Bow training

Discussion in 'Dog Tricks' started by bclover, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. bclover New Member

    I have been Bow training all week with no seccess at all. I use a lure down between his front paws and as soon as he is in the correct position, I c/t. But Spyder is not catching on at all. Any suggestions?

  2. Jean Cote Administrator

    Hello BC Lover,

    I assume that your definition of success is to have your dog perform the trick by saying the bow command. But this is not a very realistic goal to have for the first week. Of course there are some dogs that learn faster than others, but for the majority, it may take 3 or more.

    I always follow this training routine when it involves luring:

    1. Lure the dog into the proper behavior.
    2. Switch the lure into a visual signal.
    3. Say your command 1 second before giving visual signal.
    4. Then the command alone elicits the trick.

    As you can see, if you take one week for each, then it should take you approximately 3-4 weeks, depending on how often you train your dog.

    So I think that you should work on your signal now that you can lure the dog. In the beginning, the signal can be a duplicate of the lure but without any food in your hand. And then to gradually change it so that it suits your needs. My dog actually bows when I bow.

    I am working on a lesson for the classroom for this trick - so it should be available within 2 weeks. I hope this helps. :dogwub:
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    If he is consistently luring(smoothly) into position, then just keep at it. If not...

    Are you simply luring down between his paws, or moving down and back(towards him) so he has to bow to get it? The second works best, but be quick with the clicker before he lays down.

    Once he's following your hand/finger down between his legs into position, take away the treat and use just your hand. When he does it, click and jackpot. Slowly make your cue less dramatic until it is not needed and you can transition to a verbal cue or a different visual.

    But mainly, don't expect so much from him. Granted BCs are incredibly intelligent and you may have found that he takes much less than a week to learn his other commands. Despite being the smartest breed in the world, there are still some tricks that will stump your BC and will take longer. You may not be doing anything wrong, he may just not be getting it yet. Give him time and be consistent. Don't give up on him. Mud learned to weave perfectly in less than 10 minutes, but covering her eyes took two weeks and a competitive obedience style heel is going very slowly, and she still braces on almost every jump of any kind.

    Stick with it and be patient. Even Einstein took a while to figure out certain problems. :)
  4. bellapup Well-Known Member

    I've tried this one myself...not sure what I'm doing wrong with the luring, but Bella moves so quickly into a down position I can't reward her for the bow. I thought I'd wait for the video, but if there's something I can do in the immediate, I'd appreciate the suggestions. :)
  5. Jean Cote Administrator

    I train it using my left hand under the dog's belly (to keep the dog from going into the down position). Then reinforce the bow position. With time, you can decrease the amount of pressure your arm puts on the belly to the point where there is none and you can remove your arm. ;) Hope this helps!
  6. bellapup Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the tip, Jean. Today was my first taste of a bit of success with bow. I did as you recommended, putting my hand under Bella's belly (hehe...couldn't help it)...but she darted back thinking I was trying to pick her up or something. Just when I thought it wasn't going to work for her, she settled down and actually did a bow.

    I did about 5 more tries, with three of them going successfully. I ended it on the last successful bow, and she did a few spins for me, as if asking to keep going. *LOL* It's amazing how just the right thing can suddenly make a trick happen. I'm going to shoot for having her bow with me, like you have. That way, Bella and I have a goal. :) Thanks again!
  7. brenda taulbee New Member

    When we were doing Bow with Kenzii:
    We actually switched the command to "Kneel". Since Bow and Down are so similar, and the actions are also similar, we wanted to give her something that was very very distinct in the trick.

