One of the first things everyone loves to do with their dog is train them to do tricks. While certain types of tricks are essential for their safety, such as “heel”, others are just fun to show off to your family and friends. Either way, these five most common tricks will serve as the perfect starting point for your dog training routine.
Show Them How to Roll Over
Once your dog knows how to get in the “lay down” position, they are ready to learn how to roll over. Start off by having them get down on their belly. Then, place a treat near their head, and move it so that they have to turn to see it. The general idea is that as your dog turns its head to the side, their body will naturally fall into place. Make sure to reward your dog as soon as they do roll, and keep practicing until they simply do it with only the command.
Teach Them to Speak
It is important to be cautious with this trick since rewarding a dog who barks incessantly can lead to negative behavior. To combat this potential issue, only train with the speak command when your dog is already in a sitting position. Then, simply give your command and tempt them to make a noise. Once they make even the tiniest sound, reward them with praise or a treat to encourage the behavior.
Shake Hands with Your Dog
This classic trick is just adorable, and kids love meeting a dog that will shake their hand. This is also one of the easier tricks to teach if your dog naturally raises their paw when they want something. Start by placing a treat down near your dog’s paw and slowly raise it as they start to move it. Then, say your command while placing their paw in your hand. Reinforce the behavior with lots of praise to help your dog make the connection between the command and your hand.
Go for a High Five
Asking for a high five takes the handshake to a new level, but really this trick is all about how you place your hand. Begin by using your hand as a visual cue to get your dog to raise their paw while you give the command. Then, hold your palm out in a high five position instead of face-up (how you do for a handshake). This way, your dog hits your palm instead of allowing you to grab it.
Invite Them to Dance
Dancing tends to work best with small dog breeds, but you can get larger ones to do this trick with lots of praise and practice. To get your dog to dance, you will need to dangle a treat near their nose just high enough that it prompts them to stand on their hind legs. Once they have mastered that, start moving the treat in a circle over your dog’s head so that they begin to twirl. Always finish up the trick by giving your dog the treat, and keep the dance sessions short to avoid irritating your dog’s back and hind legs.
Playing with your dog is always more fun when they can perform a few tricks that dazzle everyone. As you teach your pet new tricks, keep in mind that dog training sessions should always be kept short, to the point and positive. A lot of praise for your pooch’s efforts will ensure that you both have fun working together on new tricks.
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