Puppies are busy, active, playful, and apt to get into a lot of trouble if you don't keep them engaged, and entertained! Training a puppy basic obedience commands can start as early as 8-12 weeks, when they are weaned, and will give your puppy a good foundation for learning tricks. Do not expect too much from a very young dog as they have short attention spans and can easily become distracted or tired. However, training a puppy to do tricks can be fun for the puppy, especially if you incorporate play into training and make it a game. This will lay a great foundation for further training and start developing your relationship with your puppy, establishing you as a leader and teaching your puppy that he should pay attention to your directions to get rewards like treats and toys and play! The 'circle me' trick is fun for puppies to learn and easily transitions into a game that a puppy can enjoy, and it is not too difficult for a young dog to learn.
The 'circle me' trick consists of your puppy circling around behind you and crossing in front of you while you stand still or sometimes, while the handler circles in the opposite direction, which looks like your dog is dancing with you. You can use the verbal command “circle me” or “dance” or “around” to direct the trick. Using treats and toys to guide your dog so he learns this trick will make it easier for a young dog. Sometimes using a leash can also help guide a puppy to get the hang of this simple trick. It is easy to add play with a toy and toss a treat or toy for your puppy to fetch while circling you to make it more fun.
You will need treats, toys, and possibly a leash to direct and guide your puppy to perform this trick. If you are using a clicker to train your puppy other behaviors, then using a clicker to shape and reinforce the 'circle me' trick is also useful. Remember to keep training sessions short and fun when working with a puppy. Never lose patience when teaching fun tricks and working with a young dog. If your puppy is having trouble picking up the behavior, take a break and try again when your puppy is more focused or wait a few weeks and try again once your puppy has a little more life experience behind him.