too. If you do this consistently, your dog should eventually connect the words “Take a Bow” with the right motion, and you’ll have a successful trick to show off!

The “Take a Bow” position is also your dog’s natural pose for showing friendliness and inviting someone to play. Once your dog can “Take a Bow” on cue, you can use this trick to make new people or pets you meet feel comfortable with your dog. Neat trick!

Dog Training Tip

Make sure your commands for tricks – like “Sit,” “Stay,” or  “Lie Down” – are all unique. For instance, if you teach your dog to “Lie Down,” you need a word that sounds different to tell her to get off the couch. Try the word “Off” to make it easier for your dog to figure out the difference. And, make sure your parents and everyone else around your dog are using the same commands. Otherwise, your poor dog won’t know what to do!

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