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How to Teach Your Dog to Dance

Learn how to teach your dog to dance with this Howcast dog training video featuring professional dog trainer Andrea Arden.


Stella and I are going to show you how to teach your dog the trick of dance.

When teaching this trick, you're going to want to have a clicker to mark when your dog's done something right, as well as several small treats that your dog likes, to use as rewards.

I'm going to begin by using the method of lure reward, which means I'm going to guide her up into a dance position, in other words, on her back legs, by bringing the treat up over her head. So I'm just going to lift this treat over her head. As soon as she balances up on those back legs, that's when I click and reward. We're going to do that several times, so that she really gets the idea that she's supposed to get up on those back legs.

And now, I'm going to switch to an empty hand signal, which means I no longer have the treat in my hand. My empty hand signal is going to be holding both my hands up in the air. I'm going to do that, and if she gets up into that stand position, I'll click and reward. Repeat that several times.

And now at this stage, I can start to think about what I really want this trick to look like. I would like for Stella to bring her front paws straight up in the air, as well as walk around a little bit, so it looks more like dancing. So this time, I'm going to do the same hand signal, but I'm going to wait until those paws are straight up in the air before I click.

Now that she has that idea, I'm going to wait until she holds those paws up, balances a little bit, and walks around. The more repetition that I do, the stronger Stella's back legs are going to get, and she'll be able to balance and hold this position for longer and longer periods of time. That one wasn't quite as long as I want. We're going to try it again, there.

And that is the beginnings of teaching your dog to dance.

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