Once you have trained your dog to walk on a leash and some other basic commands it’s time to have some fun and use some of these tricks to teach your dog.
I am always amazed when I see a dog that is well behavior and trained, and seeing them doing tricks makes me jealous of them. While most of us are OK with our dogs the way they are…Wouldn’t it be cool if you could teach your dog tricks? Well you can, let’s get started.
In this article I’m going to go over 10 tricks you can teach your dog, the dos and don’ts of teaching your dog tricks for faster results and how to teach your dog to bark at burglars and any other stranger that comes to your door.
10 Tricks to Teach Your Dog
Trick Number 1] Fetch… While most dogs already love fetching things some don’t and it’s a great way to make playtime more fun. If you have a hunting or retrieving breed then fetching should come naturally.
I recommend you get a tool called a “dumbbell” used for training a dog to fetch, there a great tool and its design allows your dog to close their mouth on it to keep it in place. You can get these from your local pet store or you can check them out here on Amazon. There are different sizes, so get one that fits your dog’s mouth comfortably.
Teaching Your Dog to Fetch
Begin the training with getting your dog to open their mouth and giving the command “take it” you may need to offer a treat. When your dog open their mouth put the dumbbell into their mouth, try to let it in place for a few seconds and then remove it and give your dog a praise and a treat.
Do this a few times over the next few days and your dog will be comfortable with having the dumbbell in their mouth. Now place the dumbbell in the dog’s mouth with the command “hold” you may have to gentle close their mouth for a couple seconds.
Next give the command “release” and get your dog to release the dumbbell onto the ground. Remember to praise your dog and have a treat ready for good behavior. You’ll need to do this for a few days until your dog will keep the dumbbell in their mouth.
Now in your next training session hold the dumbbell out to your dog and give the command “take it” you may need to practice this for a few days until your dog will grab the dumbbell on command. Continue using the commands “hold it” and “release it”.
Gradually increase the distance from your dog practicing the commands and before long your dog will come to you grabbing the dumbbell and bringing it to you. With patience and love you’ll be able to teach them to fetch and bring items to you.
Trick Number 2] Speak… Teaching your dog to speak can be a simple trick especially if your dog already expresses themselves; the trick is to get them to speak when you want.
Begin by choosing what type of signal you want to use so your dog knows when you want them to speak. The most common signal is opening and closing your hand, practice opening and closing your hand and saying the command “speak” If your dog barks give him a treat and give him some praise.
If they don’t bark when you give the “speak” command and the hand signal keep repeating your training session. Some people have had good results with repeating the signal and command until your dog speaks out of frustration and when he does give a treat. Just keep practicing and be patient your dog will quickly get the idea.
Trick Number 3] High Five… Also known as shake a paw and one of the more popular tricks to teach your dog, and a very easy trick to teach them. Begin with the “sit” command and then you take hold of the paw and say high five or shake a paw. Give your dog a treat; your dog should catch on pretty quick.
Trick Number 4] A Kiss… A fast and easy trick to teach your dog, being a dog owner you know that most dogs have a natural instinct to want to kiss and lick. The trick is to get them to give you a kiss on command.
Begin by turning your cheek towards your dog and giving the command “kiss” and move your cheek out in the front of him, be sure to praise them and reward them with a treat.
Trick Number 5] Roll Over… This trick begins with giving your dog the “get down” command and once your dog is laying down you get down with them and gentle roll them over while giving the command “roll over” and when your dog is up again reward them with a treat and a praise.
– Don’t force your dog to do this roll over trick especially if your dog resists being rolled over. Different breeds have different strength backs and this trick should be used on younger dogs and you should discontinue training if there are obvious signs of pain.
– Don’t do this trick on a hard surface, its best done on grass or a thick piece of carpet or a mat. Practicing for too long can also cause injury, give it some time and if your dog is noticeably stressed of in pain discontinue this trick.
Trick Number 6] Playing Dead… This is a real favorite and can be a lot of fun too; only thing is your dog will need to know how to follow the “down” command. Begin this trick with the “down” command and when your dog is down check out what side your dog is leaning to and then give him a little push so he falls on the leaning side and say “bang”.
Be sure to give him a tummy rub and praise your dog. Continue practicing this trick until your dog will roll to the ground without having to nudge them over. Give the “stay” command and then say “dead” as your saying dead use your hand to make a pretend gun and repeat the “stay” and “bang” command. Your dog will catch on real quick and play dead.
Trick Number 7] Crawl… This has to be one of the coolest tricks to teach your dog, begin this trick by getting your dog to lie on the floor upright, and then give the command to “stay”. Now sit down 3 to 5 inches away and with your hands on the floor give the command to “crawl”.
While you’re on the ground have your dog creep towards you saying crawl, when your dog mover towards you give them praise and a friendly pet. It’s not that difficult to train your dog to crawl, just remember to give an example of crawling that your dog can see and follow.
Trick Number 8] Begging… Kind of an odd trick to teach a dog as lots of dog owners spend time getting their dog to stop begging for food when their having supper. This trick is to teach your dog to beg for a treat on command and unlike your dog begging for food at dinner time.
Dogs are smart animals and learn the difference between begging for food or giving you that I’m starving stare while your eating dinner. To teach your dog to beg for a treat begin by holding their favorite treat high enough that they have to get up on their rear legs to reach the yummy treat.
Every time you do this trick increase the height of the treat to encourage your dog to go higher to receive their treat. Once you have taught them this trick you can do it without needing a treat, but be sure to praise your dog when they do it.
