Cross Your Paws


Honored Member
Thanks, Tigerlily! I had absolutely no idea of what you could mean by get in...:DNow I know what youare working on.
Today I have been working on that too, but with the idea of a backwards circle in mind. So I have taught it in a different way. We had a blast this afternoon. I attended a dogdance workshop and came home with a head running over with all the new tricks we have learned.

But to stay on topic...
I have been working on cross your paws for a while now and although Cooper gets it with both right and left paw, Jinx doesn't. She keeps trying to hit my handtarget. Because she was doing so well, I want to fade out my hand, so I put a little distance between her left paw and my hand. Just far enough so she can't touch it. But... she twists her body and stretches her right paw so far that she touches my hand. I don't think she realizes that, she just needs to put her right paw over her left. She thinks she needs to touch my hand.
So I think I might have to switch to using something else as a target and start all over.
Funny how somethings work for some dogs and not for others.;)


Honored Member
DoggeDance workshop sounds fascinating!!

IN teaching Buddy 'cross paws', one thing *I'VE* learned is,
for *some* tricks, i do NOT HAVE TO be sooooo fast to click.

I caught myself clicking TOO SOON, and as i clicked, Buddy HAD JUST added his second foot onto the target...I WAS CLICKING TOO FAST....

some tricks, 'cross paws' being a good example, we can wait a moment, to see more clearly what position the dog has put himself into, prior to clicking. I had been a little TOO quick to click the crossing of the paw....

clicking 'attempts' to hit target with correct foot in early stages of trick, fine!
But at SOME POINT, further down the road,------------ when it is time to begin crossing the paw over----------i caught my self being a lil too speedy on the clicker, hitting clicker before Buddy had even finished HIS move!!!

and thus, i accidentally clicked some moves that were not what i wanted.....(but it's true, in some tricks, we do click 'attempts' to get dog headed in right direction....)


Honored Member
Anneke, the video that started this whole thread, from "GoingNowhere", she is also using her hand as the target..

GREAT!! Buddy found targetting the item tied onto my foot much more appealing for some reason (first i trained him using my hand to hold the item, then i tied item onto my foot) is fascinating how EACH DOG IS DIFFERENT, isn't it!!???


Staff member
Ollie's totally opposite from Buddy, He's perfect with the target on top of his left paw, but if I move the target to the opposite side of his left paw, that's when he screws up! LOL

I'm glad others are having problems with their ridiculously smart dogs too... I think sometimes the really smart ones have trouble with the simple tricks... I think Ollie is expecting it to be more complicated than what it actually is... he is over thinking the trick!

I'm going to have another go with it right now. I'm going to set up the camera for a video too... so you all can see what I'm talking about :)


Staff member
So I filmed the session... Ollie kept moving out of camera range so the video's are mostly of his back half :( so I dont think I'll be posting them. But this time around, he totally seemed to get it! He's still alittle iffy at times, and moves around alot, but we're almost there! I started putting it on cue towards the end of the session, as well.

I think that when I've cemented "Cross" (right over left) I'm going to have a heck of a time training "Over" (left over right). I'm going to use a completely different target and hope that is enough of a difference for him to differentiate.

On a funny little side note, after we were done working, I scattered a few pieces of food in the grass for him to "hunt" then was picking up after myself. Ollie ran over to the box I had the camera on and lifted his back leg over it!!! I thought for a second he was actually peeing! LOL I nearly had a heart attack! Talk about a bad thing to teach the dog! So we had a short session of "Pissing on the Liberal Party" before packing it in to make supper LOL... Silly guy! I honestly would never have expected him to offer that trick! LOL


Honored Member
Ha ha, too funny!!

now, i've faded out the target tied to my foot, and Buddy is now good to follow my left foot with his RIGHT LEG only. This really took forever for US, 12 days!! No trick takes Buddy 12 days!! Last trick that took Buddy 12 days was his "shake your head" trick....(well, in truth, 3 of the days i barely saw Buddy, as Craig took him on some fishing trips or we were out boating or running around all day long...........
so, subtract 3 or 4 days where Buddy got NO lessons or only 1 lesson for those days)

But i did make some mistakes along the way...but still, 12 days?? It is possible i *could* have faded out the target item sooner, but, i wanted to be sure he 'got it'.

