Dog trick: Teach your Bull Terrier how to crawl

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How to teach the dog trick CRAWLING to your Bull Terrier or other dog. As I am shooting the videos for this tutorial, Mila is learning this new trick. So the info will come in phases. Accompany us in this little adventure and follow our progress.


What you do when you teach the dog trick CRAWLING is you basically lure your dog into the crawl with the treat.
So, have your clicker and a few yummy treats ready and let’s do it!

In this video you can watch us exercising the steps described below.

PHASE 1: Follow the treat

  1. Order your dog “down”
  2. Hold the treat in front of her nose just as far away so she can’t reach to grab ist and let her do the rest.
  3. Click and reward every movement on the ground towards your hand with the treat. If she gets up, no treat. Over time make her crawl longer distances after your leading hand with the treat.

Remember: Clicker training is about conditioning and your dog is conditioned to receive a treat when she hears the “click”. Even if you click at the wrong time or the wrong movement, don’t confuse your dog by not rewarding. Click means treat! Reward and work on your timing. 🙂

PHASE 2: Go “EMpty handed”

  1. Once your dog follows your hand with the treat reliably, try to make her follow your empty hand. You can even “fake grab” a treat from your other hand or training pouch to make it easier for her to believe that she is following the treat in your hand. If she does not “buy it” yet, go back to actually holding a treat in front of her. This is where the real small training treats come in handy, because your dog can’t exactly tell, if you are holding one or not and will likely follow. Once you get her to follow the empty hand, let her see how you grab a treat from somewhere else afterwards to give it to her. This way you loosen the connection treat – hand for her and enter the next level of the exercise.
  2. When she follows your empty hand, try variations of holding the hand: create some distance or hold the hand a little higher – no commands yet.

Remember: If your next step fails often, this is a sign that you are progressing too fast. In this case just go back a step and simply repeat it a little more often, even in several sessions , if necessary. Keep your sessions fun, short and crisp. This way your dog will always look forward to the next one.

That’s it for now!
Stay tuned for us entering the next levels: Eliminating the leading hand and introducing a command.

Oct 28, 2015
Here comes our update and the second video.

PHASE 3: Eliminate the leading hand & Introduce your Command

Once your dog follows your empty hand reliably, try to gradually eliminate your hand (see video). Hold it higher or at your side etc. At a certain point, also introduce your command.
The reason why we are basically doing both at a time is: Once you managed to eliminate your leading hand, you just need another way of “telling” your dog she should crawl. Your command will replace your leading hand so to speak.

PHASE 4: Build Distance

You have introduced and shaped your command. Doggie follows it 99% of all cases. Now you can work on building a little more distance between the two of you. Depending on how much you work on that, your dog may no longer be walking, but only crawling through the house. 🙂

Here is our second video, enjoy!



Nov 1st, 2015

Here comes our update and the third video.
This is where we stand after ten days of irregular training and about 15-20 sessions of 5-10 minutes each.
Still some work to do, but we’re making progress.

We hope you had fun learning this trick together with us.
If you have any question, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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