Teaching Your Dog Some Simple Tricks
When you first get a dog, whether it's a new puppy or an older dog, you want to be able to have fun with him and the best way to do that is to teach him some basic dog training tricks. There are numerous tricks that you can teach your dog including many complicated routines, however irrespective of the breed of dog you should always start with simple tricks first. It is also important to remember that despite the principle reason for teaching your dog training tricks is for you both to have some fun, if you make the learning interesting enough backed up with a suitable reward you will also be teaching your dog a very important lesson in obedience.
As previously mentioned, there are a multitude of tricks that your dog can learn but the best place to start is with simple verbal commands such as sit, stay and lay down. Now while these may not strictly be thought of as tricks they are useful for your dog to learn and will be very helpful when it comes to your own handling of your dog at a later date.
When starting with 'real' dog training tricks one of the best and easiest to teach your dog is hello or the simple hand shake. This trick is totally ending to see any dog perform from the tiniest pooch to a Great Dane and is something that your dog will really enjoy performing, also it's a trick that comes very naturally to them.
Once you taught your dog to sit, by simply putting some pressure on his rump with the clear command 'sit', kneel or sit in front of him, hold your hand out and keep it there for a few seconds. Next lift his paw and place it in your outstretched hand and gently shake it, put the paw back down and with a big grin on your face give him a treat. (the grin on your face is very important as your dog will pick it up, remember dog training tricks are a two way street). Repeat this process as often as you can and be persistent. After not too long when you hold your hand out you will find that your dog will automatically lift his paw for you to hold, at that stage just shake his paw and say hello. This will always get a big 'Ahh' from anyone in the room and kids absolutely love it.
Have you ever walked down the street and seen a dog walking next to its owner carrying a newspaper or bag? How cool is that and it's not that difficult for your dog to learn. It's natural instinct for many dogs to hold things like a small ball or stick in their mouth, all you need to do is train them to hold specific objects and not run off with them. This dog training trick consists primarily of four clear commands – sit, take, come and release. As before with your dog in front of you give the command to sit, when your dog has sat, take the straps of the bag or the rolled up newspaper and get your dog to hold it in its mouth with the command "take", let him hold the object for only a minute or so then gently remove the object with the command "release". Once your dog has done this make a fuss and give him a treat.
Repeat this process several times over the next few days until sooner than you have to place the object in your dog's mouth, he will take it on the command "take" and let go on the command "release". Again make sure your dog is rewarded for his actions. Lastly with your dog sitting and holding the object walk about 10 yards away, with the command "stay" if necessary, then pat your leg and encourage him to come to you with the command "here". Again when he comes to you with the object give him a treat. If he drops the object before he comes to you stop him in his tracks and start again from the command sit. You will be surprised how quickly he learns to come to you with the object in his mouth. These are only a couple of dog training tricks that you can teach your dog and you can find many more in various books that you can find online.
Lastly, through this article I have used the term 'him' or 'his' when referring to your dog, it goes without the obvious more intelligent female of the species 🙂