Trick Number 9] Bow Down…This is a pretty easy trick to teach your dog and gets them to ow there head down. With a treat in hand hold it in front of their nose and slowly lower the treat to the floor, your dog will follow the treat.
While lowering the treat give the command “bow down” when they start to lower their head to get the yummy treat. It won’t take much practice before your dog is bowing down when you give the “bow down” command.
Trick Number 10] Back up…This trick can come in handy especially if your dog is in a dangerous situation and taking a few steps backwards could prevent an injury. Your dog needs to understand and obey the “stay” command.
To use this trick give your dog the “stay” command and then move back a few steps, then give your dog the command “back up” and then slowly go towards your dog. If your dog stays put then continue to walk towards them. Usually a dog will move backwards to meet with you, this trick may require extra training and treats.
Dos and Don’ts of Teaching Your Dog Tricks
I have seen some pretty awesome dog tricks and I can only imagine how much time and work was needed to get there dogs to perform those tricks. While some dogs may not be able to be taught all the tricks, but if you put in the time and practice you can get your dog to do some pretty cool tricks.
While some tricks do require lots of love and patience you’ll reap the rewards and get a closer bond with your dog at the same time. You’ll be able to impress friends with how smart your dog is and it also helps dealing with any issues you’re having with your dog.
Teaching your dog some tricks really distracts them from any negative behavior they may have and helps them burn up some of that energy. Tricks will also keep their wits sharp which makes them more responsive to your commands.
And for those days when the outside weather doesn’t permit playtime outside or going for walks practicing some tricks will help pass the time and use up some energy. Let’s begin:
Things to Do When Teaching Your Dog Tricks
– Keep the teaching time to about 10 to 15 minutes. Dogs get bored of hearing the same old commands over and over again. Try to limit your training sessions to once daily.
– Arrange your sessions so you can have a distraction free environment. Avoid training when there’s television or other noises that will distract your dog. When teaching tricks limit yourself and your dog to be in the room.
– Always use the same command word when you’re training, be consistent with the commands to avoid your dog from getting confused and not knowing how to respond. If your using the command “turn around” for a trick, make sure you don’t shorten it to “turn”.
– Have lots of treats handy and give your dog lots of praises when they do well. Keep in mind that once your dog has mastered the trick gradually lessen the treats. And then give your dog praise and affection when they follow your commands.
Things NOT to Do When Teaching Your Dog Tricks
– If you are aware of a medical condition your dog has, don’t try to teach your dog tricks that can injure them more. If you’re not sure better to have your local Vet check out your dog before beginning to teach your dog tricks.
– Never force your dog with tricks that they obliviously don’t want to do, work with any limitations they have. Never discipline your dog for a trick failure, just continue to practice and encourage and praise your dog.
– Don’t speak a lot during your training sessions, speak only to give a command or to praise your dog. It’s best to use the command word and use short praise words, this will help avoid to much confusion for your dog.
– Don’t believe the old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Just because your dog is older doesn’t mean he can’t learn. If your dog is in good health and has no mobility problems you can teach them tricks, just stick to one at a time and once you and your dog has mastered the trick you can try another one.
Teaching your Dog to Bark at Strangers
You’ve probably been teaching your dog not to bark for no reason, however there will be occasions that you’ll want your dog to bark. If someone is hanging around outside or if a burglar is trying to break into your house a dog barking will scare the intruder away.
Well this may seem like a simple task, training your dog to bark on command or when they sense a stranger around will be very helpful for your safety and the safety of your family. Teaching your dog to “speak” is handy, but you need to teach them the “guard” command.
Dogs typically respond to the commands more to please their master, and a properly trained guard dog will attack a burglar. The burglar on the other hand is not sure if the dog will attack or not which gives you an advantage to have a dog that will bark when given the command to.
Training Your Dog to Bark on Command
– Begin by putting your dog in a dog pen or trying them to a post or tree, you should have already taught your dog the “sit” and “stay” command. Command your dog to “sit” and let them wait for your next command.
– While your dog is in the pen or tied up display a toy or a yummy treat, being tired up or in a pen they cannot get to the toy or treat and this will frustrate your dog and sooner or later they will bark and when they do give them a treat.
– Repeat doing this until your dog will bark when he sees the treat… Now the difficult part, you’ll have to use the verbal command “speak” instead of the treat or toy to get them to bark. Knowing your dog’s body language is vital at this stage, during the process watch how your dog’s body language appears just before they bark.
When your dog is just about to bark give the “speak” command, your timing must be right on and it will with practice. Once your dog knows the “speak” command you can now move on to the “quiet” command.
– While your dog is barking give the “quiet” command, you will need to be patient and when your dog stops baking provide some praise and a treat. If your dog won’t stop barking use the “no” command very firmly. Don’t use the “no” command to replace the “quiet” command.
You’ll need to get them to understand that “quiet” is different than “no”. Always remember that practice and patience and love are important when teaching tricks to your dog. Try this for 10 to 15 minutes and then let your dog loose.
As your training them use the command from different areas of the house, don’t be surprized at how fast dogs can learn new things.
If you’re considering training your dog for personal protection [a dog that will protect you] there are some considerations you need to look at. I came across a very helpful Website that will go over training your dog to guard and if it’s right for you. You can read the article here. https://pethelpful.com/dogs/train-guard-dog
There are many tricks to teach your dog and they will catch on to most quickly, but there will be some tricks they won’t want to do. Just move on to the next trick and remember to praise and reward your dog for good behavior and don’t get mad or punish them for not learning a trick.