AKC GoodDog! Helpline Trainer Milena Barreto has taught her Standard Poodle, Phoebe, dozens of tricks. They use their repertoire of tricks to entertain on their therapy dog team visits.
Spinning is an easy trick to teach your dog.
First get his attention, using a treat.
Holding the treat in your hand, hold it above his nose and slowly move it in a large circle just above his head. He should follow your hand.
Continue moving your hand full-circle and, if your dog follows your hand to complete the circle, praise and give him the treat. Repeat those steps a few times, allowing him to get used to the movements.
If he is consistently following your hand full-circle, add the verbal cue “Spin Around.”
After he is good at completing one full spin, you can add more circles before giving him the treat. Then you can start asking for 2 to 3 spins - or even more - before you give him the treat.
After a few successful repetitions, use your hand motion without the treat so your dog does not become dependent on doing the trick based on whether he sees a visible treat.
Remember, keep training sessions short and always end on a good note!
For more tips and advice and to talk to a dog trainer with your questions, enroll in the AKC GoodDog! Helpline, a seven-day-a-week telephone support service: www.akcgooddoghelpline.org