How to Teach a Dog to Back Up

How to Teach a Dog to Back Up
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How to Teach a Dog to Back Up makes a lot of sense. Sometimes your dog is too excited or just wants to keep moving forward.

This is likely one of the dog tricks you will use on a regular basis. It is useful when someone comes to the door or another dog is present.

The STAY command is a helpful starting spot – you should learn it first.

Let’s learn this simple, effective trick.


Start with your dog standing on all fours in one place and you facing them about 2-3 feet in front.

This is your starting point. You can use the STAY command to get your dog in this position. If you do, you don’t want to praise or reward your dog just yet. There is more expected of them.

If you give them credit for completing the trick at stay, they won’t expect the additional tasks you have for them.


Start walking directly toward your dog and they will typically start backing up. If they don’t, keep walking until you are bumping into them. If you still don’t get reaction, lean in a little until they do back up.

This step is where you initiate your dog backing up. If they do not back up, gently continue walking into them so they back up.


As your dog gets that you want them to move backwards when you approach, give the command “BACK UP,” PRAISE and REWARD successes.

The goal in this step is for the dog to associate (connect) the verbal “Back Up” command to the act of moving backwards.

To lock-in this understanding, you verbally praise them with a Good Boy, Good Girl and give them a tasty treat as reward.


How to Teach a Dog to Back Up is not over with yet.

Over time, continue the walking toward them steps, but then transition to perform this trick by only giving the “BACK UP” command.

Tell us about your training experience in the comments below as all dogs are different.

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Steve Larrivee

Steve Larrivee

As a dog lover since his youth, Steve Co-Founded Athenas Pets with his son Kevin to promote dog training to the masses. Athenas Pets, focuses on training products and providing the "know-how" so the average dog owner can train their dog like a pro.

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