The Tango | Dogs Trust

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The Tango

The Tango - Dancing with Dogs

How to teach your dog 'The Tan-Go-Fetch!'

In this dance you'll dramatically move your right arm out in front and across the front of your body to the left in a sweeping movement (tango-style!) and your dog then will touch your right hand with their nose. Then you'll change arms, sweeping your left hand out and across the front of your body to the right for your dog to then touch their nose. The more you practice the smoother the whole movement will become, because your dog will learn exactly what to do through repetition and being rewarded for getting it right!

  • First teach your dog to touch your hand with their nose by holding a treat between two fingers then presenting your hand in front of your dog. They should move their nose towards your hand to smell and eat the treat so tell them how clever they are and give them the treat as soon as their nose makes contact with your hand. Repeat this a few times with both hands so your dog learns that when you present either hand to them they're likely to get a treat if they touch it with their nose.
  • Once your dog has got the hang of it, try without a treat in your hand. Simply hold out your hand as before and when they touch it with their nose tell them what a good dog they are then give them a treat straight away. Repeat this until your dog is happily touching either hand with their nose right away whenever you hold them out towards your dog.
  • Now you can incorporate some 'tango' style! Start with your dog in front of you and a treat in both hands. Move your right arm across in front of your body and out to your left side, showing it to your dog just as though you have a treat in your hand. Your dog should follow your hand in order to touch it with their nose, let them do so then reward them straight away with a treat.
  • Then simply repeat this in the opposite direction by moving your left arm across in front of you to your right for your dog to follow and nose-touch.
  • If they're struggling at any point simply go back to having a treat in your hand and carry on doing so for a little while longer. Remember to always go at your dog’s pace. See our helpful section on 'Steps to Success'! 
  • Practice the sequence a few times in a row – for some added tango-pizzazz you could even include a lunge from side to side with your legs at the same time … Woohoo!

Don't forget to film yourselves and share on social media! And please tag Dogs Trust in so we can see your gorgeous dogs, your awesome moves and just how well you're doing! It's a 10 from us!