I can't use the word "cross" as i've already used that word for whole other trick. (we've trained Buddy to automatically, wordlessly, stop at all corners in our neighborhood, and he does not proceed across street til we say cross.
HOwever, Buddy only does this to corners in OUR neighborhood, but not other neighborhoods....i also seriously doubt Buddy would stop at corners if off-leash by himself, i'm pretty sure he would NOT stop at corners if off leash...)

so i can't use 'cross'
and i'm going for "River" + "Dance" (like traditional Irish dance which they cross their legs). I plan to fade out those words and use only my feet as the cues. Actually, 'dance' sounded so much like 'stand' to Buddy, that i made it 'Dance-y', cuz Buddy kept standing when i said 'dance'.:p

Yeah, Sara, i am pretty sure Buddy will need entirely different target item and cue word for his LEFT LEG, too. I almost wonder if i should wait a week or so, to begin LEFT LEG?:confused:
What do you think??

I wonder if the training with his Right leg will help Buddy get idea of the Left leg part a lil quicker???

ha, listen to this,:ROFLMAO: only ppl who train tricks to their dogs will appreciate the next remark: Yesterday i showed Craig how Buddy can now follow my foot with his Right leg, and told him, soon i will also train Buddy to do the same thing with his other leg, okay? ------------------- so Craig, who knows almost Nothing about training tricks, and who did not apparently realize how much time i invested into getting Buddy to ONLY use his Right leg----------said, (get ready to fall off your chair laffin:D) Craig said, "Oh, Buddy is so smart, he won't need training, Buddy will know what to do with his left leg from the training on his right leg. Now just cross your other leg and see, Buddy will know. Do it!"
i said nope, Buddy will NOT know, to Buddy that is a whole other trick, and no way am i going to risk confusing Buddy after i spent over a week just trying to get Buddy to understand: Right Leg Only!


Honored Member
did i just brag that i had faded the lure/target item?
ha, well, i had to REintroduce it, as,
Buddy began to target my knee, (???) instead of my foot.

so i RE-attached the target-towel onto my foot again,

and am now beginning to work on this standing a lil further back, so his paw hits the FLOOR now, not the towel.
He seems to be getting it now.



Honored Member
do you all think i should wait a while between teaching Buddy's left paw,
after i've taught the right paw to cross over?

if so, how long?


Honored Member
:D I am a very impatient person:oops: So I would go ahead and start with the left paw as soon as he crosses reliably with his right paw.

I have started to use a target with Jinx. She gets the fact that she needs to touch it. But as soon as I put it next to her left paw, she starts hitting it with her left paw:rolleyes: She is reliable when the target is between her legs, but when I move it into position so she has to reach over her left paw, she will do this once, then start using her left. But... this was just one session, so we will keep at it. I want to do some training tomorrow, since I haven't been doing much for the past week.
I am enjoying a little vacation time and doing absolutely nothing:D Been catching up on my reading( still have about 10 unread books on the shelf) and hanging out with some friends I haven't seen in a while.


Honored Member
OKAY, Buddy solidly knows to target/reach/cross his right paw over his left leg now,
for a few days now, he is def solid knows it now.......
in a sit,
a stand,
and a lie-down position.

I've faded out the verbal cue, and he crosses his leg to the sight of MY left foot crossing over my right foot.

so today, i have been TRYING to get Buddy to target an entirely different object, with his other paw, (his left paw).

IT'S NOT GOING REAL WELL, not yet! After alll the time, of only rewarding him to move ONLY his right paw, he is not too happy to find out, hitting the object with his right paw is earning him no treats.....

I am now manually placing his left paw onto new object, and giving treats, while feeding him lil treats and massaging the new object onto the bottom of his left paw....
I'm lifting up his left paw, dropping it onto new object, and giving treat.....still, he keeps trying to get that right paw on the new object....

he remains confused.

he paws the new object again,
and again,
and again,
with his RIGHT foot.

he appears annoyed, so i am breaking it up every few minutes with tricks he DOES know well, so he can get some treats and feel good, ha ha

but, he's only had 2 lessons so far,
but, he looked soooooooo bummed out, that all the effusive praise for his RIGHT paw is not working now.....he looks at me like, "Wait a minute, what the heck is going on here? All week long, i get big treats for this here paw, and NOW, you don't like my right paw anymore? NO FAIR!"

poor guy.

mayyyyyyybe tomorrow, he will begin to get idea, that i NOW want his LEFT paw to target the new object....


