crawl and other floor tricks


New Member
Ludo gets a bit over excited sometimes when doing down tricks and starts targeting my feet or generally playing the fool. :msngiggle:

For example, we've been learning crawl and he will only do it following me backwards and touching my feet, if I start him off from a way back he wont do it. Anyone know any ways around this?


New Member
He is nearly 8 months and have not been teaching it very long, just a couple of weeks. However he has a thing about my feet on any floor based trick.


Experienced Member
Ah, I see. At that age, the attention span is naturally low and everything seems exciting. I personally like to encourage that craziness as much as possible as it can help when it comes to other more daring tricks. My advice is, whatever else you do, don't discourage your dog from acting a little whacky. It will be a God-send to you in a few months time when you begin to teach tricks that require your dog to be pushy, daring, and even a little cheeky.

In the meantime, keep the training sessions very short so that the dog's mind doesn't have time to wander. Above all, have lots of fun between you. The more fun you have, the more you bond, and the more you bond, the more the dog trusts you, and the more the dog trusts you, the easier teaching new tricks will become as the brain matures.

If you insist on perfecting the crawl now, then make sure you visualise exactly what you want before you begin each session. I am teaching Ellie to crawl right now as it happens. When I did my afternoon session, I visualised that I wanted to sit six feet away and have her crawl forward to me, without her lifting her legs at all. If she didn't lift her legs, I clicked and rewarded. If she lifted her legs, I didn't and we started over.

It's up to you to be consistent and let the dog know how to succeed. As long as the reward is of high enough value, the dog will follow. :)


Honored Member
Staff member
There are many ways to teach crawl.

You can use a target stick, and teach the dog to follow the target stick.

You can simply use a down stay, lure a few inches, click and treat, and slowly decrease your luring until all you have to do is give the command.

You can sit on the floor with your knees up and lure the dog under your knees, click and reward, and then go to maybe sitting on the edge of a chair so the dog still has the visual of having to stay down to get under your legs, then go to standing and asking for the crawl.

I have used all of these methods with success. Just depends on the dog. Hope this helps!!

Although I do like to utilize the hyperactivity, I try to channel it. If my dogs get too overzealous and start offering other tricks and luring them into the desired trick isn't working, I asking for a sit or down and stay, and let them calm down for a minute or two. Then I ask for the trick again, and lure if necessary. If they're really just incredibly excited, then I'll go into a more active trick or do one of their faves to utilize the energy. For instance, if Mud is really excited and doesn't want to wave, then I'll ask for a sit(which she always does) then grab her fave toy and do a leg weave, rewarding with the toy at the end. I always ask for a command first(like the sit) so that I'm not rewarding her for not listening to me. We do a few active tricks, and then we'll go back to the original thing I was asking for. She gets more tuned into me this way and is more willing to do her other tricks.

Hope this helps!!


Staff member
I taught my dog to crawl, it was tough, because I had to make up a sign, figure out how to use it where she would pay attention, hold a treat and lure her. It was tough to figure out how it would work, but we got it. I started by luring her from a down, if she crawled forward a step without getting up I signed in front of her nose (non treat hand), she got a thumbs up (treat hand) then the treat. once I figured out how to teach her, she got it quickly. I can only get about 8 ft of distance tho. she'll get up, haven't figured out how to expand the distance more..... 8 ft is her limit, no matter what I do. I cannot get her working away from me, but, because she'd deaf, thats really O.K.


Experienced Member
I second the target stick on ease of teaching. It allows you to be a little more distant than following your feet. A target stick can be a wood dowel, a toy, or one from a pet store. Something simple like a wood spoon or spatula with peanut butter on the end can be very useful too.

The keys in following a target are click while the dog is following - not touching the target. Take the target away while treating (unless you have pb on it and are luring still). I usually hold target stick and clicker in one hand and treats in the other and put the target behind my back while treating. Keeping your treat hand still or behind your back while clicking is another thing that helps make sure the dog is cueing on your verbal cue not you rustling around the treat bag or going in a pocket.

You could also try freeshaping from scratch which might take a while but sometimes it just takes a new idea or a different way for a dog to get it. :dogwink: