How do I teach my dog to bow? Before I drop some tips on this question, have you ever imagined how cool it will feel to see your dog bowing to you or your visitors at home? That will be awesome, guys! You can actually train your dog to bow whenever you want by teaching him some of the commands we are going to explain here.
Bowing is a very elegant greeting that will make all visitors to your house immediately fall in love with your dog. In fact, no one can resist a well-behaved pet. The good news is that it’s very easy to teach your dog how to bow on command.
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You must have seen so many domestic dog shows where a star dog bows to thank the audience after a presentation. At the end of the presentation, the trainer will give a few commands, and the dog will execute them by bowing respectfully to the audience (thanking them for their attention). This greet command is what we want you to teach your dog, and we are going to guide you on how you can do it. Keep reading.
What do I need to teach my dog how to bow for a presentation?
With just gestures and verbal orders, your dog can execute the “greet” commands by bending the back and leaning on the elbows. You don’t need any objects to teach your dog how to bow.
To make the presentation more impactful, the trainer can reward the dog with a treat whenever he obeys the commands. The treat should be attached to a “Magic Wand treat dispenser,” raised above the dog’s head. Then wave it with the greet command in order to lure the dog to execute the commands.
The dog needs to be trained to obey the commands according to the movements of the wand. The technique is called “luring” (from the English “lure,” to attract) and consists of channeling the dog’s attention to the reward.
What you should do first before teaching your dog how to bow
Remember, “How do I teach my dog to bow?” is the main question to tackle. But before then, here is what you should make sure your dog learns before learning how to bow:
Before learning to bow (which can be executed from the command “greet” or “thank you”), the dog must have learned the basic commands, such as “come,” “stay,” “up,” “down,” “together,” etc., in addition to the first signs: “yes” and “no.”
In addition to this, the dog must have already understood the meaning of “stand up” (standing on all four legs) and “stop” (when the dog’s movements need to be stopped).
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How do I teach my dog to bow?
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to teach your dog to bow. The bowing trick means to stand on all four legs and slowly bend your front legs, resting your elbows and ribcage on the floor. In this movement, the rump remains raised, and the dog can wag its tail to end the presentation, thanking the assistants.
1) Say the commands “stand up” and “stop”—the dog must have already assimilated the meaning of the two orders.
2) Hold the treat at the level of the dog’s nose, a few inches away. Slowly lower the level of the treat, indicating that the dog needs to follow the movement.
3) As soon as he rests his elbows on the ground, pat the sides of his rump; almost all dogs start wagging their tails when they feel the pressure of the trainer’s hand on their rump.
4) Say the command “greet” (or “thank you”) as the dog assumes the desired position. It may be necessary to repeat the strategy a few times before the dog understands the movement to be performed.
5) Hold the bow for a few seconds before offering the reward. While the dog is in the taught position, keep repeating the “thank you” command.
6) Finally, issue the command “stand up”: this is the signal for the dog to return to its normal position and accept the treat.
7) For the bow to be even more complete, the dog can learn to bend its front paws.
Before offering the reward, bring the treat to one of the paws (using the “no” command to prevent him from eating it).
8) Then move the treat towards the other paw; if necessary, hold one of the paws with the treat and position it crossed over the other.
9) Repeat the operation several times, taking care to always move only one of the paws (if training starts with the left, this will always have to overlap the other).
10) The dog can easily understand that it should cross its paws. When he makes the move spontaneously, he should be rewarded.
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More tips on teaching my dog to bow
Some dogs find it difficult to understand what is expected of them; many just lie down, flexing all four legs. So that they can understand the new trick, the tutor can initially place the hand on the abdomen, keeping the hind legs raised while the head and chest bow.
Few dogs learn to bow and wag their tails in the first few lessons. It is very important to be patient and persistent, repeating the commands four or five times before ending the lesson.
It may take several sessions to teach the dog to bow. As the dog assimilates the new trick, the trainer can extend the time he spends bowing—obviously, without exaggeration.
If the dog has difficulty bending over and crossing his paws, each skill can be worked on separately, joining the gestures only after the dog has fully understood that he must perform both movements.
With fixed learning, treats can be dispensed with, but verbal stimuli and caresses must accompany all the movements and successes of the dogs.
It is important to remember that, if you are training your dog to bow for a dog show, dogs can get distracted by the assistance and forget what needs to be done. It is recommended to perform the trick at home for family members before demonstrating it for an audience.
Once the dog has internalized the new command, however, it can be executed anytime, anywhere, even during daily walks to greet acquaintances and strangers on the street.
Every lesson on a new trick needs to be enjoyable and fun for the dogs. Otherwise, they will give up too easily. While the command is being practiced, the trainer can encourage the dog with praise and affection.