Dancing with your dog is an impressive (and super cute) trick that most dogs can learn with the right training. A dog that knows how to dance will be able to spin around you on its hind legs on command. You can also throw in a few other tricks for an even flashier routine. It may take a little bit of time for your pup to catch on, but there’s no cooler move around when it comes to showing off your dog’s skills. Even if your dog struggles to master the steps, you’ll both still have a ton of fun trying!
Get your dog into a regular “sit” position. Put a treat in your hand and stand up or sit next to your dog. Hold the treat up to get the dog’s attention and give them your command for sit. If they don’t know sit yet, get in front of your dog and lure their nose upward until they sit. When they do, give them the treat and say “sit.” Continue practicing this until your dog no longer needs the treat to follow the order.
You need a treats to train your dog! You can use the dog’s kibble to keep things easy, or use a prepackaged treat to give your dog something more attractive if they tend to need more motivation.
Early on, music is just going to distract your dog. Start by training your pup to dance in a calm, quiet area.You can add the music later on once they’ve committed the moves to memory.
Raise the treat a little above their head to direct them up. Hold a treat in front of your dog and raise it above their head. If your dog loses interest or moves, reset them by putting them back into the original position and try again. The goal here is to get your dog to lift up on their back legs a little to get the treat. If they take their front legs off of the ground to reach the treat, give it to them.
If your dog just won’t take their front legs off of the ground, don’t worry about it. Reward them for extending their neck up for the treat. They’ll get it eventually!
You don’t need to train for super long. Just do 5-10 minutes a day and keep building on what your dog learned the previous day. It may take 3-5 training sessions to get your dog to raise its front legs up.
Reward your dog once they stand on their hips and say “sit pretty.” Keep raising the treat higher and higher until your pup lifts up off of their front legs and rests on their haunches. Once your dog does this, pair the treat with the phrase “sit pretty!” so your dog starts to pair the phrase with the behavior. Keep practicing the move over and over.
While the phrase “sit pretty” is the most common term for this move, you can use any keyword you’d like. Some people prefer to use “beg” or “stand up.”
Master the “sit pretty” position to set the foundation for your dance. Practice the sit pretty trick every day until your dog has it down. Once your pup is at the point where they understand the verbal command alone, you can start phasing out the treats. This is the position your dog needs to be in while you teach them to stand and dance.
If you use hand motions to reinforce your verbal commands, holding your hand up above their head is a good way to signal the sit pretty, especially since that’s what you were originally doing when you were giving them treats. It will also be a kind of cute way to start the dance off once you’ve put everything together.
Raise the treat even further and reward your pup for reaching. Put your dog in the sit pretty position and hold a treat above their head. Move your hand up slowly to get your dog to extend up. Reward them for the progress they make whenever they stand up higher. If they’re struggling to balance themselves while they reach for the treat, hold your forearm out under your dog’s arms to give them something to rest on.
Reward any progress you see. Your dog may not stand straight up right away—it may take a few training sessions for your canine friend to get used to standing up.
Lead your pup with the treat until they start standing up all the way. Keep practicing regularly and keep lifting the treat further up until your dog gets comfortable holding themselves up on their back legs. If your dog is still working on their balance, feel free to keep that forearm out there to support them while they practice.
Your dog’s core and legs will get stronger by doing this, so they will definitely get better over time if you’re consistent.
If they never get used to balancing on their own, turn the forearm into a part of your dance. You can act like you’re doing a kind of slow dance while you lead them on your forearm and spin around!
Train them to stand up for up to 10 seconds at a time. Keep pushing your dog to stand up for longer by keeping the treat just barely out of reach and withholding it. You could wait 2 seconds, then 5 seconds, then 10 seconds with each session. This will help your pup learn that they need to stay standing up for the reward.
At this point, standing up may turn into quite the workout for your dog. Try to cut back on the length of your training sessions and give them plenty of time to rest between reps.
Don’t go for more than 10 seconds at a time. This can be difficult for your dog’s knees and hips if they’re standing up for too long.
Lead your dog around you in a circular motion until they start “walking.” Get your dog into the standing position and start slowly moving the treat clockwise or counterclockwise away from them while you turn in place. If your dog moves a few inches (or centimeters), reward them. Keep practicing this until your dog gets used to taking a short stroll on their back legs.
If your dog sits down before they get the treat and they weren’t standing for very long, don’t give them the treat. If they made some good progress and they just lost their balance, you can probably reward them. The encouragement will keep them motivated to continue trying.
Image titled Teach Your Dog to Dance Step 11
Work on leading your dog all the way around you before rewarding them. Once they’ve got the basic idea down, start trying to lead your dog all the way around in a 360-degree circle. Every time your pup completes a lap, give them a treat. Then, you can start working on completing multiple laps. At this point, start to phase out the treat and just reward them with praise.
Once they’ve got this movement down, you’ve mastered a simple dance!
If they get really good at this, you can practice leading them backwards so they can walk in either direction. This can be a little tough if your dog isn’t super coordinated, though.
Start spinning with your dog while they move to create a fancy tango. Once your dog is used to moving around you in a circle, you can start moving with them. Either rotate with them to do an elegant little twirl, or start rotating in the opposite direction for a fancier dance. You can even put your hand above you like you’re being twirled by the dog in a kind of ballroom dance!
This is the point where you can start pairing the dance with music if you’d like. If you bring the music in before they’ve got the moves down, they’re probably just going to get distracted, though.
If you notice your dog gets progressively further away from you while doing this, start beginning the trick with your dog in “heel” and then go into “sit pretty.” This will signal to your dog that you want them to stay close to you.
Incorporate other tricks into the routine to mix it up. If your dog has other tricks in their repertoire, you can start teaching them a choreographed dance. A roll over straight into the circle dance is adorable. You could also have the dog chase its tail for a moment before jumping up to you to give you their paws for a little waltz routine. Once the core of the dance is down, the possibilities are endless!
How to Teach Your Dog to Dance ?
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