By Martha Simons


How to teach your dog to dance on its hind legs?

In this lesson we will look at how to teach a dog to dance on its hind legs, in two tricks - "Dance" and "Waltz". In both exercises, the dog must stand on its hind legs with a straight back. The difference lies in the fact that at the command “Dance” the pet simply stands up, and at the command “Waltz” it rests on the owner's leg or another dog.


Choose which exercise you want to learn first and focus on practicing it. Go to the second trick only when the dog has completely mastered the first. Otherwise, it will confuse the teams.


“Dance” and “Waltz” are designed for small and medium-sized dogs, as it is easier for them to keep balance. Large, heavy dogs and those with back problems are better off skipping this trick. Find out more at:


"Dance" for small dogs


Small, agile dogs often perform this exercise on their own when begging for a tasty morsel. If your pet is prone to this behavior, then do the following: take a treat in your hand and lift it above the dog, encouraging it to rise. When the dog has been in the desired position for about 3 seconds, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat the exercise, gradually increasing the amount of time the dog should “dance”. Say the voice command “Dance” when you see that your pet is about to rise.


"Dance" for medium dogs


If you have a medium sized dog, it will take a little longer to train it. Place your pet in a corner of the room with its back touching the walls to help maintain balance. Now take the treat and lift it up so that the dog reaches for it and stands on its hind legs. Make sure that the pet rises with a straight back, and if this is not so, correct it. When the dog is in the desired position, wait a couple of seconds and reward. Some dogs, when they first dance, try to lean on the owner with their front paws. It's okay - help the dog by substituting your hand. However, gradually reduce the assistance and get the pet to do the exercise on its own. 


Repeat the exercise 2 times a day for several minutes, no more, as the dog needs time to develop muscles and learn to maintain balance. When the dog is confidently standing on its hind legs, take a couple of steps back and with the help of a treat make it come to you. Reward your dog every step of the way.


Over time, complicate the exercise - drive the treat in different directions, make circles. The dog should follow your bite, imitating a dance.


Command "Waltz"


To teach your dog to dance with its front paws on your leg or hip, use a treat to get it up on its hind legs. At the same time, keep the treat close to the body so that the dog has to lean on you while it reaches for a piece. When she is in the right position, wait a couple of seconds, then encourage. Practice the exercise several times. Then start taking small steps back. Keep the treat within the dog's line of sight so that it continues to reach for it without taking its front paws away from you. At first, praise your dog for each step, then increase the number of steps that he must walk with you.


Trick options:


  • If you have a small dog, try teaching it to dance on a chair or ottoman.

Instruct your dog to perform "Waltz" while you smoothly rotate around your axis. The dog should either move in a circle with you, or stay in place, but periodically lift its front legs away from you.

  • Combine the commands “Dance” and “Roll” to make the dog rotate on its axis.
  • Teach your pet to make small jumps while dancing. To do this, command “Up” while the dog is dancing.
  • Build a low cart and ask your pet to dance on it. Then begin to slowly move the cart with the dog dancing on it. Do this very carefully so as not to frighten the animal.


Good luck with your training!

With love for your dogs, DogRook!


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Last updated: Sunday, April 19th, 2020 - 12:42PM