Orbit Challenges

  • Holding an Object
  • Increasing the Distance
  • Orbiting around another Dog

Orbiting a Person

This trick, that we call the Orbit, is where your dog walks in a reverse circle around your legs.

The key components in teaching this trick are to get your dog walking backwards, and then get it to turn at the same time

The initial steps in teaching the orbit involve teaching your dog to reverse. For this trick you should not be expecting your dog to walk backwards in a straight line over any great distance. All that is required to start with is to reverse a couple of steps at most.

Start with your dog in standing against your left leg in the Heel position, and with a treat in your left hand, lure your dog to take a couple of paces backwards and then reward it for doing so. When luring your dog, it is important to try and keep your hand at the same height as your dog’s head. If your hand it too high, it is more likely that your dog will sit rather than take a step backwards.

When you have managed to get your dog confidently taking a few paces backwards, the next step is to get your dog to start turning its back end behind you as they reverse. To do you will simply need to lure your dog’s head to a turn away from you as you get it to walk backwards. When starting from your left leg, turn your dog’s head towards the left. If you are having problems getting your dog to do this, a good tip is to work the exercise near to a wall. When doing so as you dog walks backwards it comes up against the wall so must turn its back end to be able to continue walking backwards.

The next step is to repeat the exercise but this time you will start with your dog against your right leg, but your dog is facing 180 degrees relative to you. i.e. your dog is facing the opposite direction to you. Get your dog to walk backwards and start turning the dogs head, again to your dog’s left, so that it walks across your front.

At this point your dog should be able to walk backwards and turn through 90 degrees at the same time both behind you and in front of you. It is well worth practicing this so that this movement almost becomes second nature to your dog.

The next step towards achieving the full orbit is to use you hand to ‘push’ your dog to continue past the 90 turn you have already achieved. Although we use the term push here, you will not actually be physically pushing the dog, you’re will just be using your hand to lure and ‘push’ your dog to continue reversing and turning far further than you have done before.

The final step to complete the full orbit will require that you have a treat in both of your hands. Start from the heel position (with your dog against your left leg) and with your left-hand start luring your dog to walk and turn behind you. Continue to ‘push’ your dog until it has completed approximately 180 degrees, then without stopping swap to your right hand and continue luring your dog’s head to its left-hand side. The smoother you can make this swap over, the better your dog will continue reversing around you.

With practice you will find that your dog will become comfortable doing the orbit without the need to use your hands as a lure.

Once you have mastered the Orbit around your body you can start working with your dog to get it to orbit a different object, for example a tree stump or traffic cone.

Tricks for Treats – Intermediate – Introduction

Welcome to the CANINE Pawsibilities family and thank you for enrolling in the Tricks for TreatsIntermediate School.

In many languages and cultures there is a proverb that says:

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks “

Do not fall into the trap of believing this! If the correct stimuli and motivation is provided, dogs of any age or breed can be taught to perform tricks! Older dogs may take a while longer to master a new trick than a younger dog, or the trick may need to be adapted to the physical ability of the senior dog, but the experience for both the dog and handler is just as rewarding. In fact, teaching tricks to an older dog can provide important mental stimulation as they become less physically active.

Within this course we will introduce you a new trick on a monthly basis. All the tricks in this course are not equal. You may find that you are able to accomplish some of the tricks relatively quickly, others will probably take quite a bit longer to master. Do not worry if you are unable to master a particular trick within any given month. If you or your dog struggle with some aspect presented with a particular trick, do not give up or get disheartened.

There is a lot of information to take in from the videos and discussions. Take your time to build solid foundations, do not rush or skip the stages. The goal is to provide you with the underlying concepts and training steps to succeed with each trick.

Remember to be adaptable, if you find a particular trick easy, spend time to think how you can adapt and use the knowledge you have learned in teaching the trick to modify the trick. This does not necessarily mean making the overall trick more complicated but can include adapting it to a new location or situation.

Some Useful links

Collars, Leads, Long Leads & Bandanas

If you are interested in a new Lead, Long lead or even a fancy personalised Bandana for your dog , I would recommend you take a visit to Sharon’s Craft Cabin. All items are handmade, available in a wide variety of designs and are made from natural materials. If you are looking for something specific contact Sharon directly and discuss your requirements with her.


If you are interested in toys for your dogs, I would recommend tug-e-nuff

tug-e-nuff is a global company which has some particularly good tuggies (and other toys too). If you use the code K9PAWS you should get a discount on all the toys from their own brand (So if you browse through their site, make sure to choose to browse through the brand option).

The discount should also be applicable anytime even after the school is finished so I advise you to keep the details.

Joining the Facebook support group

It is now time for you to join the Facebook CANINE Pawsibilities Tricks for Treats School community

Joining the CANINE Pawsibilities Tricks for Treats School Facebook Support Group

  • Follow this link, it will take you to the Facebook support group page:
    Tricks for Treats
  • Send a request to join the group; you will be asked about the email address you have used to register to the class.
  • You will be also asked for the group password when sending the request which is: CPT4TS (please do not send your login password!)
  • Before being able to access the group, you will have to wait until we have accepted your request. This is not an automated process so please be patient as it may take a day or so for us to do this.

Et voila, that was easy! You now have joined our community and I am looking forward to meeting you within the Facebook support group.

Advice for posting videos and asking questions

If you post a video or a question that requests my special attention please add the tag #FEEDBACK so I can easily identify these posts.

Please keep any videos that you post to under 3 minutes in length and add the week you are currently working on in the description.

Getting prepared for your first day

What you will need for the Trick School

Unlike some activities, teaching your dog to perform a wide array of tricks does not require access to, or investment in specialised or expensive equipment. It is possible to teach a trick to a dog in most environments and using toys you may well already own (sorry, I mean that your dog already owns!) or objects that are close to hand.

During this course we will be using a variety of items, for example:

  • A Clicker. I do advise to use a clicker but, it is not mandatory – These are easy to find on Amazon or e-bay.
  • Various objects for your dog to hold such as:
    • Plastic Spoon
    • Metal Spoon
    • Assorted toys
    • Dumbbell
  • Plastic Pots
  • The plastic lid from a yoghurt pot, or something similar
  • The plastic lid from a fizzy drinks bottle
  • An electronic Quiz Buzzer (at least one) – The ones we use in some of the videos are similar to these:
  • A low Yoga block, Block of Wood, or a footstool. These should be no higher than your dog’s wrist
  • A cupboard door (we all have one!); Not that for ease of videoing we will be using a metallic dog crate with a door instead when teaching the trick that requires this.

Without a doubt you will be using lots of treats throughout this course. As you do not want to overfeed your dog, you will need to take the food allowance for the training out of the daily food allowance of your dog.

You may find a Treat Pouch useful for your training sessions. The treats you use need to be easily accessible when you need to reward your dog, so you maintain your dog’s focus. If possible, I would advise using a pouch similar to the ones below.