How to Train Your Dog to Take a Bow

How to Train Your Dog to Take a Bow

Who is this trick for?

This trick is a great way to start tricking. In addition, this exercise is carried out very calmly – perfect if your dog “turns up” quickly and you want a relaxed training session. Any dog ​​can bow, no matter how big or small it is.

How do I teach my dog ​​to bow?

The best way to practice this trick is with a so-called clicker, a training tool. With the “click” sound of the clicker, certain behavior of the dog can be confirmed with pinpoint accuracy. That’s why you should start with conditioning the clicker first if your dog hasn’t gotten to know it yet.

Step 1

Grab a clicker and some soft, easy-to-swallow treats . Now sit down on the floor opposite your dog. Your four-legged friend is now about to have a great exercise because he doesn’t have to do anything . You just click once and then give him a treat. Then you click again and give him one again. You now repeat this many times . Your dog should understand as conditioning progresses that a click means there is an immediate treat, so click = treat.
If you are not sure if your dog has understood this yet, you can do it a little later, for example if your dog is playing or napping in a different room and not in training modeclick in an adjoining room and wait for your dog to come running. Then he has certainly understood the principle and of course now gets a small treat.

step 2

Now for the trick. Sit on the floor with your dog and get him to stand, as this is the starting position . To get him to bow, take a treat and run it from his nose down between his front paws, toward his chest. Your dog should now bend down to reach the treat. If your dog walks backwards, just leave it uncommented and repeat the process. Especially at the beginning you reward every movement in the right direction with a clickto make it easier for your dog. If he is already performing the “servant”, it is important to ensure that you quickly reward him in the correct position before he lowers his bottom and lies down. If you react too quickly, he will understand that he will only be rewarded for lowering his forehand.

step 3

Great, with help your four-legged friend moves into the right position and bows. Now he should hold this position a little longer. Proceed as usual and lead your dog to bow. Now, as before, give him a treat, this time omitting the clicker. You give him another treatment right away and you’re welcome to give him another treat afterward as long as he holds the position. Since there’s a good chance he’ll lie down, you should dislodge him before he can. If he does lie down, it’s not bad at all. You just bring him back to the starting position and try again.

step 4

To make this trick a little fancier, get yourself in an upright position. Your dog should remain in the bow, even without your helping hand. You can try this by getting him into the bow position as normal and then taking your hand away and slowly straightening up from time to time. Before you give your four-legged friend the signal to wait, such as “stay” or “wait” – depending on which your dog has learned. So you’re trying to increase the amount of time your dog stays like this. Every second longer is a great success!


Each dog has its individual learning pace. If you notice that your dog is having trouble with a partial step, simply take a step back and increase yourself very slowly. Because dogs learn contextually, it will be difficult for your dog if you suddenly adopt a different posture. Try out here how much your dog can be influenced and still be able to show what you have learned. If you want to introduce a word signal, do so only when the whole process is correct. In addition, it usually makes more sense to introduce a specific gesture that you always repeat during training, such as bowing to yourself, since your dog links gesture much better than words.

See Also: How to Use Clicker Training to Communicate With Your Dog

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