How to Train Your Dog to Play Peekaboo

Your dog can play peekaboo! This is an easy trick to train and will be sure to bring some laughs!


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    Develop your cues. For this trick, you will need a verbal cue: "Peekaboo!" You will also need a hand/body signal, in which you will stand with your hands on your hips and your legs spread apart.
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    Place yourself with your back to your dog, standing as described above.
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    Reach through your legs with a treat. This could be a piece of hotdog or maybe a bit of cooked chicken, beef, or liver. You should always keep him guessing what the next treat will be so he will be motivated to do his best. To do this, you must vary the treats (example: first a cheese square, next some chicken, then bit of hot dog). You should never use dog food as a treat because your dog won't get as excited about dog food.
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    With the treat, lure your dog forward until he is standing between your legs. If your dog is scared to be between your legs, don't force him. This trick requires him to be in a submissive stance between your legs, which requires trust. Allow enough leash for him to back out if necessary. Making things complicated, raising your voice, or forcing him to do the trick will just be a setback. He will be confused and he won't want to try again. Build trust and bond with your dog before you attempt this trick again.
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    Let your dog nibble or lick at the treat in your hand. Praise him by saying, "Good peekaboo" and encourage him to stay in this position for 10 seconds. If he backs out, squeezing with your legs to keep him in position will only frighten him.
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    Practice 10 times a day. Within a week your dog should start to understand this trick. Dog trainer Kyra Sundance says, "Don't be surprised if this becomes his favorite way of getting your attention!"
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    Once your dog has mastered this trick, continue to practice it during sessions as a review, but don't push it.


  • "No" should be used sparingly. Reserve the word "no" only for when your dog is being naughty. Offer positive feedback or no feedback when you teach a new trick.
  • Remember that trick training is supposed to be a fun way for both of you to bond and show off your smarts!
  • Try to build on this trick once mastered. Think of creative ways you can alter it and make it slightly more challenging for you and your pooch.
  • If your dog is very small, kneel with knees apart and have your dog peekaboo through this smaller space.
  • If your dog bites your hand when you let him nibble the morsel, stop the trick and address this issue separately. Say "easy" when you let him take treats. If he is too rough, bump him (don't hit!) on the nose and say "ouch!" so he knows he hurt you. (Don't smile when you say ouch! Act as if it hurt.)
  • Perform the trick for your friends and family. Direct them to this article so they can learn how to master the trick!

Sources and Citations

  • "101 Dog Tricks" by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy

Article Info

Categories: Dog Tricks