Teach Your Dog to Take a Bow

AKC GoodDog! Helpline Trainer Breanne Long tells us how to teach your dog the cute trick of bowing. Bow is a cute trick but also a good stretch for your dog! Since ‘bow’ and ‘down’ sound very similar, use a different word for bow if you also use the verbal cue 'down'.

Some ideas are 'take a bow' (emphasize the word take so it becomes the cue), 'play', ‘curtsy,’ and 'stretch'.

Now follow these steps to teach your dog to “Take a Bow”:

1. Gather some yummy treats.

2. With a treat in your hand, push your hand toward your dog and along the floor. Your dog will follow the treat with his nose and lower his elbows to the floor.

3. Be quick! Your dog may try to drop into a down so verbally praise and reward as soon as his elbows hit the floor but before he slides into a down. Optional: Gently keep a hand under your dog’s tail or loin to encourage him to keep his rump off the floor.

4. Practice. Each time you practice, withhold the reward a second or two longer to build the duration of the position. 

The AKC GoodDog! Helpline is a seven-day-a-week telephone support service that is staffed by experienced dog trainers. Trainers answer clients’ dog training and behavior questions. For more information, contact: www.akcgooddoghelpline.org.