Let’s train more dog tricks! We worked on tricks a couple of times in 2013 and thought it would be fun to get back to it. Why train tricks? It’s super fun to show off your dog’s cool skills, but tricks also develop foundation behaviors. In July, we’re going to use a lure to teach the play group dogs to circle us on cue (“around”). The final behavior looks impressive and it also works on your dog’s ability to follow a lure, learn new hand signals, and be comfortable working around you without needing eye contact.
Around is an easy trick to teach with a lure and here’s how we teach it during our play groups:
1. Start in a quiet place with no distractions and your dog standing or sitting in front of you.
2. Put a treat in both your hands. Put your right hand directly in front of your dog’s nose, and then begin to slowly move the treat to lure your dog clockwise around your body. You may need to adjust the speed at which you move your hand and where you are placing the lure (ideally directly in front of your dog’s nose, not too far above or below it).
3. Once your dog is moving around you to your back give them the treat from your right hand. At the same time, drop your left hand behind your back, put it directly in front of your dog’s nose to get their attention and continue to lure your dog all the way around you into a stand or sit in front of you.
4. After your dog completes the circle and returns to standing or sitting directly in front of you, feed them the treat and return your hand to your side.
5. For medium-sized or larger dogs, try to keep your body posture upright and keep your hands between your knees and waist. For smaller dogs, you can start the behavior by trying it on your knees.
6. Repeat several times and try both clockwise and counter-clockwise.