Honored Member
I've been teaching Zac sidestep. There are still a lot of positional variations I want to work on with him but I think he's looking quite good with it... some times :LOL:. He's a bit slow to start with in the video because he thought we were playing a different game.

I mix training "Front" with sidestep as we worked on both at the same time and "Front" was foundational to Zac gaining confidence side stepping with his hind legs and understanding that hind leg position matters. For teaching him to walk sideways in facing me in front I simply told him "front" and then moved to one side and told him "front" again, it didn't take long for him to make the connection.

To teach him to move sideways beside me I encouraged him to lean against me and then stepped away from him so that he moved sideways to continue leaning.

Currently we need to work more on the cues for him standing across in front of me and him stepping away from me to the right.

Yes, I know... Gus makes a better door than a window! But he was very good about not standing in the way most of the time.

dog nerd

Well-Known Member
You are awesome !! Zac is really handsome , he looks like a very gentle dog !! :love:

I can clearly see how close Zac is to your legs. I have a better idea on how to work with Frida.
Frida knows how to stay close to my leg while we are rotating( 360) at this point Frida is turning on her hind leg and she is not very far from side stepping . I could try to lure her while I'm stepping side way. :)


Honored Member
I videoed Gus's first lesson for side step this morning (Zac was waiting patiently, I'm amazed his self control was so good). Luring a dog to "sidestep" is interesting because you are luring hind leg movement.

To get sideways hind leg movement I lure from the opposite side of the dog than that I want it to move in - so if I want the dog to step to the right I lure from the left side. In this case I'm reaching over Gus's shoulder to lure him.

If you try to lure from the right to get the dog to step to the right his hind legs will often swing to the left and he will tend to rotate to follow and face the treat. Luring from the opposite side avoids blocking, manipulating or in any way forcing the dog which apart from any other considerations tend to distract the dog from learning.

Ideally I would have marked the hind leg motion (I mean when Gus was actually MOVING not the position) with a clicker but on this occasion with Zac sitting alongside it seemed better just to get Gus familiar with the concept. All being well I'll use a clicker next time to explain to Gus exactly what he's getting rewarded for.