"bow" Wow Blues

Discussion in 'Training Challenges' started by KatieMarie, May 25, 2012.

  1. sgtfrog Active Member

    I'm trying to teach Milli the bow trick but she won't have any of it. And she doesnt stretch when she stands up or when in a down position. So theres no way for me to "catch it". Milli always rolls on her back and does a stretch that way....

    Unfortunatly those 2 last videos absolutely dont work with milli. I always hated videos where the dog is clearly trained for this trick and automatically offers the behavior. =p... Been trying for a week. The video with that Kyra trainer makes it look super easy especially the way she explains it but she doesnt exactly give any solutions to the problems ( at least solutions that work for me). WIth milli, If i put a treat at nose level and drag it down diagnoally towards her chest ( and after consistently trying many sessions over the last week) she either

    1. Backs up.
    2. Treat just gets smooshed into her nose... while im moving the treat into her nose diagonally ( like the video) towards her chest. She'll just stand there and not move at all and tread just gets stuck haha..
    3. If i try the great dane technique milli just looks at the treat moving towards her chest. If i move it to the floor she just drops her head. If i move it diagonally towards floor while moving it back she lowers head and moves back..

    SHe never bends her front knees down. Not even a tiny tiny tiny bit where i can have the opportunity to click.

    Perhaps its too uncomfortable for her to do due to her having one hind leg 1 inch shorter than the other? The shorter leg is weaker and she does favor one leg.. Balance issues? I've never seen her with her butt up in the air ever.

    Maybe Not a trick i can teach in her physical condition


    edit: I'd also like to add that I cant be quick and catch her inbetween a down position because Milli never goes straight to a down. She does a quick sit/slide. So the butt end goes down first not the front... :eek::ROFLMAO:
    MaryK likes this.

  2. orpheum Well-Known Member

    Not sure about the fysical condition and this being a no-no to teach her this trick. It's not because a dog doesn't do something out of his own, that it's bad for him. Maybe his muscle memory is built up this way ?? When in doubt, don't overtrain it in the beginning so the muscles can get used to this action.
    I had 1 dog that used to back up also, so I just put him up against a wall in the beginning so he couldn't back up. For one of my students I came up with the idea of throwing treats under a chair (the dog would bow to get the treat from underneath). Sometimes it's all about being creative and thinking more about the step in between than the outcome.
    MaryK likes this.
  3. Mutt Experienced Member

    maybe this is an idea for you:
    take a "orange crate" (box or something like that) and let your dog put his hindpaws on it, while is front legs are on the ground. You can do this by first letting your dog stand on the box with four legs and than luring his frontpaws of the box. Than let your dog 'sit' (so the front paws are still stretched and on the ground and her but is on the box). Than lure her in a standing position (hindlegs stretched) by putting a treat (in your hand) to the ground (and moving it to the box (dog) if nessecary). Reward when she does this right. Than let her sit again (like explained before) and reward again. And do this a couple of times. Don't make it to long!
    With this exercise the dog becomes more aware of it's body (the hindlegs) and also gets familiar with having it's frontpaws lower than it's hindpaws.
    Mazzel showing what I mean (at 0.19):

    (I would use a lower object, Mazzel is bigger and also has done this more often)
    MaryK likes this.
  4. sgtfrog Active Member


    Yup. I'm not overtraining don't worry. I was doing alot of small sessions. She just never showed any sign of even wanting to bend the Front legs. Tried putting her against a wall but that was unsucessful as well =). She would just be watching the treat. No budging.

    I decided to stop looking at youtube videos and just try a different approach tonight. I took out a small makeup stool my wife uses ( just has 4 legs with empty space underneath). Put a treat on opposite side of milli and For the first time Milli was bowing under the stool to get the treat so I've been Clicking that behavior. She can do this but i can tell shes not used to it and its not easy on her back legs. Now that I've triggered the behavior/position How can I phase out/ remove the stool successfully ?

