That's a funny question! LOL But I would never train a dog to dance on its hind legs as it would be very unnatural for it to do so and hard on its back and hips. Training animals for our entertainment, especially to laugh at them is not really a kind thing to do.
Hello Donna! This is a trick that is often seen in smaller breeds. Larger breeds have a harder time to balance themselves and this can also put too much strain on their hind legs in the long term. You need to have a dog sit straight and then train the dog to stay up on its hind legs as if jumping up to get the treat. Then you would further shape the behavior by luring the dog to walk forward, a little step at a time rewarding for each small sign of progress. You can train this also with a clicker. My male can take a few steps and we used to do this in Canine Musical Freestlye as you can see above us practicing last year for a title. We don't really dance though, it is just a trick I ask before I shoot him "bang!" with my finger and he falls to the ground. Note: I always check for orthopedic clearances from a vet before enrolling in classes such as agility or other canine sports.
This is something some smaller dogs do naturally. It is not something I recommend for larger dogs though they can do it for brief periods. I teach canine musical freestyle and do not do this with my dog that is a large Golden Retriever except for very brief moments.
For example, this is not good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRb94IbL138. Hard on the dog and the dog is not enjoying this. Don't mistake the fact that this dog looks like a happy human - in dog language, the dog is not happy. Even though the mouth is open, the lips are drawn way back.
This, on the other hand is natural - smaller dogs stand on their rear legs at will and seem to enjoy it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJY-ntxw-DI I even have a client right now who consulted me because her small dog likes to hop down the sidewalk rather than walk - just like the dog in this video!
The easiest way to teach this is to hold a piece of food in front of the dog's nose to lure the dog up onto its rear legs and then slowly move the food around in a circle while keeping it in front of the dog's nose.
A word of caution: do not attempt this or other athletic maneuvers, for example jumping with a dog less than 9 mos. to a year old.
Thanks to all who commented! Our little Chihuahua loves to dance and prance but I was wondering whether it was good for her or if it was a practice to encourage.
In general, I think what a dog does naturally is usually not harmful, but forced moves can be harmful if care is not taken - for example jumping and "dancing." That said, I would discourage her from jumping off of elevated surfaces!
You are welcome Donna! I thought you looked familiar and just realized you were my editor for when I worked for a popular website's dog channels! Nice to see you here! Kind regards!
What troll voted my answer down? Really sick of the juvenile behavior on here. I am trying to help by offering my expertise for FREE - why the negative feedback?
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