Using clicker training, Ginger dog has recently learned how to bow! I’ve included a short video clip at the bottom so you can watch her practicing her bow.
With clicker training, many dog trainers advise to get the behavior occurring at a high rate BEFORE trying to add a cue to it. This actually makes a lot of sense–if you start adding cue before the animal is doing the behavior, the cue is not going to have a clear association with the behavior! Instead, get the behavior first. Then, start giving the cue while the animal performs the behavior. Gradually, move the cue back in time until you are giving the cue before the behavior. If done correctly, this is an easy way for the animal to learn that a particular cue is associated with a particular behavior.
Here’s a video of Ginger learning to bow. This is a couple of days into teaching her this trick. She is pretty eager to offer the behavior. After she eats the treat, it usually doesn’t take long until she bows again. However, I have not added a cue to signal the behavior yet. The next day, once the behavior got a bit more solid, I started adding in a hand signal as a cue.