Trick Training Advice Needed


New Member
I have a 9 year old Red Heeler who is VERY food motivated to the point that she actually loses focus.I only use treats when I am teaching a new behavior,and then rotate verbal praise with treats. I am trying to teach her to spin,but instead of standing,she sits and spins on her butt.I just want to know if there is anyone who has had this problem? Any help you can provide on either issue would be great.;)


Honored Member
GOOD ON YOU for training your dog!!

I can not overemphasize how helpful using a clicker is, while training a dog. I resisted using one ("I'm doing fine without it, and i don't want to be chained to some gizmo" is what i said back then)
but wow, once i began to use a clicker, my dog "gets" tricks much much faster. Using clickers is how they train those killer whales at Seaworld, too.
We just CLICK/TREAT for correct moves, or attempts in right direction,
and silently ignore mistakes.

After the dog fully, solidly knows the trick, then i fade out the clicker, and then, i fade out the treats, too. But i never fade the treats while i am still teaching him what to do.

For a spin, you could try luring your dog. When dog is standing, move your hand which is holding a treat, so dog begins to turn.
Over time, have dog, wait a lil longer, for dog to turn even further, til you CLICK/TREAT.

over time, have your dog doing almost a full complete circle before you CLICK/TREAT.

THEN, over time, lure dog to do a full, complete circle before you CLICK/TREAT.

AFTER your dog is able to successfully complete a full circle, time after time, you can begin to fade the treat in your hand,
so that the dog is now following an empty hand.:ROFLMAO:

Then add in your cue-word or hand signal, and begin to fade out the clicker, AFTER dog knows the trick very very well,
and then, begin to fade out the rewards to intermittant, treat/ praise/treat/praise/praise/treat/ and so on..

GOOD LUCK, let us know if that does not work, we can tweak it. and there are other ways to teach this same trick, if this way isn't working for you.


Active Member
Experiment to find something the dog is only moderately interested in. Chloe loves most everything, but something like a soda cracker or oyster cracker is not too exciting to her. I used things like that to teach 'leave it'. Course if they just don't like it, they'll make a mess with it. Like cauliflower or carrots.


New Member
Thanks for the reply.I have used clicker training before with dogs I have had in the past. I guess I need to get another one for Saba to see if it helps. The main issue I am having is with the turn. She sits automatically and turns on her butt. If I hold the lure up too far,she will get too excited and jump up to get the treat.She knows that she always has to sit automatically when she is being fed, before she goes outside,etc.I don't know if that will make the spin more difficult or not. I will get another clicker for her though, because it has worked for my other dogs before.


Honored Member
lol, don't reward any sitting of course.

You can lure her into a stand, and heavily praise and reward that. Maybe just work on THAT for now. I myself found teaching the cue "stand" more difficult than i thought.

still, maybe take a few days or a week, just rewarding your dog for standing, to help her get idea that not all treats are for sitting.

then, after many days of rewards for standing, then begin to lure her. If you have to click/treat for only one step, then that's what you could do. Next lesson, maybe two steps.

and so on. I bet you CAN do this, i know you can!!


Honored Member
Many ppl teach their dog to "target". Dog gets a reward for touching, either a post it note, or some other item, or their owner's hand,
or dog gets rewards for touching whatever an antenna or long stick touches.

You might want to teach your dog to "target" the tip of a long stick or antenna. Then, you can use the antenna to lure your dog to spin, too, cuz dog will follow that antenna around.


Honored Member
i know you can do this!
i know you can, you might have to keep tweaking it a bit, here or there, but i bet your dog will surprise your own self!!:D


Staff member
Try using a target stick to teach spin. it gives you a longer reach so she HAS to be standing to get at it.

I have a VERY food motivated dog too. I cant do any luring with food to teach her anything. It all has to be free shaping or luring with the target stick, as her mind completely switches off and she goes into a "food, Food, FOOD!!!" trance LOL


Honored Member
Hmmm... she spins on her butt???? Never heard of that before.... maybe try rewarding her for standing (like Tigerlily said). But you can also capture THAT behaviour. I bet it would make a cute trick!!!!:D


Honored Member
Possible cues for the butt spin: (teach LAST word as the cue and you can add in whatever words you want for entire sentence, but, it's so FUN to add in HUMOR on dog tricks)

"Saba, do you have worms??"(okay, maybe not that one...:sick: )
"Saba, how do lazy dogs spin?"
"Saba, which way is north?"
"Saba, is your bum itchy?"
"Saba, do you like merry-go-rounds?"