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How to Teach Your Dog to Take a Bow, Part 2

Learn how to teach your dog to take a bow from professional dog trainer Andrea Arden in this Howcast dog training video, part 2 of a 2-part series.


They're going to have to pay attention to what you're clicking and rewarding. Yes. I'm getting a little duration on that, too. Notice, that I am not feeding him out of my hand, because I don't want him coming right back up to me. I want to get a little duration. I'm going to wait that out. Yes.

So your job as your dog's trainer is to have really good observational skills. You want to really look at what your dog is doing, have really good timing skills, and that you want to click when they are doing the right thing, and then think about your reward placement, where you are giving them their reward to help them with the behavior.

So, initially, then we're going to show you that I'm going to reward them on the ground. Yes. Got the butt down. My mistake; it happens. Let's do it again. Yes. Then what I might start doing is rewarding him from my hand, so that I get him coming up instead of dropping the rear end down. So, notice that again, he goes down, I click and now I'm back to rewarding him from my hand to prevent the rear end from going down.

Once I know that my dog is going to offer this behavior reliably and I like the way it looks, and at this point I do like the way it looks, I can add a cue just before he offers the behavior. The fun thing about shaping is that the cue doesn't have to look like a lure or any variation on it, it can be very, very abstract. So for me, I like to use my legs as a cue. I'm going to kind of curtsy to Jack right before I think he's going to offer the behavior. So I'm just going to let him warm up a little bit. Make sure I like the way it looks. Yes. And then there's my cue right before I think he's going to offer it.

The other reason I like using my legs is now he has learned so many behaviors that I'm running out of hand signals. Then if I want to put some cute little word on it, I can say "Jack, who's the queen?" Yes. And now that he's got that on cue, it takes them a while to associate the cue with the behavior, but once he's got that, he's all set. Jack, take a bow. Yes. Good job!

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