Behavior & Training
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Teach Your Dog a Flip Finish Trick
Dog trick training

A nifty trick, handy for convenience and control from a sit front to heel position. It’s also really fun for the motivated dog and handler! Picture the finished exercise: On cue (a small sweeping hand signal), your dog flips from a “sit front” into heel position on your left side.


Sounds easy, but for the dog, this is a complicated series of movements that eventually add up to one final behavior. The initial steps involve breaking the behavior down into three small parts, with multiple tasty rewards for each. It’s important to “mark” the points described below so your dog understands exactly which actions to repeat. Here’s how to start:


1. Have your dog in a sit front position. To focus her attention, hold both hands in front of you, with a treat in the left hand.


2. Say the dog’s name with the command “Flip,” while stepping back with your left foot and luring your dog away and behind you with your left hand. Mark with a “yes” and reward once she passes you.


3. Quickly step and lure her forward into heel position while raising your hand above her head and saying “sit” once she’s at your side. Mark with a “yes” and reward again.


To further practice, keep her in a sit and pivot around to face her so she is toe to toe in the “sit” position in front of you.


As you and your dog because more fluid in your movements together, gradually fade the steps and luring until she can flip from a sit front into heel position while you stand still.


Here, Sandra teaches Bark dog Lola a fab flip finish!


This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 57: Nov/Dec 2009
Sandra Mannion is an Albany, Calif.-based trainer and behavioral consultant. sandramannion.com

 Photos by Mark Compton; video by Daniela Lopez

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Anonymous | November 25 2009 |

We have a puppy that looks exactly like the dog in this video. Does anyone know the breed of this dog?

Submitted by Anonymous | November 28 2009 |

german wirehaired pointer

Submitted by Bella Notte | December 27 2009 |

We saw this dog in the magazine and wondered what it was, too. We have a Spinone and thought it was one. It would be helpful if somewhere you put what kind of dogs are pictured. For example, I couldn't find what kind of dog was on the cover either. Love the magazine!

Submitted by Ana | January 27 2010 |

that works if the dog is interested in the treat. how would you teach this trick if the dog is not interested in food at all?

Submitted by Anonymous | February 26 2010 |

try a ball or toy that you dog likes

Submitted by Anonymous | April 4 2012 |

Find what the dog does like, a suqeecky toy, a favorite ball and go from there. Don't forget to give lots of praise, dogs love knowing when they've performed a "job well done."

Submitted by Russell Hartste... | June 24 2012 |

Hi Sandra,

Very nice demonstration, well done. This is something we teach our more advanced clients here at Miami dog training. It is wonderful to have that type of engagement, interaction and connection with your dog while out and about with your best friend. :)

Russell Hartstein, CPDT-KA

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