Jump to section
Teaching your dog to walk on his hind legs is a fun trick. Large dogs and medium-sized dogs can do this trick, but most small dogs will get this faster and easier. Walking on hind legs is a cute and fun trick to show your friends and neighbors because dogs don't walk on two legs normally. You can turn walking on hind legs into a dancing trick or a spinning around in a circle trick with just a little extra training and attention.
Your dog may not want to walk on his hind legs all the time, but it can be a command you teach him to entertain people or just to have fun. Teach your dog to make the people in his world smile and laugh at his fun skills of walking on his hind legs. He’ll be a hit at your next party.
Teaching your dog to walk on his hind legs will begin in a 'sit' position or a 'beg' position. If your dog does not know these commands as of yet, train them first. In order to learn to walk on his hind legs, he should have the basic obedience commands down. He will be starting in a 'sit' or 'beg' position and then standing tall, rising up from that position, before learning to walk. This skill of learning to walk on his hind legs will take a little bit of time because your dog will need to build up rear leg strength. Even if he knows how to beg, it may take him a little extra time to learn how to walk on those hind legs, so have some patience and extra training time.
To get started training your dog to walk on his hind legs, you are going to need lots of high-value treats to offer during training sessions. Be sure your dog knows how to sit. If you would like to start in a beg position, teach the beg command first. These training sessions are going to require short and simple challenges. Keep your dog's strength up and his attention by keeping each training under fifteen minutes. Be sure to reward your dog during and after each training session. Your dog will need to build his muscles before he can walk, so don't expect him to walk on his hind legs from a beg position right away. Take it slow so he can build strength.
The From Beg Method
Entice with treat
Hold a high-value treat in your closed hand and let your dog sniff it.
Raise the treat up above your dog's head, going slightly over and behind his head. This will lift his head up and point his chin upward. If you have ever taught your dog the beg command, this is the start of teaching your dog to beg. If your dog knows had to beg, start here but without using the command to beg.
To get to the treat above his head, your dog should stand tall on his hind legs.
Give your dog a treat for standing to reach the treat in your hand. If you are using a clicker for training, this is the time to click and treat.
Keep holding treats above his head making him stand tall, clicking and treating each time.
Move your treat above his head slowly forward, encouraging your dog to come to you on his hind legs after standing up. Be sure to click and treat once he gets it.
Stand up and walk along, moving the treat forward and giving your dog the 'walk' command and treat lure.
Keep practicing, increasing distance each day.
The Lure Method
Have your dog start in a sitting position.
Get your dog to stand by luring him upward with a treat.
Lure him up by placing a treat above his head. You may need to let him sniff the treat first to ensure it’s one he’s willing to work for. High-value treats such as ham are good for this trick
Once he is standing on his hind legs, give him the lure treat.
Build up your dog’s hind leg muscles and keep practicing this standing part of the walking on hind legs trick.
With the treat in your hand, lure him up into the standing position, only this time continue to hold the treat above his head and move it slowly ahead a step.
If your dog hops to get the treat, give it to him. If your dog does not walk on his hind legs or hop, still offer him the treat for standing tall and try again.
Repeat these steps with your dog until he can take several steps.
Once he’s walking on his hind legs, give it a name and continue to practice using the command to do the trick. Be sure to keep practicing every day. Your goal will be to have your dog able to perform the trick on command without the lure of a treat.
The Name it First Method
Start from sit
Have your dog sit and offer him a treat for obeying.
Give your dog the command you plan to use to have him walk on his hind legs such as 'walk.'
Hold a treat above your dog's nose and raise it higher and higher, encouraging your dog to stand to get it.
Once your dog learns to stand with the lure of a treat over his head, take the treat over his head and walk it a step away from him. As you walk the treat away from your dog, use the 'walk' command you started to use in the beginning.
Your dog should follow the treat and walk on his hind legs forward at least two steps. If he does not, practice standing a little longer.
Be sure to reward your dog even if he takes a small step or attempts to walk on his hind legs.
As your dog learns to walk on his hind legs, stop luring him up and over with the treat. At this point, he should be able to walk by command only. Be sure to reward him after he's done the trick but you no longer need the lure of a treat to get him to stand up and walk forward.
Continue to practice this until your dog can walk on his hind legs by command only. Be sure to use the command each time you asked him to walk on his hind legs.
By Stephanie Plummer
Published: 11/08/2017, edited: 01/08/2021
More articles by Stephanie Plummer