Written by Melissa Viera
This week's trick is teaching your dog to spin circles. The challenge with this trick is getting your dog to spin when you give them only a verbal cue, instead of just following your hand. Teaching spin will allow you to practice using luring techniques along with fading the lure out. You can teach spin in both directions using different cues for each direction (for example "spin" to mean circle right, and "circle" to mean circle left). Spin can be incorporated into heelwork and canine freestyle, or just teach this trick to have fun spending time with your dog!
1.) If your dog has never followed a lure before begin by rewarding them for making the decision to follow your hand without worrying about getting a full circle.
2.) Next bring your hand away from your body and make a circle in either direction to guide your dog. The goal is to keep your dog's nose close to your hand so you can guide them to complete a circle. You can even hold a treat in your hand to start. Be sure to mark/reward as your dog performs the circle. At this time you do not have to give them any verbal cue.
3.) Once your dog can easily follow your hand to perform the spin it's time to add a verbal cue. First say your chosen cue word, than show your dog what it means by guiding them with your lure again. For example say "spin", wait a split second, than bring out your hand and show them. Only say your verbal cue one time before guiding your dog.
4.) As you progress your hand lure will get smaller and smaller until your dog is performing only on the verbal cue word.
To view a short video of me training spin click the link below!