    Instead of doing a hand under her belly, which just confused her, we used a kitchen chair. We would place a treat just far enough under the chair that she would have to bow, but not lie down or crawl to get it. Once she was getting the idea with the chair we moved away from it and continued with just a lure. Whenever she went into a full down I would give her a gentle Ah-Ah, stand her up and lure again. She could do it by voice command in about 3 days.
    volito likes this.
  8. snooks Experienced Member

    here i was getting ready to say hand under belly and the chair pops up. what a novel and great idea, just goes to show there is always more than one way and if other people think it up first for you it's much easier. my compliments to all that succeeded.
  9. moweeks New Member

    When I taught Buddy to "Take a Bow" I used my husband's fastened belt looped around his ( Buddy's not Hubby's ) middle to keep his backside up with one hand while luring with a treat with the other into a frontside down position. I had my clicker in the belt hand.

    This has quickly become his favorite trick to offer when soliciting treats.
  10. sara Moderator

    Scout will bow when I bow.... only if my hand is on the floor (ha ha). I cannot get her to bow, with her head down (the cute way) with a higher sign. So her sign is 3 fingers on the floor in front of her nose. She will stay in the bow as long as my hand is on the ground, move my hand she gets up.....
  11. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    I will try the kitchen chair idea, as i am not being able to get Buddy to do this either. I can lure him, but i ACTUALLY have to have a treat in my hand, he will not lure into this position without a treat in my hand. then when he is in position, i c/t.

    but i can't get past that.
    I've tried luring him with no treat, nope.
    My verbal cue is "TA-DA!" so it won't sound like 'down'. It was gonna be "moon?" that would have been funny, but i didn't think of it in time.
    Guess i'll try to find a chair that would cause him to bow. And i'll go look at the video. I thought this would be easy trick, but it is not for Buddy.

    Now i am wearing the clicker, and trying c/t whenever he stretches in a bow position...
  12. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    I've also quit giving him the treat i lured him with while he is in position. I wondered if giving him the treat while in the bow position was what was messing up Buddy's ability to get the trick right...

    Now I click when he is in a bow, but give him the treat in a stand, is that wrong?
  13. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Hmm I would probably treat in the bow, otherwise even though you're clicking the bow, you're treating the stand. So I would treat in the bow. Zeke always did it when he was super excited, so I kind of shaped/lured the bow and now it's his favorite thing to do.
    With Mud I would push the treat between her legs under her chest, click, treat there. Then just my hand maybe, or less of a lure. Then even less of a lure. Pay attention to your body language, too. If you're bowing with him, you're going to be leaning forward. So maybe lean forward and small lure(if he's past the big lure), click and reward right there. You could have treat in hand, bow yourself while luring him. If that makes sense. That way he has a visual cue to link with it.
  14. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Oh and I use "Ta-da!" too. ^^
  15. jackienmutts Honored Member

    I can tell you how I trained it - it was so simple. I had tried everything, gotten nowhere. Someone on the dogwise forum suggested this, as this is how she trained her dog. Sounded too simple, but wth? As dogs will almost always stretch when getting up after naps, etc, keep treats in your pocket, and stashed everywhere and capture that "bow" (stretch) and praise with an obvious YES and toss a treat between their two front paws when they're 'in position'. After about a week Makena was bowing all the time and catching my eye just to see if she could get a "YES" and a treat (and I was obliging) , that's when I added "queen" (as in ... hail or bow to the...) as the cue, and I also kind of curtsey/bow - so I now ask her to "bow to the queen". hehe But she caught on really quickly, it was almost too simple. Hope it helps.

    One suggestion - 'bow' sounds a lot like 'down' and can be confusing to a dog, just because of the sound, so may be best to find a word besides 'bow' when looking for a cue.
    volito likes this.
  16. fickla Experienced Member

    I don't think that's wrong, depending upon what stage Buddy is in. While yes I like to click behaviors and reward the position, I find that when I start out teaching bow a lot of dogs lie down really quickly. So I click the bow, and then lure back up to a stand with the treat to tell them that I don't want a complete down. Once they are at this point, I then go to treat them in the bow position and try to keep clicking and treating as long as they are holding the bow. So the dog might be able to hold it for 2 treats at first, but then for 5 treats later.

    Bow is a hard one for dogs to learn the word. I find that teaching them to hold a bow first makes the word easier to learn for some reason.

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