How to Train Your Dog to Dance in a Circle

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Teaching your dog to perform tricks is a fun way to interact with her and helps keep her mind sharp. One such trick is teaching her to dance in a circle. You can teach her how to spin next to you, around you or even between your legs with a little practice, creating a trick that can provide you and your dog with entertainment and exercise.

Teaching Spin

Step 1

Put a treat in front of your dog's nose and slowly turn your arm in a circle such that the dog follows the treat. When your dog makes the circle, praise and reward her with the treat. If your dog cannot make the full spin on the first try, reward for a quarter or half spin and keep trying.

Step 2

Repeat a few times until your dog is eagerly spinning for you.

Step 3

Add a command before making the lure, such as "spin" or "dance."

Step 4

Put the treat in your pocket rather than your hand and use your finger to guide. Continue to reward with a treat after she has finished. Say the chosen command before giving the lure. Gradually wait longer and longer before giving the lure after giving the command.

Tip

  • Reward with small meaty treats that your dog loves, so she will be excited to train. Keep practice sessions short -- less than five minutes -- so that your dog doesn't get bored or tired.

Adding Style

Spinning with You

Once your dog can spin, you can add new challenges to his repertoire by luring him around your body or between your legs. To do this, start just as you started the simple spin. Put a treat in your hands and lure your dog where you would like him to go. Give lots of rewards, even if your dog can't make it all the way at first. You may want to give these new spins different commands, such as "around" or "through."

Teaching Prance

To add an extra flourish to the spin, teach your dog to prance. To do this, get your dog to walk alongside you in the yard. Notice your dog's normal stride, and reward any time your dog takes a step longer than her natural stride. This will encourage your dog to take longer strides or lift paws higher, whichever you prefer. If your dog is struggling, take a toy that she likes and hold it out so she has to reach for it, forcing her to increase her stride length. Continue practicing this until your dog is trying to increase his stride. Then, add the command, such as "prance." This is not necessary to the spin, but introducing a prance makes your dog look lighter on her feet and can be a cute addition to the trick. Clicker training can be a helpful way to teach this as well.

Tip

  • If your dog is struggling with this step, teach your dog to touch its nose to a stick and gradually increase the distance of the stick from your dog's nose as he prances through the yard. This will encourage longer strides. Remember to keep training sessions short as this exercise might be taxing on your dog.

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