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Teach your dog how to twist and spin

Amie Brown, professional dog trainer and owner of Canine Pawtential, will in this article take you through her guide on how to teach your dog how to spin and twist! It's also the perfect way build a strong bond with your dog.

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Amie Brown - Professional dog trainer and owner of Canine Pawtential

Tricks are an amazing way to build a strong bond with your dog and boost the fun in your training. Today, I’ll be explaining how you can teach your dog a Spin and Twist. Spin is when your dog goes round in a 360 degree turn on the spot, anti-clockwise and twist is when your dog goes in a 360 degree turn on the spot clockwise. Easy!

Training your dog should be fun, stress free, fill you with joy, and fun. Yes, I said fun twice, but it’s true! If you’re not having fun with your dog, you’re not doing it right.

Let's get started!

    What are the benefits of learning a spin and a twist?

    What are the benefits of learning a spin and a twist, I hear you ask? Well, first of all – to show off! Yes, that’s right, we all know you want to show off your amazing, well-trained, clever, and intelligent dog at every chance you get. And so you should! They’re the bestest and goodest dog in the world.

    As well as impressing everyone nearby, it’s a great stretch to give your dog before and after a run. Stretching out their body before and after exercise is going to help prevent injuries and keep your dog physically happy and healthy. My personal favourite benefit of these fun tricks is that when it’s wet and rainy outside, you’ve been out a soggy walk with your dog, they’re soaked, you’re soaked, everyone is soaked! Rather than having to bend down and dry all four of their paws – grab a towel, lay it flat on the floor, get your dog to stand on it and ask them to spin and twist until their paws are all dry! Genius! And saves your back in the process! Tricks are a great way to increase your dog’s mental stimulation too – a few minutes of trick training daily will help keep your dog’s mind active and help with their confidence and problem-solving skills.

    After hearing all of those incredible benefits why wouldn’t you want to teach your dog these tricks?

    Teach your dog how to spin and twist

    To teach this, you’re going to start with just going ONE direction – normally we start with the spin which is teaching your dog to go around in a circle, on the spot, anti-clockwise.

    You’re going to be using a treat to lure your dog and guide them in the direction you’d like them to go. Marleybones treats are fabulous and irresistible to your dog, so always good to use them! A lure will need to be level with your dog to avoid them jumping up so make sure you keep it to their height, it will also need to be about an inch away from their nose, not too far away from them as they won’t be interested in it and not too close as they’ll try to eat it! Your dog will also need to be in a standing position for this – if they’re sitting, it’s likely they’ll do a weird spin on their bum which isn’t what we’re looking for. To get them to stand, you can use the treat to lure them – again, make sure it’s always at your dog’s nose height to avoid jumping up. To lure them into the stand, take the treat at their nose height, take a step back, bringing the treat towards you. Their back legs should come up and then you can get started with your spin:

    • Have your dog in front of you in a standing position.
    • Get your Marleybones treat and pop it in front of your dog’s nose.
    • Slowly guide your dog around in an anti-clockwise direction.
    • As soon as your dog gets round to face you again, let them know they’re a good dog and give them their tasty treat.
    • Repeat, repeat, repeat.

    As your dog gets better at following the treat, you can start to fade the food away while still using your hand as if you do have the treat there. One time you lure with the treat, the next time you just use your hand and reward with your other hand when they get round to facing you again. If your dog doesn’t get it at any point, always go back to the most simple step. You should always make sure your dog is successful every, single time they do it. If they’re not, it’s our fault, not theirs and we need to make it simpler for them to follow.

    Once they know how to spin around anti-clockwise, follow the steps above to start the twist training. Dogs are much like humans and they will have a preferred way to turn, don’t put pressure on them and remember, if they’re not doing it, ask them for something they know, flawlessly so they can be rewarded a few times before trying again. Make your training sessions short and sweet, little and often. 3 – 5 minutes, 3 - 4 times a day is better than sitting for a full 30 minutes. This will keep frustration levels to a minimum and keep sessions positive for both you and your dog.

    Go on, what are you waiting for? Give these fun tricks a try and make sure you tag us in your progress videos! We love to see humans and dogs having fun, training together!

    Happy training!

    Amie Brown Professional dog trainer and owner of Canine Pawtential

    Who?

    In 2021, Amie and her partner started up a dog training school focusing on positive reinforcement and force free training where they aim to provide positive training solutions for any and all training issues.

    Amie has attended and continue to attend a variety of courses, webinars and workshops with IMDT, The Dog Training College and Canine Principles. At the moment, she's currently working towards a Canine Coaching Diploma from Canine Principles and becoming a certified IMDT instructor.

    Fun fact

    Amie has been working with dogs and their humans for the past 4 years and it really is her passion in life. She started with volunteering at training classes in May 2018 when she was going through Puppy School with her own two Jack Russel Terrier puppies. She volunteered at just about every class possible, to gain as much experience as she could!

    Why?

    Amie was a Marleybones customer for a long time and reached out when we were looking for guest blog writers. She loves spreading the word about positive reinforcement and force free training.

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