When you are training your dog, it is easy to focus on good manners and obedience. However, breaking free from the routine and teaching your buddy new tricks will give your dog a chance to take a break and have fun. At the same time, tricks build better communication and strengthen your relationship, which augments your obedience training.
General Trick Training Tips
- Make sure that your pooch is giving 100 percent of its attention before you start teaching it any tricks.
- Use small, bite-sized pieces of treats as rewards. Prepare them before so that you can immediately reward your dog for good behavior.
- Give your dog lots of praise.
- Stay positive – training should be fun for your dog and you.
- Keep sessions short -15 minutes maximum is ideal.
- Be patient –some dogs learn faster than others do.
- If your dog is not in the mood, then do something else.
- Speak consistently and firmly, never with frustration or anger.
- Always end each session on a positive note. When your dog performs a trick successfully, reward and praise it for a good job.
When your dog has mastered the “lie down” command, teach it this next trick.
- Make your dog lie down.
- Kneel next to your dog with a treat
- Hold the treat in your hand just in front of its nose. Get your dog to lean towards it.
- If your dog is getting up, use your free hand to gently keep its body in a crawling position.
- Gradually move the treat away from your dog so that it has to lean forward to sniff the treat. When your dog starts to crawl forward on its tummy after the treat, say the command “crawl.”
- Repeat until your dog learns the idea of crawling on its belly without a treat in your hand.
- After that, place the treat a few feet in front of your pooch’s nose and then drag your finger along the floor towards it, while saying the command “crawl.”
- Finally, practice without tracing your fingers on the floor, getting your dog to crawl to the treat with only the verbal cue.
This classic trick is an all-time favorite.
- Sit facing your dog.
- Rest your hand next to one of its shoulders. Gently press so that it can keep balance when you raise your dog’s paw.
- Take its front leg with your other hand say “shake hands.”
- Reward your dog with a treat.
- Repeat until your dog raises its paw perfectly on cue.
Dogs often chase their tails. But can you get your dog to chase its tail on your command?
- Hold the treat in front of your dog’s nose.
- Slowly move the treat around your dog’s body at tail height.
- As your pet chases the treat say, “chase tail.”
- Reward your dog with the treat. Repeat.
- Practice the trick using the same gesture but without the treat.
- Then practice the method just by saying the command, “chase tail.”
- When your dog masters the trick, always reward and praise it.
Sometimes, dogs think that they are human. Well, what else can you do about it? Teach your dog how to speak, of course.
- Command your dog to sit.
- Hold the treat just of your dog’s sniffing range. This will excite and tempt it.
- Now move your hand, the one holding the treat, to your back, hiding it from your dog and wait for it to bark.
- Just before it barks, say, “speak.” Praise your dog when it barks and reward with the treat.
- Repeat the process. Eventually, as your dog learns the trick, you won’t have to hide the treat. You will only need to say, “Speak.” and your dog will bark on command.
Note: You can use a gesture along with your verbal command. Try opening your hand into a quacking motion when you say, “speak”. Soon, the hand gesture will be enough to tell your dog to speak.