Tricks help your dog to learn. If your dog can learn tricks, then it can learn obedience and good manners. Go ahead…have some fun and teach your dog a new trick!
The best way to teach your dog a trick, is to make it fun. Use praise and small treats to reward your dog.
Practice new tricks only a few minutes at a time. You never want your dog to get bored when learning new things.
Start by having your dog sit. Say, “Shake hands,” and take his paw with your hand. Hold his paw and say, “Good dog!” Let go of his paw. Do this a few times every day.
After a while, say, “Shake hands,” but don’t take his paw. See if he raises his paw by himself. If not, keep showing him what to do by saying, “Shake hands,” and taking his paw with your hand. Your dog is not slow; he is just learning!
Turn Around or Turn Left
Start by having your dog stand up facing you. Let your dog see a treat in your hand. Stand still and say, “Turn around”. Lead the dog’s nose around to the left (clockwise) with the treat so he walks in a circle. When he comes back to where he’s facing you again, say, “Good dog!” and give him the treat.
After some practice, hold the treat in front of you so your dog can see it and say, “Turn around,” but don’t lead his nose. See if he is ready to turn around by himself and get the treat. Pretty soon, he will turn around faster than you can say ‘Lassie!”
If you choose to use the words, “Turn Left”, use them all the time. Don’t use “Turn around” sometimes, and “Turn Left” other times. Be consistent.
Twirl or Turn Right
“Twirl” is the same trick as “Turn Around” (see above), but this time your dog turns to the right (counterclockwise), instead of to the left.
Start by having your dog stand up facing you. Stand still and say, “Twirl”. Lead the dog’s nose around to the right with the treat so he walks in a circle. When he comes back to where he’s facing you again, say, “Good dog!” and give him the treat.
If you choose to use the words, “Turn Right”, use them all the time. Don’t use “Twirl” sometimes, and “Turn Right” other times. Be consistent.
After your dog has learned “Turn Around” (or Turn Left) and “Twirl” (or Turn Right), you can put them together and have your dog look really smart. First have your dog “Turn Around” (turn to the left), and then say “Twirl” (turn to the right). Be careful, though, don’t get your dog dizzy!
Be sure to teach Turn Around and Twirl separately. Wait until your dog has learned the first one very well.
Start by having your dog lie down. Hold a treat just in front of his nose and say, “Crawl.” If he starts to stand up, say, “No, down…crawl.” Pull the treat away, keeping it low, near the ground and say, “Craaawl.” When your dog moves even an inch or two without standing up, praise him and say, “Good dog! Craaawl.”
Your dog must know ‘Down’ ‘ before he can learn this trick.
Choose a game that your dog loves to play, like catch with a ball, or hide and seek with a toy. Then get him excited by saying, “Let’s play! Want to play?” and show him the ball or toy. Jump and act silly so he barks and then say, “Good dog, speak!” Then play the game as his reward for learning “Speak”.
You can’t make a dog bark, but you can get him happy and excited so he wants to bark. After a while, your dog will bark when you say, “Speak.”
Caution! If you have a dog that already causes trouble because of his barking, you might not want to encourage this behavior. If you decide it’s ok to teach it, be sure to teach “Quiet”, too.
Take a Nap
Have your dog lie down on his tummy. As you gently roll him over on his side, say, “Take a nap.” While he is lying on his side, keeping his head on the floor, say, “Take a nap.” Don’t give him a treat. Encourage him to stay there for a couple of seconds. Then say, “Ok” or “Wake up!”, let him stand up, and give him his reward.
You can use the treat to lure your dog into a lying down position. Don’t give your a dog a reward while he is lying down. Give him a treat after he has completed the trick.