Tricks Your Dog Can Do

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Teaching your dog tricks is not serious business like obedience training. In fact, the main reason for teaching your dog tricks is simply for both of you to have fun. Teaching them tricks is another way to bond with them and play with them. In fact, your dog even becomes more confident as he accomplishes the basics of repetition and reward when you teach them tricks. Furthermore, your dog uses up a lot of pent-up energy that causes him/her stress (as talked about in another post here). The most important reason to teach your dog tricks is to tap his innate ability to learn things.

Whenever you start teaching tricks your dog can do, always keep things simple and fun at all times. This will allow him to follow along easily and not get frustrated and give up. Therefore, keep your training time short and limited to one trick until he masters it. Most of all make the time enjoyable by using positive reinforcement and positive feedback. For example, have treats on hand to reward his success. A treat is a must when your dog does something right.

Another way to positively reinforce your dog’s behaviour is by using a clicker, which is available at your local pet store. A clicker is an indispensable tool since the unmistakable clicking sound says “You’re doing great!” to your dog. Use the clicker at the same time your dog is performing a trick and chances are he will be doing it right next time.

Positive verbal encouragement and attention is always a strong reward for your pets, so when they respond well to instruction, make sure you give them a pat or a cuddle!

During your actual training time, be sure to keep in mind that your dog is as unique as you. What works best for other dogs will not always work best for him. As long as you keep him motivated to learn and reward him for doing what you want him to do, you both will not go wrong.

As for tricks you can teach him, first teach him to acknowledge and respect the clicker. This is as basic as clicking then giving your dog a treat. Repeat this process until he realizes the click produces a treat. All in all, this will be the foundation for the other tricks you will be teaching him. Therefore, the connection must be immediately learned in order to move forward.

Next, make your dog knows his name. Call him, wait for him to look at you, then reward him and give him a treat. Again, it is recommended to repeat this until you are sure he knows his name.

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Of course, one of the basic tricks for your dog to know is “Sit.” To accomplish this, just wait until he sits on his own then follow it up by positive reinforcement then giving him a treat. Do this a couple of times before introducing a verbal “Sit” as he takes a seat. Follow with a rewarding and his treat. Repeat this until the command “Sit” is associated with the action of sitting along with a treat.

There are a number of tricks you can teach your dog using these tips, including sit, beg, drop, shake, high 5 or high 10, stay, heel and even speak! The options are limitless and are only bound by you and your dog’s patience, so remember to reward them properly and give them time to recover before attempting to train again.

If you think the adage “You can’t teach old dogs new tricks” has merit then you are wrong. Both very young and older dogs can learn new tricks using the tips we’ve shared. All it takes is a lot of repetition and positive reinforcement (attention and treats) to tap their ability to learn. Moreover, don’t forget it is supposed to be a fun time for dog and dog owner!

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