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How to Teach Your Dog to Dance: 8 Tips & Tricks

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Dog owner

How to Teach Your Dog to Dance: 8 Tips & Tricks

Being a dog parent is incredible—our favorite furry companions can accompany us everywhere, and we can do fun, engaging activities with them. Our pups are even great for a good snuggle!

Teaching our dogs to do new things is always fun, too, whether it’s how to walk properly on a leash or shake hands. And there are so many cool things we can attempt to teach them. One such thing is how to dance.

Seeing dogs dancing with their humans is adorable, so why not teach yours how to do it? It’s not as challenging as you think, especially if you utilize the eight tips and tricks below. Follow these eight steps, and you’ll have a dancing dog on your hands in no time!


Before You Begin

Since you’ll be training your dog, you’ll need to ensure you have plenty of training treats on hand before you begin. You certainly don’t want to have to pause a lesson to go find more! And you might want to invest in a few different treats to keep your pup even more engaged in dance training. Dogs are incredibly food-motivated, but even they can become bored with the same old thing. And a bored dog is one that doesn’t pay attention, finding other things to do.

You’ll also want to keep your treats in a pouch or baggie to keep your hands free for teaching.

Another thing to remember is that you should only train for 5–10 minutes a day not to overwhelm your dog.


How to Teach Your Pup to Dance

With the tips and tricks below, you should have little trouble teaching your four-legged friend how to dance with you!

1. Teach your pet how to sit.

It’s likely that your dog already knows the “sit” command, but if they don’t, now is the time to teach it to them. Once your dog has aced this command, you can move on to the next step.

training Australian Cattle dog
Image By: lara-sh, Shutterstock

2. While your pup is still sitting, begin raising the treat a little bit above its head.

This step aims to get your furry friend to sit up more on its back legs to grab the treat, so if your pup takes its front paws off the ground, go ahead and reward them! This step might take a while, as your dog might first try simply extending its neck for the treat. Go ahead and give them the treat when they do that, though, and keep practicing. Eventually, they’ll figure out what the goal is!

3. Keep going higher and higher with the treat until your pup is fully sitting on its haunches.

When your pet does finally rest on its haunches, tell them to “sit pretty” while giving them the treat. Continue saying this phrase and giving treats while you practice “sit pretty” until your dog can do it with just the phrase. This “sit pretty” pose will be the foundation of actual dancing.

Bird dog training in the field
Image By: John Tuesday, Unsplash

4. Next up is teaching your dog how to stand on its hind legs!

Begin with putting your pet in the “sit pretty” pose, then, like before, start lifting the treat higher and higher. Go slowly and reward them whenever they stand a bit taller. Watch to see if your pet needs help balancing, and offer an arm if it does. Practice until your dog is able to stand fully on its back legs and is comfortable doing so.

5. Once your furry pal has mastered standing

It’s time to teach them to stand for at least 10 seconds at a time. You can start off easy with 3 seconds, then 5 seconds, etc., until you get to 10 seconds of standing. To get them to do this, you’ll need to have the treat in the air just out of your pet’s reach and withhold it until the correct number of seconds has passed. This will teach your pup that it needs to stay standing to receive the treat. Standing for longer periods will likely be quite the workout for your companion, so ensure you aren’t overdoing it!

man training pet dog
Image By: Elena karetnikova, Shutterstock

6. Finally, you’ve reached the portion of training where you start really teaching your dog to dance!

To start, you’ll need to get your pet to stand on its back legs and then teach it to walk in a circle. To do this, you’ll get them to stand and then raise a treat and move it around in a circular motion. Just go slowly as your pup learns to walk on its back legs! Even if your dog only moves a tiny bit toward the treat, reward it to encourage your pet to continue training.

7. Now it’s time to master walking around in a circle.

Once your dog is able to move around to follow the treat, you’ll want to start going in a complete circle. When your pup completes this full lap, give it a treat! Then, keep practicing until your dog is able to do several laps and you are able to get them to do so with only a command and no treats.

dog training
Image By: Piqsels

8. Your dog is finally dancing, but now it needs a partner

With your pup doing circles, you can start moving along with them. You can do spins in the opposite direction or weave in and around your pet—how you dance with your four-legged friend is up to you. This is also when you can begin playing music to go along with your dancing.

And that’s pretty much it! You can go even further and incorporate tricks into your dancing routine if you’d like, whether it’s having your pet chase after its tail at a certain point or weave between your legs. The only limit is your imagination.


Final Thoughts

Teaching your favorite doggy friend how to dance with you seems challenging, but it isn’t that difficult. It will take time and patience as you should only train 5–10 minutes a day, and it might take your pup a few times to get a command down. But with these tips and tricks, you should be able to create a dance routine with your pet that’s fun and engaging. Just remember to keep plenty of treats on hand!

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Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

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