    @Mutt, Thanks for the vid. I dont think Milli would be able to do those on a chair she has one weak and short back leg.... I'm hoping with all the new tricks That ill be teaching her , the short leg will get stronger and more weight bearing... At the moment I'm trying to teach her how to bow and I'm aiming to teach her the proper heel positioning using that Elephant technique for rear end awareness. You know the one where the dog puts it's front legs on a book ( or bowl) and turns either side. Right now shes able to place herself on the book on cue but I'm teaching the turning part which is extremely hard for milli to do with one leg being a weaker than the other. Hoping this will strengthen her a little =) thanks for the tips.!!
    MaryK likes this.
  5. Mutt Experienced Member

    Glad to hear that you figured something out, not only our dogs have to learn to think outside the box ;)

    The chair is way too high for your dog with this exercise, it has to be atleast half the height. This was to show you what I mean ;)

    I think this is exercise is a great way to train the hindleg muscels, but if you feel that it isn't suitable for you dog you shouldn't do it! I don't know your dog (as wel as you do) and only you can decide if it fits her.
    MaryK likes this.
  6. sgtfrog Active Member

    thanks for the info! =)

    Yeah i dont think milli is quite ready for that kind of excercise , even on a platform at half the height. I need to train her hind legs some more first and see if she has it in her ;)
    MaryK likes this.
  7. huntyr Well-Known Member

    I love this forum.... look at all the fantastic ideas here!
    I had given up on every learning "bow" but now I can try again....
    MaryK likes this.
  8. sgtfrog Active Member

    Putting a treat under a stool/chair definitely worked for me. Now shes bowing like pro if theres a chair =). I've taken the chair away and I'm putting my arm between her and the treat and say "bow" and she does it. She wont bow without an obstacle though. It's a work in progress =).
    MaryK and southerngirl like this.
  9. orpheum Well-Known Member

    I think it's important for her to really get the muscle memory going. Since this behaviour is new, she will not offer it as fast as other behaviours. You want to train those muscles a bit longer. I look at it like this. Texting with your cellphone was hard in the beginning. Looking for the right letters etc. After a while you're not even looking at your cellphone to write a text message. Your muscle memory is trained perfectly to know the distance between buttons and everything. But If you have never used a finger to push on a button you first have to learn this step and it will take longer. Logical way of thinking I guess, but some people never looked at it this way. It will help you to be more patient.
    You allready found your next step!!! Yay for you. Now try to give the command a bit earlier while moving your arm towards her. You want to get the bow at an earlier stage of your non-verbal command (being putting your arm their).
    The other thing I do is: I don't reward just once in that position (especially if it's new). If your dog is in the bow position you need to make it clear that that's what you want. So for me this is "feeding time". I give a maximum of 3 EXTRA treats very quickly (as long as she stays in the position, this is my only criteria when doing this !!!). This method will later on help me to lengthen the behaviour. Once my dog "knows" she can get more treats I start fumbling with the food. Her focus is on the food, she keeps the position and gets her reward but with a bit of time in between (building up the length). Works for all my dogs except the Jack Russell (he's still a work in progress, but he's getting there). The 5th treat they get after I give a release command. You want to be able to define the length of a excercise, so perfect way to build it up.

    Hope you understand everything I'm trying to explain. My English isn't perfect ;-)
    Mutt and MaryK like this.
  10. MaryK Honored Member

    I've been following this thread with interest as I want to teach Ra Kismet bow. He doesn't do it naturally, as in on waking up in the mornings he's too busy leaping on me, so I have to 'train' him to bow.

    So much advice and help, I now feel I can start teaching him to bow.
  11. orpheum Well-Known Member

    Never give up if you want to train something. Think outside the box, try new things, be creative or just take a step back and overthink what you're doing/have done. Be like a Jack russel (or at least mine). GO GO GO and when it gets rough: shut down brain and logical thinking and go crazy, ignore all the rest :ROFLMAO: But he always seems to reach his goal/criteria.

    I'm so happy I could help by giving this small advice. I'm sure you'll be able to figure out the next steps and if not ask your questions. You can even send personal message if I don't reply on the forum (I sometimes forget to read the forum or am too busy with other things ... f.e. my dogs and family)
    MaryK and Mutt like this.

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