- It’s not the ‘musical ability’. Pudsey is not a musical genius. He is just well trained to follow a series of hand signals.
- You need to have something to motivate your dog. And I mean ‘Motivate’ with a capital M. That could be food, attention, something your dog really loves. A well motivated dog will want to learn.
So how do you do it?
- Keep your expectations low. Your dog will not win ‘Britain Got Talent’ in a day. Aim for a basic dancing routing at first. No more then 2 minutes long.
- Start by teaching your dog basic obedience. Sit, stay, roll over, come. Practice with food rewards and voice, then introduce hand signals. The signals need to be clearly visible and specific. Once you’ve got the dog doing commands at the drop of a hat, ditch the voice and keep the hand signals only.
- Once you got part 2. down pat, it’s time to develop your routine. Incorporate a series of basic commands your dog already knows well. Let’s say: Sit-Roll over-Sit-Stay-Come-Stay. Choose a simple musical piece for the routine and work out what you will be doing while the dog is following your instructions. This is your chance to bring in some dance flair.
- Practice the commands one after the other with your dog. Don’t move too quickly from one to the next but always keep the sequence the same. Gradually make the intervals between the commands shorter.
- Once the sequence is becoming coherent, introduce the music. You will find that as the dog is learning the commands – the hand signals will become less and less necessary.
- Don’t forget rewards. make sure the training routine is always appealing to the dog.
- Last but not least – persevere. Ideally you want to practice every day. With a bit of effort you should be able to start getting results in 3 months or so.