One of my favourite tricks is spin. Teaching your dog to spin around in a circle, left and right. It’s quite a fast trick which can heighten your dogs arousal and be used to break up sections of obedience, such as heelwork.
How to teach it:
- Take a tasty piece of food to your dogs nose and encourage them to follow the treat around in a slow circle towards their back end. Keep the food at the dogs eye level and keep them moving forward slowly.
- Once they start to turn reward them by giving them the treat and praise them.
- Work it slowly – reward when they turn a quarter of the way, then halfway, then the whole way.
Every dog is different, some will pick it up quickly and others will need to take it slow and be rewarded for little bits at a time.
Once the dog is following the treat in a full circle one way, try teaching them to go the other way. Every dog will have a favourite direction.
Next remove the treat from your hand and encourage them to follow your empty hand then reward once they do it.
You can start to add a command as they are turning around; have a different command for left and right spin.
Tip: If using a “left” and a “right” spin look at the way the dogs head turns for the spin, teach them to know their left, not your left when facing them.
Slowly move your hand higher and higher from their nose until you only need to say the command or give a slight hand signal.