Video: Circus Dog Training
Circus training, at first glance, may seem like an exciting and fun game between the owner and his dog. This is how it should look from the outside. In fact, there are many hours of training and a great desire to show what a dog is capable of.
Unlike other training courses, such as OKD or ZKS, circus training is dominated by the taste-rewarding method. It is based on reinforcing the desired result with a treat and praise. If the dog is taught differently, for example, by jerking the leash, then this is reflected in its work. A properly trained dog performs tricks at the first command of the trainer, constantly watches him and waits for the next command, and vice versa, inept training is given by the behavior of the dog during the performance: it works sluggishly, is constantly distracted, the owner is forced to repeat the commands several times and, in general, in a threatening tone.
To successfully train a dog in circus tricks,: the presence of contact between the trainer and his pet, the dog's knowledge of the basic commands of the OKD, the owner's knowledge of the basic principles of training and, of course, some free time. After the end of almost each of my performances, they come up to me and ask: “At what age did you start to train a dog and how long did you train?”. I answer that I started class the day after I brought the puppy home. My dog was 1.5 months old. By the age of 3 months she knew and performed 6 commands: "sit", "lie down", "come to me", "fu", "walk", "aport". Further, the remaining teams from the OKD were added: "stand", "next", "place", "forward", "barrier". All of these commands come in handy in circus training. Many people think that classes take up a lot of time, but the main thing is not the duration of the classes, but their regularity.20 minutes every day is enough for simple (home) tricks. If you plan to compete in a circus training competition, you will need a slightly longer session, about one hour a day for two months.
Tricks can be purely circus, such as "snake", "somersault", commands "Of!" (from the "sitting" position, simultaneously raise both front paws and freeze so, while the back should be straight), Spanish step, bow. Or tricks with elements of OKD, but in a complicated form, for example, the commands "fetch" and "place" with a blindfold, movement next to the trainer backwards, loading a burning or edible object.
Now more about some of the tricks. The dog can be taught to play ball. To do this, you need to take a light inflatable ball or balloon. The dog is seated and at first they simply throw the ball on the nose and, as soon as they notice the reciprocal movement (push by the nose), they are immediately encouraged with a treat. And so on until the dog itself starts hitting the ball with its nose from a short distance. All circus animals perform another number - this is a bow… According to the technique, the "bear" type of performance is suitable for the dog. It looks more impressive than, for example, the bow "horse". The bow is performed from a standing position. The dog follows the hand with a treat, tilts its head to the ground. After that, the hand is pulled back slightly, so that the dog touches the ground with its forehead. Having lingered in this position, the dog receives a treat. A purely "horse" number is a " Spanish step"… You can also teach a dog to do it. The number is performed from a standing position. The dog raises its front legs in turn and moves forward with each step. Before performing this trick, the dog must be able to give both right and left paws in place. Then the trainer stands in front of the dog, holding the treat in his hand and showing it to the dog. A dog, wanting to receive a treat, touches his hand with his paw and immediately receives it. At the same time, the trainer takes a step back and asks for another paw.
I will list some tricks that can be taught to any dog: " okay" - a dog from a sitting position, alternately gives its front paws, touching the pads of the paws to the palms of the hands, and then gives both paws at once; "Die" - the dog falls on its side from a prone position and freezes; "Snake" and "eight" performing these tricks, the dog goes around the owner's legs, moving "snake" (on the move) or "eight" (on the spot); jumping over the leg, onto the arms, into the hoop, into the ring from the hands; the dog can throw and catch a piece of delicacy put on its nose; catch rings on the neck. This is not a complete list of possible tricks.
For example, my German Shepherd does 70 tricks of varying difficulty. Among them are such as:
- loading a burning object; jump into a burning hoop;
- holding a cup and saucer on the head in the "Of!" - while holding two bagels in his teeth, which cannot be eaten without a command;
- crawling backwards; walking on hind legs and others.
Performing with a circus program at dog shows and at various holidays, I show that you should not limit yourself to classes only in OKD and ZKS. Your dog can do much more. Some of the training instructors who saw Laima and my performances ask me, "Why do you need this?" I say, "To hear the applause." And I can hear them. The dog understands that the audience liked the performance and is happy with me.
Any training, especially circus training, improves the relationship between the owner and the dog. If you decide to take up circus training, then patience, work and the given recommendations will help you to achieve success.
Elena Muravyova, "Cat and Dog" newspaper