TEACHING YOUR DOG entertaining tricks has positive effects on both you and your dog. Dogs enjoy being rewarded with love, treats, and positive attention. People love to see their dogs doing cute things and showing it off to their friends — it’s a win-win! Teaching your dog to take a bow is one of those tricks. In this trick, your dog will lean down on their elbows with their chest touching the ground and their rear end in the air.
It’s the perfect finishing act when you’re showing off your dog’s expertise at a party or gathering! All you’ll need to teach this trick is dog treats and a clicker if you’re using one.
First, have your dog stand facing you. Hold a treat at the tip of your dog’s nose, and move it down toward the floor slowly. This will urge the dog to follow the treat, tracing their nose toward the floor. Just like with teaching your dog to spin, you will be using the luring method on this. Wait until your dog’s elbows are down to the ground with their snout on the floor. Some dogs may have trouble understanding to keep their rear end in the air and will instead just lay down.
If this is true for your dog, hold your free arm under their belly to hold their back end up while their chest slides to the floor following the treat. After a few times, they will catch on and won’t need your arm holding up their belly to do it. Hold the pose for a few seconds before luring them back into a standing position. Click or verbally praise with “yes” or “good” and reward.
Repeat this step several times until the dog does it with ease. Once it becomes easier, add the verbal cue “bow” before completing the steps. Practice this trick with your dog every day for no more than five minutes so as not to frustrate them or you.
If your dog has a harder time catching on, rewarding in smaller increments will take a bit longer but will still get the job done. If you pull the treat to the floor and your dog can only bow their head a bit toward the ground, begin by rewarding them for that. Then, don’t reward them until they make closer movements toward what you’re looking for.
This is great for clicker training. Your dog will eventually catch on to what you’re expecting of them and they will learn to follow the commands.
After a few days or weeks of practice, your dog will be a professional at taking a bow!