Who doesn’t love to spin or twirl? It is such a freeing movement and something that is actually very simple to teach your pup! Often times dogs love spinning as much as their humans love seeing them do it! Here to take us through a step-by-guide to training a dog how to spin is Jess from Cohen the Australian Shepherd. Take it away Jess!
The first step is having a moderately hungry dog who knows how to follow a lure. Some dogs need a bit of help in learning that you want them to follow a bit of food in your hands and for some dogs it comes (very) naturally.
Place a treat in your hand and your hand near the dog’s nose. Slowly move your hand in a clockwise circle and voila, your dog has spun. Mark with a “yes” or a click and the treat from your hand. If the dog hasn’t followed your hand it’s possible they need a bit of help learning how to follow a lure, or it’s possible that you moved your hand too quickly. STEP 3
Now, try the other way. Lure your dog in a counter-clockwise circle. Again, mark with a “yes” or a click and treat. Some dogs will have an easier time turning in one direction than another, but ideally you want your dog to be able to turn both ways. You want muscle development equal on both sides.
Once your dog is successfully following the lure (it may only take 2-3 times) you can start fading the lure. Show the dog the treat but do a bit of slight-of-hand trickery and palm the treat to your other hand without your pup noticing.
Lure them in a circle then open your luring hand as if to say “look! no treat!” and then feed them from your other hand. You want your dog to understand that even if there’s not a treat on her nose she’ll still get one at the end. Practice this until you don’t have to be crafty in palming the treat and your dog is following an empty hand.
Now, it’s time to add a verbal cue. While luring the dog in a circle say “spin” while the dog is in movement so they associate the twirl with the word. Repeat until your dog is cuing off your voice and not your hand gesture. And that’s it! It’s a spin! Now go the other way and give that direction a unique name. “Twist” is a common cue.
SEE IT HERE IN ACTION
How long should you allow a dog to do this trick?
Until you’re sick of it! Dogs tend to love this trick because it’s easy, fun and it pays off with a treat at the end of it. When you’re first starting out, 1 spin = 1 treat, but as you and your dog progress you can ask for multiple spins for one treat.
SHOW US YOUR STUFF! Show us your dog spins by posting a video on Instagram and tagging with with the hashtag #pawshtricks for a chance to have your dog featured on Pawsh!