Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Pivot.

Some time ago, back when I was training in washington we were introduced to the pivot. At the time I didn't fully understand the mechanics - other than I taught Seth and Seppel how to stand on an upside down dish. Here is an early video of that:

Basically, this was teaching the dogs to target. I was told not to lure them onto the dish but that just isn't how I do things. To teach them to stand on the dish I lured them onto it and when they stepped on it I gave them a treat. This transformed into them placing both feet on the dish. When they actually start to 'get it' you can throw your treats off to the side, so they have to get off, get the treat, and then get back on again.

Nowadays they know when I put something down for them to stand on - to stand on it. Recently I saw a video on how to teach the pivot. In washington the woman showing us how to do it lured the dog's head around with food. My dogs did not understand this and would fall off or step off of the dish. Today teaching them to pivot I simply moved around the dish, kind of into them and when they moved their hind legs I gave them a treat. Both Seth and Seppel learned this pretty quickly. I wish I had gotten video!Once they understand how to move their butts around I am going to try standing next to them and will then try to lure their head around to encourage them to pivot into me. So if the dog is on my left, I will use my left hand to lure their head to the left to encourage them to pivot into me. We aren't quite there yet!

The pivot teaches your dog to use their hind end. In obedience and Rally this can help tighten up your dog's heeling, so when you make a left or right turn they learn to move their booty into place when you turn.

Here are a few pictures of the boys practicing:


  1. Oh wow! I have never heard of this but it makes perfect sense for dog sports. I'm still trying to get Bindi to stand on a box, she wants to paw at it and rip it up instead. lol.

    1. LOL that is what Sepp's initial reaction was... it took us a while to get here.