Secondary Dog Training

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After your dog has learnt the Basic Dog Obedience, he can learn the secondary training. These tricks include shake, rollover, walk backwards, bow and spin. Each of these tricks are taught using the basic dog training, so your dog must learn them tricks first, after all, he can’t rollover from a stand.


Shake is a relatively easy trick to teach. Your dog will give you his paw on command as if shaking hands with you. Your dog needs to be in a sitting position for this trick.

  1. Start by picking your dog’s paw up off the ground, shaking it, and rewarding him.
  2. Continue to do this until your dog understands that this is what you want him to do. Then, start adding the command ‘Shake’ when you pick up his paw.
  3. Continue until your dog can perform this trick on cue with both verbal and non-verbal commands.


This is a very entertaining party trick to teach your dog. First, get your dog in a down/drop position.

  1. Using either food or a favourite toy, move it slowly behind his back, guiding him to roll toward it.
  2. Once he has done so, reward. Continue to do this until he understands, then, add in the command ‘Rollover’ or just ‘Over’ as you do the motion.
  3. Once your dog understands the command, try doing this trick standing, without the hand signal. If this doesn’t work, lean closer to your dog and add the hand signal, but be more vage with it. Don’t use the toy or food, just losely move your hand in an arc over the dogs head as if showing him where to roll.
  4. This trick will progress over time if you keep doing it, and it will get easier for him to roll. Depending on the dogs size and breed, it will either be easy for him to roll straight away, or take him a while to get used to the motion.


This trick can easily be confused with ‘Down/Drop’. That is why I recommend you use the ‘Drop’ command instead of the ‘Down’ command because the dog can easily get confused with the words. To teach this trick, your dog must be in a standing position.

  1. Hold the food in your fingertips, and slowly bring it down until your dog is in a bow position. If he doesn’t go into a bow position, gently push on his shoulders. As soon as he goes into a bow position, reward. If he lay’s down do not reward him, just try again.
  2. Continue doing this until your dog knows what he is supposed to do.
  3. Now add in the command ‘Wait’ as your dog goes into the bow position. Then command ‘Bow’ before releasing and rewarding your dog.
  4. Continue this and gradually move further away as you give the command and eventually your dog will be able to bow from any distance.

Walk Backwards

This trick is a fun trick to teach as, your dog can walk backwards, and forewards, backwards and forewards, on your command. You will need your dog in a standing position for this trick.

  1. First, grab handful of treats, and hide them in your hand (treats are best for this trick). Next, gently push into your dogs snout, making him walk backwards.
  2. This time, add the command ’Back’ right from the first backwards step. Repeat the command several times as your dog walks backwards. Reward.
  3. As you progress, push your dog further and further back, walking with him, then reward after you have stopped pushing and said the command. Continue to say back as you walk with your dog, but only about three times, with pauses.
  4. You will have to continue this for quite a while, unless your dog is a fast learner like my dog Sasha is, but eventually your dog will understand the command, and be able to walk backwards away from you, whilst your are standing in the one place.


This trick may make your dog dizzy, so don’t over do it! You will need to get your dog in a standing position for this trick.

  1. Hold some treats in your hand, so your dog knows they’re there, but keep them hidden. Then, hold them near your dogs snout and slowly move your hand around in a circle. If your dog doesn’t follow your hand, use some encouragement, like shaking your hand or saying ‘Come’ as you move your hand in a circle.
  2. Once your dog has done one revolution stop and reward.
  3. After a you have done this a few times, start giving the command ‘Spin’ after your dog has done one revolution, before rewarding.
  4. Once your dog understands the command, gradually stop doing the hand signals. Eventually your dog will be able to do a full revolution on command, with or without hand signals.

Through the Legs

This trick is fairly easy to teach, as the dog just has to walk through your legs once they are spread apart, either from behind or infront.

From Behind

  1. Tell him to ‘Sit’ and then ‘Wait’. Stand a few feet infront of him and folding the food between your legs say ‘Come’. Your dog may be reluctant to go through your legs, and he may need a bit of incouragment. An easy way to encourage him is to hold the treats at his nose and slowly lead him through your legs. Reward.
  2. Once your dog understands what you are teaching him, use the command ‘Through’ or ‘Under’. Try to stop using the hand signal and only using the verbal command.

From Infront

  1. To teach him to walk through from the front, do this in reverse. Stand infront of your dog and hold the food behind you so that your dog can see it through your spread legs. Command ‘Come’ and reward. If he is reluctant encourage him the same way as in the reverse of this trick.
  2. Once your dog understands what you are teaching him, use the command ‘Through’ or ‘Under’. Try to stop using the hand signal and only using the verbal command.

These tricks are Secondary Dog Training. Once you have taught these tricks, have a bit of fun with them, and try doing them in sequence, and put on a show for guests. But just remember to praise your dog, and have fun. Or try these Party Tricks which involve a bit of Secondary and Advanced dog training, as well as a small part of agility. They are fun tricks to teach and will entertain any guests.

All the best with your training,

Rachel and the Dogs

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