Honored Member
OKAY!! Now, sadly, in his confusion, since he wasn't being rewarded for his Right paw anymore, Buddy had actually briefly stopped doing the cue altogether, even for his Right foot...

HIs first two lessons on LEFT paw just honked Buddy off, what a face! Very unhappy, that he was not getting treats now for his Right paw anymore....he was very frustrated, so i kept first two lessons supershort, switching over to cues he DID know well, so i could praise him for THAT.

Well, on 3rd lesson, he 'got it'. OH MY THE HAPPY PROUD FACE HE MADE, just beaming. He is happy happy happy again, now that he HAS figured out, "ohhhhhhhhhhh, when she says "rrrrrrrrrrrriver" i use LEFT paw, and when she says "dance-Y" i use RIGHT paw, got it!" He sat there forever, did a big long lesson, he did not want to end the lesson, he was eating up that praise, just beaming, getting it correct each time,
time after time.

"Danc-Y.....he crosses over his right paw....
rrrrrrrriver......he targets new item with his left paw.......
back and forth,
over and over.

he's got it. Well, for today, anyway. You know how dogs are, early in training, a step they seem to get, needs some re-inforcing for days to come til it's embedded into their brains.

i began lesson working on left paw only, and after he was reliabley pawing new object with only LEFT paw, and Buddy looked so so so proud of himself for figuring it out...
then i wanted to check if he now understood, right paw is for "dance-y", and he DID!! so i went back and forth, he much much enjoyed it, and did not mess up one time!

I haven't yet begun to get him to cross over the LEFT foot yet, but, just getting him to understand, i no longer want the rightpaw for THIS new step, was good breakthrough. HE LOOKS SO HAPPY, he is quite enthused now to have lessons over and over now.



Honored Member
Kinda cute, my original verbal cues were going to be: River...Dance.
with one word for each foot.
well, really, i plan to fade out all verbal cues anyway.

But i had to tweak "dance" to be "Dance-Y", cuz, when i said "dance" Buddy would stand:rolleyes:....and i guess "dance" does sound like "stand".

so for left foot, i said "river", but, Buddy kept ROLLING OVER, which i guess, "river" does sound like "rollover"....
Then i swapped it out to "rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriver" and Buddy got it,
a very distinct unusual sound, 'rrrrrrrrrriver", he now knows, means his LEFT paw is to be used.

i know, i know, we are "not supposed to" introduce verbal cue til AFTER dog KNOWS the cue, but, i always do it that way, ---giving verbal cue from 1st lesson on----------always. Now it's habit, for both of us, really.
Buddy is much accustomed to it, and seems to expect a verbal cue when a new trick is begun.


Honored Member
Buddy nailed this trick now, for a long time, in a sit, and in a lie down, but, as usual, i'm having trouble fading the treats.
The clicker is long gone now, as are the verbal cues, he now crosses his legs to the sight of me crossing my feet.
but, i'm having trouble fading out the treats.

He knows if i have treats or not. If i have no treats, he sits there looking at me, like he doesn't have a clue.
soon as he sees a treat go into my pocket, he performs the cue perfectly.

sigh. i'm doing something wrong...he'll do one repetition of about 4 crossovers, and then, i praise him, and start another repetion, but if there was no treat, he won't do it again.

any ideas on this?


Staff member
Try spreading treats around the house in little containers, so they're always available, but you dont have them on you. Work on stuff he'll do without treats, but then go get a treat out of a little container on the TV stand, the kitchen counters, the shelf, or the end table... keep moving the containers though, or he'll learn to only do tricks in certain places. he'll learn that you dont have to have them in your pocket for him to get a treat, he'll start doing tricks without you having treats in your pocket.

Elliot DMDS

Well-Known Member
congrats to your progress with the trick!
be patient- elliot also needed several weeks to figure it out!
here is our latest video- including cross paws- but it is at the very end...


Experienced Member
Yes I know Emily's tutorial and that's how I started but Fly does not stay quiet. She hits the target but her whole body moves aside, she's too excited. I may have to start it all again with the clicker and only click when she hits it quietly.


Experienced Member
Fly has finally calmed down on this trick and we use a target piece of paper. If it moves, she grabs it to put it back ! How could I expect that ! :D She's not ready to remove the target yet. It is strange to see that she has been able to learn very complicated tricks and that she takes forever to get this one right.