DubDubDog Animal Behavior Services     |     home
up        previous  next


Week 2

Have the dog lie down. Hold a food lure against the dog's nose, and move it towards the dog's shoulder so that he tucks his head to his shoulder and goes into a down with his weight rolled to one hip. Then move the food lure around the dog's collar; as the dog moves his head, he will roll his body too. Don't move too fast, or too slow.  If the dog is tense, rub his belly (if he likes that..) or scritchy scratch him 'til you can feel him relax.  Fir some dogs you may have to break this behavior into small bits: first rewarding lying don on one hip, then rewarding a head turn towards the spine, then rewording lying flat on one side, then a slight turn, and so on. 

Once the dog is rolling smoothly and comfortably, get the food lure out of your hand.  have him follow a n empty hand, and then click and treat as he completes the roll.

The cue will be the verbal, and a rolling motion of your hand. (Usually the verbal cue is "roll Over", but feel free to dress the trick up by making the cue a silly one-- You might ask "how do you feel about the mortgage?" and have the dog rollover....) .

If your dog can perform this trick smoothly, try getting it at a distance. Try getting several rolls in a row, or try roll to the right, then roll to the left.

Note:  If you have one of the breeds prone to GDV you may want to ask your veterinarian if he/she thinks this trick poses your dog any risk.

Ring a Bell

Show her the bell. If she touches it with her nose Click/treat. Once she is touching her nose to the bell every time you show it to her go on to the next step. Put the bell away when you are not practicing with it.

Show her the bell and only click/treat when she rings the bell by touching it. Once she is ringing it every time you show it to her go on to the next step.  Put the bell away when you are not practicing with it.

Hang the bell by the door and show her the bell. Click/treat when she rings it. Once she is ringing the bell by the door each time you point to it, go on to the next step. Put the bell away when you are not practicing with it.

Let her watch you as you place a treat outside the door. Close the door and then point to the bell. When she rings the bell, open the door and let her get the treat. Once she rings the bell right away when you place a treat outside go on to the next step. Leave the bell in place by the door.

Next time you think she has to potty, go with her to the door and point to the bell. When she rings it, open the door and let her potty. Reward her with a treat when she finishes. Each time you let her out to potty, ask her to ring the bell first and feed her a treat when she finishes.

Leave the bell on the door and when she rings it let her out to potty. If she starts to play or dawdle outside, bring her in. This will prevent her from ringing the bell when she sees a squirrel (or at least prevent her from learning that she can get you to let her out to play instead of just to potty)

Wipe your Feet

A good way to get this behavior is to teach the dogs to turn (spin) in a circle to the left and to the right.  the spinning spreads the dog's paw pads and cleans the feet very effectively, if performed on a towel or mat.

Using your target stick, lure the dog to turn a few inches to the left. Click and treat.  Repeat, gradually increasing the amount the dog has to turn to earn the click/treat, until she is turning in a complete circle.  Fade the target stick up your hand until she is following a finger, then gradually fade the finger motion until you can use a tiny circle motion to get her to spin.  Practice turns to the right, too.  

Now encourage her to turn a couple of turns to the right and couple to the left before she is rewarded.

Take a Bow

Catch the bow. Many dogs go down on their elbows to stretch or when they're playing. Use this opportunity to train! Be ready with treats and a clicker. Any time the dog happens to bow, click, then reward with a treat, . (If he bows and you don't have a clicker handy, make a clicking sound with your mouth, then toss him a biscuit.) After "catching" a few bows, you'll notice your dog bowing deliberately—all to earn a click and a treat.


Shape the bow. With your clicker and a bowl of treats in hand, stand up, click and toss a treat on the floor. Move a step or two away and repeat. Now wait. When your dog looks at the floor again, click. Drop a treat. Move again (this keeps your dog moving, too), and click at any head movement downward. Your dog will soon begin dipping his head on purpose. Click for deeper dips, and stop clicking for small dips. When your dog is dipping his head all the way to the floor, he'll start to drop to his elbows. Click even a half-bow; repeat; wait for more. Don't talk to your dog, bait him downward with food or gently push him down; let your dog try to figure it out on his own.

Whether you "catch" or "shape" a bow with the clicker, once your dog is trying to make you click by bowing on purpose, it's time to teach him a cue or signal for the bow. Just before your dog starts to bow, say "Take a bow," click and offer a treat. Always use the same words and tone of voice. After 10 to 20 repetitions, your dog will start bowing on cue.


Lure the Bow. With your dog standing beside you, place one foot under the dog, (to discourage lying down...) then move a food treat from the dog's nose back towards his elbows.  As he starts to follow it, click/treat, before he lies down.  If he downs, don't correct, just don't reward, and try for  bit less motion the next time, so you can catch him on the way to success.  Gradually extend how much down and back motion he needs to make to earn the treat. 

Once he is slick, make sure he can do the behavior with you in different positions, then put the behavior on cue!