How to teach your dog the Spanish step

The exercise is that the dog moves forward, raising its front legs high… This walking was called the “Spanish step”, and originally this trick was performed by trained horses.


You can teach your dog to take a Spanish step using the “High paw” or “High five” commands (these commands must be learned in advance) and using an auxiliary object.

Order the dog stand to your left in the “beside” position, step forward and say one of the above commands. If the dog immediately understood what was required of him, and began to lift his paws on command, then you have achieved the desired result and can go directly to the end of the exercise.

How to teach your dog the Spanish step
The dog raises its left paw after the trainer

If your dog does not quite understand the task, then an auxiliary means should be introduced – a long ruler or stick. Stand in front of the dog, point the tip of the stick at it and command “Give a paw”. Usually dogs immediately understand what needs to be done and touch the tip with their paws. When you see that the touch has occurred, immediately praise the dog and give him a treat. If you work with a clicker, then you can better catch the moments of touch and quickly convey to the dog what behavior is required from it.

How to teach your dog the Spanish step
Teaching your dog to touch a stick

Practice the stick exercise with your dog, and when he learns the trick well, move on to further training. Command “Nearby” take a stick and point its tip in front of the dog… Ask the dog to give a paw and make sure that he touches the tip, without leaving the position “next to”. Then take one step forward and repeat the command again. Finish the exercise in about four steps and let your pet rest.

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How to teach your dog the Spanish step
The dog touches the stick from the “Near” position

Repeat this exercise regularly, and eventually give up the aid. Also increase the distance, but do it gradually, since the exercise is very difficult. When the dog begins to perform the trick accurately, enter a voice command, for example, “Jump-jump”.

Trick options

  • Teach your dog to run in Spanish to your left and right.
  • Make the dog jump on three legs. Unlike the Spanish step, the dog should not lower its front paw when walking, but must keep it in the air. To do this, you also need to use a stick and the command “Give a paw”. However, the new exercise should be practiced separately from the Spanish stride so as not to confuse the dog. Teach her one trick first, and then the second. The second trick requires a separate voice command.

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