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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I keep taking out my pivot bowl to teach Theo hind end awareness and a nice tight pivot. I’m using the same method I taught Babykins.

He quickly learned to put his two front paws up but I can’t get him to move no matter how I lure him with food or just my hand. I can get him to move if I stand next to him and push him with my body but that’s not translating into him doing it on his own. I can’t use this to move him counterclockwise. He steps off or twists his head around and then steps off but mostly he plants the two front paws and won’t move expecting the treats to magically jump to his mouth.

I have two pivot bowls, both nonslip and don’t move on the ground so they feel secure. Babykins can’t wait for the pivot bowl to come out, jumps up and starts moving immediately. He’s not learning watching her.

He does the worst clunky turn to the left and often sits as I turn. His right turn and about turn are nice and tight for a 9 mo old.

I first started when he was 6 months old and he was stiff turning so I put the pivot bowl away and taught him to spin both directions so he’s good at turning his body both directions and bendy/twisty, not stiff.

Any suggestions. I’m now looking back on how quickly Babykins learned and have more appreciation of whata good girl she is.
 

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I encountered this with Peggy, too! So bizarre. She was always such a star when it came to learning new things in class. But all the other dogs nailed this one while she did much the same as Theo’s doing.

Will be following this thread with interest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Let’s hope we are both successful.
 

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Evie was like Babykins and Peggy when it came to trying to pivot on a bowl.
I ended up teaching her to pivot teaching her to stand between my legs and turn with me slowly turning in smaller and smaller circles. Then we did it with her between my legs front feet on the bowl, and then we got in heel and started with luring her head to the left when we turned. After that we tried it again on the bowl and it seems to she has finally figured it out.

The other thing you can try is since he is a mini is desensitizing him to a dowel, and having it next to you when you turn that way he has to turn his rear when turning left.

I hope this helps.
 

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Pivot is actually quite new to us! I only became aware of "rear end awareness" training after seeing some people show it on Instagram. And only just started teaching Pavlov.

I started out standing next to Pavie and walking towards him, and he'll move, and I reward.
After he got that, it wasn't a problem transitioning from that to face-to-face.
But we're currently still struggling with pivoting when I move away from his direction.

Here's a YouTube video that we watched while trying to figure it out:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
EVpoodle, thanks for your suggestion. If it doesn’t work to transition to pivot, at least I’ll have trained another trick for his title. Babykins was petrified by the dowel, so I never used it.

Pavie, this is helpful, I’ll try to face him straight on to move him.

It’s ironic because Babykins was the demo dog to show how to train pivot in several classes.
 
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I’m laughing - of course we teach rear end awareness because dogs are so bad at it naturally, and here your guy is, proving that it really is hard for him!! The irony! 🤣

How about switching to a clicker? I think this is how I started with my dog when he was about that age. I had him stand on the box (we use a small box) and stood facing him. Very little luring, I mostly simply waited to capture any movement with his rear feet. I didn’t care what he did with them at first, just that he picked it up. We kept using the clicker throughout, once he realized I wanted him to move his back feet, until he got the full pivot down.
 

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I'll have to get this into Elroy's training plans. I've tried it on a block with basically no success. I think part of the problem was that I didn't know, or see, a purpose for it. Now, @Pavie, thanks to the video, I understand.
 

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Reggie and I are currently working on this too! His pivoting to the right (into a heel on the left) is coming along pretty well, but pivoting to the left is tricky for him. To work on that I heavily reinforced him for standing on my right with his front legs on the platform and then slowly started increasing the distance he would have to move to the left to get into heel. He can only move a step or two so far, but he seems to be catching on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone. The facing him face to face worked. I got Theo to go one direction. now he can go one direction I know we’ll get the other direction too. Once he’s smoothly and confidently turning I will switch into heel position to continue training.

Poodle2021, I tend not to use a clicker because I find it easier to use marker words …. Same effect to mark when he moved his back legs and he knows a treat will follow quickly. I occasionally pull out the clicker, I have trained my dogs with the clicker too so they know what it means.

Tom it’s handy for all poodles to have hind end awareness for when they are on the grooming table. I prefer to train using a round pivot bowl instead of a rectangle or square book or box. It also makes it easier to turn right or left keeping your dog close to you in crowded situations like in a store or popular outdoor fair.

After Theo understands how to move his hind legs I will be moving in heel position with him as he circles the bowl to teach him how to keep close to my leg when we turn or pivot. Eventually I will fade the pivot bowl going to a small can and eventually a piece of paper on the floor. In the end I expect him to turn as I turn and keep tucked in a tight heel position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
RedonRed, I’m working on one step at a time too. Better to go slow and move forward when Theo is confident than moving to fast and ending up with a mess.
 

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Yup, the fancy pivoting will come eventually. It’s much more important that they really understand and enjoy it
 

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Another tool to teach rear end awareness is a ladder - this is like using cavaletti for horses. Our obedience club has one made from PVC pipe. Depending on the size of the dog it can be positioned at different heights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Another tool to teach rear end awareness is a ladder - this is like using cavaletti for horses. Our obedience club has one made from PVC pipe. Depending on the size of the dog it can be positioned at different heights.
Those ladders are very popular - and effective. They are used in all the puppy and lower level obedience and agility classes. Asking dogs to step in boxes or containers like laundry baskets is another cheap and easy method.

I'm training Theo for rally and obedience with tight pivots and heeling which is why I need to use the pivot bowl. We’ve had success now moving both directions. It’s not pretty but I think he’s starting to understand I want the hind legs to move.
 
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