Thursday, 21 August 2014

Teach Your Boxer the Chacha

One trick I like to teach Boxers, because of their inherent ability to stand on their hind legs, is to “dance”. It’s so easy to do this with Boxers, and it comes so natural for them. Just lure her with her favorite treat into standing up (of course without her putting her front legs on you), give her the dance command (use “Cha-cha”, “Tango” or any of those classical dance names you like) and if she stands up for about one second (in the beginning) give her the treat. Make sure you use your left hand to lure her with the treat (I’ll explain later). Extend the time of her standing up before you give her the treat. Then start moving forward and backward (or start dancing the Cha-cha yourself), luring her up the whole time. She will keep her focus on the treat and trying to follow your movements.

You can then start teaching her to turn by twirling your treat-hand around and above her head. You can even add a command “Turn” for this. Make sure you give her the treat after the turn.
Oh, I forgot to tell you that you should hold the treat between your thumb and forefinger, like you are doing an OK sign, so you have more control of the amount and frequency of treats. Plus whenever you hold your fingers this way, she wouldn’t know if you’re holding a treat or not.
Once she’s holding the position and following your hand around, you can “assume the Cha-cha position” with your right hand near your tummy and your left hand up like you’re holding on to a partner. This new position of your left hand will bring her closer to you trying to follow the treat. When you’ve conditioned her properly, you can just give her the treats once in a while but keep your left fingers holding that OK sign.

Once she’s moving with you while you’re dancing the Cha-cha, you can start playing your adding the music. When the music starts, visualize yourself in a party, you hear your favorite music start, and you say, Cha-Chaaaa!” like “Oh yeah!” Then assume your dance position. She will excitedly stand up in front of you to dance. This will look hilarious and impressive at the same time.
Anyway, my dogs are Beagles and a GSD. So far, I have one Beagle that does the Cha-cha. I think my GSD prefers Tango, but I don’t know the steps

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