This is one of my favorite tricks to teach because it’s not one you see often. Most dogs you come across can sit or shake but seeing a dog give a cute little bow to their audience is adorable!
I’m going to explain to you one of several methods for teaching, “bow” to your dog. It’s called Clicker Training and I find it’s the most effective method for quick learning and reinforcement. If you aren’t aware of clicker training and would like to learn more; visit: www.clickertraining.com
Teaching “Bow”- The Clicker Training Method:
Have your dog stand in front of you. With a treat in your hand, move your hand toward your dog’s chest between their front legs so their head and neck automatically bend downward.
If you do this correctly, your dog’s elbows should look like they want to bend slightly in order to retrieve the treat from your hand.
Once you see this slight bend forward in your dog; click your clicker and bring your dog’s head up with the treat and give it to them. The trick with clicker training is to be on top of things and catch behaviors promptly.
After your repeat this step a few times, you can start to have your dog bend further down by placing the treat further towards the ground near their front feet. Click when they bow their head down and then quickly lead their head up again in starting position with the treat and give it to them. Soon they will be able to bow far enough down that their elbows touch the ground.
Once they grasp the concept of bowing; you can add your chosen cue word (in this case: Bow). Say your cue word once they are in the proper bow position, then click and treat as usual.
Be patient with your dog during this training process. Some dogs will pick this up faster than others but it also depends on you. Make sure you’re not rewarding sloppy tricks and be sure to catch the good ones quickly with your clicker. Remember to have fun with your dog too! They will be more eager to please when they know you’re having a great time with them!