Workout Wednesday – Who’s your daddy? (bowing)
When Jaxon was a wee puppy, we took him along to puppy school, as you do. Jaxon was a very quick learner, and always seeking attention, so one of the early tricks we were able to teach him was bowing.
When playing with a puppy, or most dogs who are well socialised, you will notice they engage a playmate by bowing. It’s an invitation body language which says “play with me!”, and is often followed by playful running about to further entice the potential playmate into a game.
As with any training, breaking it up into small bursts helps to quickly reinforce any new behaviour, and the break gives pup the chance to digest the lesson.
I recommend five minutes at meal times, when you have your puppy’s full attention.
Entice your pup to play, and as soon as they hit the play bow position (front legs down, bum up like a downward dog in yoga), click or marker word & reward.
It’s really that simple. Reinforce the behaviour a few times by repeating.
Once your pup has made the connection to doing the bow = get rewarded, start to space out the rewards and reward every second or third time.
You can add in a hand signal here. We use index & middle finger pointing down to the ground. Continue to reinforce the behaviour with the new hand signal.
Finally comes the fun part. You get to name the command. You can simply name it ‘bow’, or you can come up with something fun. Jaxon’s papa thought it would be hilarious to call this move “who’s your daddy?”. Despite having to explain that one, Simes still keeps that trick for when he plays with Jaxon. And it still gets a laugh every time!