Fun with the Hind Paw Lift

When you and your dog have mastered the Hind Paw lift you can start having some fun with the behaviour

Sit, Take it, Hold it, Sit & Give

In the previous couple of examples, we chained together two separate behaviours. In the next example we will now show you how to start chaining more behaviours that will allow you to work towards more complex sequences.

Down, Take it, Chin and more

When building your trick sequences, start using any of the core tricks you have learnt so far. Get used to chaining the individual tricks in lots of different orders to come up with fun sequences. As you get adept at building more complicated sequences you will find that the transitions between them will start to become seamless. Use your imagination develop and apply what you have learnt to come up with new tricks.

Bow and Chin

Another simple trick to start developing your chaining skills is to start with the “Bow” and then chain this with the “Chin” to the floor.

Emily shows how to achieve this with Phoebe and Leo in the next short video.

Hold and Wave

Chaining the “Wave” and “Hold it” you can achieve a produce some fun results. I used the “Wave” and “Hold it” with Mozzie for him to be begging for treats with a little bucket as the introductory image for the course.

In the following videos I go through the steps I used to achieve this with both Manouk and Mozzie


It’s now time to move to a more advanced trick!  Over the coming topics you are going to teach your dog to raise one of its hind legs on command. This is more difficult to teach than giving a front paw as it is not something that a dog would naturally do (well not unless your dogs is a male and is answering a call of nature!). This is why in the previous week we started to introduce tricks that included hind paw movements, so your dog developed the awareness of his hind legs.

Emily and Leo demonstrate the final behaviour in the following brief video.

Reverse Weave

If you are up for a challenge combine together two tricks rather than chaining them. Combining the “Reverse” and the “Weave” you can train your dog to walk backwards whilst at the same weaving between your legs.

The Reverse Leg Weave is a visually impressive trick once you have mastered it, but it’s not actually too difficult to train, when you have already taught your dog to weave and to reverse.

The main challenge in this trick is to teach your dog to repeatedly turn its back end whilst reversing. As your dog reverses, you will need to lure it so that it turns its head to alternate sides.

Whilst you dog is reversing,  you need to lure it to turn its head away from you each time which will result in your dog’s wrapping around your legs.

For example, to get your dog to turn its back end to the left lure your dog so it turns its head to the right and vice-versa.

Remember to say Yes or click as soon as your dog manages to change direction with its back towards your leg. To start with, keep your criteria easy: your dog will need to have so encouragement.

The methodology is easier to see in action rather than being described in words. In the video below, Robyn and Vera clearly demonstrate how to do the trick.

Tickle to Tip/Tap

Let the challenge begin, it is now time to teach your dog to give a hind paw on command.

The way you are going to do this is to tickle one of your dog’s hind paws whilst keeping its attention and luring its weight forwards.

To way to encourage your dog to lift one of its hind paws is by tickling the paw.  I find that the best place to tickle is right at the back of its paw. As soon as your dog lifts its paw as you tickle it, mark with your Yes command and reward.

After you have worked this for a while and your dog is happily lifting its paw when you tickle it, start associating a word to the behaviour. In the following videos with Manouk and Leo we associate the word “Tip” to the behaviour.

By continuing to tickle the paw you are encouraging your dog not to transfer some of its weight back on to this paw. The aim is for your dog to be able to lift a hind paw and then keep it in the raised position. To do this your dog need to learn to transfer its weight on to its other three legs so that it can remain in a balanced position.

When your dog is mastering its balance in the 3-legged position, start to fade the tickling so your dog learns to offer the trick only with the “Tip” command.

Note: Another location that some dogs will respond to being tickled in their groin, so try this if your dog is not responding too well to you tickling around its paws.

Stage 2 – Stepping over a pole

The next trick is to get your dog to step back and forth over an obstacle, such as a cavaletti pole, with only one of its hind legs. If you don’t have a cavaletti pole a bamboo cane resting on top of a couple of jam jars will do just fine.

  • Lure your dog so that it steps over the obstacle with its front paws
  • Ask your dog to walk forwards and at the same time subtly lure your dog forwards. Your dog will gently shift its weight towards its front paws, and this will encourage your dog to move one of its hind paws forwards. In doing so it has to step over the pole. Mark the behaviour with a Yes command and reward.
  • Now ask and lure your dog to “Reverse”. Again, be subtle with the amount of luring, as all you want is for your dog to move the hind paw it previously moved forwards, back over the obstacle.
  • Keep repeating this exercise but remember to do this from left to right and right to left so that your dog learns the behaviour with both of its hind paws.

Stage 1: Reverse – Touch

The first trick is going to be to teach your dog to reverse to a touch position so that your dog learns to be careful of where and how it must position its hind legs.

  • Using a raised platform, ask your dog to perform its “Touch” trick and then lure it to walk forwards off the platform.  This is important so your dog knows where the platform is located
  • Now ask and Lure your dog to perform its “Reverse” trick. As your reaches the platform it will need to lift its hind legs on to the platform.
  • Continue luring and asking for the reverse so that your dog continues to walk backwards across the platform and down back on to the floor.

In performing this sequence of movements your dog will need to concentrate and learn to appreciate where it is placing its feet. Always start by going forwards over the equipment, your dog needs to be aware of the equipment.

For the purposes of this trick it is much easier to use the shaping technique for the “Reverse” as you are going to be facing your dog most of the time.