Tail Tuck

Discussion in 'Obedience Training' started by amberriska, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. amberriska Active Member

    Hi I'm new, I have a 5 month old Lab/German Shepard puppy that I'm training as a service dog. I asked my trainer today if he knew how to get her to tuck her tail in so she doesn't get hurt when we are out and about and he said he wasn't even sure if dogs are aware enough to learn to (lame negative trainer). Everyone here has done such amazing things with their dogs, I was hoping for a bit of help on how I can get her to tail tuck either by grabbing it with her mouth and pulling it in or just using her strong tail muscles to get it out of the way.

  2. Anneke Honored Member

    I have seen this done, but I haven't trained it myself. And I can't find the vid, where I saw it:oops:
    So hopefully one of the other memebers can be more helpfull
    Dlilly likes this.
  3. Mutt Experienced Member

    First of all, welcome to DTA :)

    Here is a video of a dog tucking in her tail:

    I'd go for taking her tail in her mouth on command and after that start going for a small tuck. Maybe having to place it on something visual first (so the dog has a reference point).
    Dlilly, Anneke, Dogster and 1 other person like this.
  4. amberriska Active Member

    Thanks for the welcome! Great advice, I would have never thought to make her place her tail on something. It's so nice to have such a wonderful web site full of smart people and dogs!
    Dlilly, Anneke, Dogster and 2 others like this.
  5. fickla Experienced Member

    I started this trick with my toller, although never finished it of course :) I approached it more as a retrieve of the tail. I held his tail and clicked any interaction with his nose. He got that part done very very quickly although we got stuck getting any biting as I am sure it never entered his head to bite a body part of his. Wrapping some vet wrap around the middle of his tail allowed me to offer biting and from there it was easy to fade the vet wrap. What we got stuck on was a hold as the trick I actually wanted was for him to pick up his tail and bring it to me :)
    Mutt likes this.
  6. kcmetric Well-Known Member

    That's a cute trick, but to me that's all it is. I feel like the version kikopup has her dog do is just impractical in a public place like a train and really is just too much. I prefer to teach the much simpler version. Because I'm too lazy to type it out I have found a lovely explanation from another service dog user of how she taught it.

    "Make her use her brain to figure out what you want her to do. To do this, have her lay down and lightly press against the side of her tail with your foot. As soon as she moves her tail on her own (you must wait for her to move her tail on her own!) click and treat. Repeat many times.

    At first, she probably will not know what you are clicking for-- her movement of her tail may be involuntary. But you will see her try to figure out what it is you are clicking for. Depending on how aware she is of her tail muscles, she will eventually figure out you are clicking and treating for movement of the tail. Once she figures this out, you can start waiting to click and treat for the tail movement you like-- so while before you were clicking for any movement of her tail, start slowly requiring more of her.

    At first require any voluntary movement of her tail. Then require the voluntary movement to be 1 cm, then after a few training sessions require it to be 2 cm, then 3 cm etc until you've got her tucking her tail all the way under. At this point and only at this point should you introduce the verbal command. Do not introduce the verbal command earlier than this as it will only confuse her about what you are asking for.

    To introduce the verbal command, say the command, then give the pressure on the side of her tail with your foot. Repeat a bunch of times. When it seems like she is starting to anticipate your foot pressure when you say the verbal command, start giving some time, like a second, between the verbal command and the physical stimulus. This will give her time to think. Eventually she'll not need the physical stimulus and she'll understand that just the verbal command means to tuck the tail."
    Evie and southerngirl like this.
  7. amberriska Active Member

    Thanks! Bringing a tail sounds so cute! I will see if she notices the pressure on her tail, she seems a bit oblivious to it right now but I'm sure we can work up to tail awareness. You guys and gals are so kind and helpful, I really appreciate all of your comments!
    Mutt likes this.
  8. 648117 Honored Member

    I don't have a problem with Holly's tail ever getting in the way. She has a curly pug tail - I'm always amazed that she is able to uncurl it at all because it is pretty tightly curled.
    But I can see how it could be useful to teach a dog to tuck their tail in, especially if they have a long fluffy tail.

    Good luck teaching this to your dog :)
    Mutt likes this.
  9. amberriska Active Member

    I never knew pugs could uncurl their tails. Athena has a very long tail compared to her body so it is often in the way we are very lucky that there haven't been any accidents, and hopefully this trick will keep it that way.
  10. 648117 Honored Member

    Well she is half Pug so I guess it might not curl as tight as a full Pug but it's still pretty curly. I'll try to get a photo of it uncurled (it often uncurls when she's lying down, when too rough dogs want to play with her and during a "stay" it slowly uncurls the longer she has to stay).
    amberriska likes this.

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