Most folks have this notion that dog training is all about teaching canines to obey your commands. What many don’t realize is that these pets can be taught a few tricks, too, not only as a means to entertain your guests but also to provide our pets the kind of mental stimulation that they need. You see, intelligent dogs can get easily bored. And if you keep on repeating the same obedience training sessions every single time, you’ll eventually learn that they will grow really stubborn. One way to keep them mentally stimulated is to teach them a few neat tricks. And we’ve got six easy tricks for you.
This trick is best accomplished if your dog has already mastered the obedience command “sit”. If your pet hasn’t learned to keep its butt firmly planted on the floor, maybe you should start with that first.
As we already said, teaching your dog to shake your hand using its paw is pretty easy. Why? In case you haven’t noticed, every time your dog asks you for its favorite doggie treat, it will always try to rest its paw on your leg or even seemingly touch your arm. That’s one of the cues you need to make this trick work.
With your hound in a sitting position, show that you have its favorite doggie treat in one hand. Slowly move your hand towards the floor or the ground and near the paw of your dog that you want it to use in shaking hands. Your dog’s natural reaction will be to raise its paw. As soon as it raises its paw, issue a verbal cue such as “shake”. Make sure to use only this verbal cue throughout the training session, so you might want to pick a really good one. Right after saying the magic word or the verbal cue, give the treat to your dog and praise it enthusiastically.
Repeat this several times, but not to exceed 10 minutes per training session. With each session, try to elevate the position of your hand that is holding the treat. What you want to achieve is for your dog to elevate its paw up to the level of its chest. So you have to gradually increase the height of your hand for your dog to reach.
Continue practicing the trick until your dog has mastered using one paw. Once that is accomplished, you can start training it to use the other paw. Use another ‘magic word’ for this. For instance, you can use “other” so your dog will know that you want it to raise its ‘other’ paw to shake your hand.
You can eliminate the giving of treats as soon as your dog is already shaking your hand on command. Always remember to praise it, though.
If your dog has already mastered the ‘shake hand’ trick, teaching it to do the high five is the next logical step. After all, your dog is already raising its paw upon issuing the ‘shake’ command. If your pet hasn’t mastered this trick yet, we strongly suggest getting it to master it first.
Teaching your dog to perform the high five is as easy as teaching the shake hand trick. When you issue the ‘shake’ command, position your hand a lot higher than usual; just make sure that your dog will be able to reach for it with its paw. Additionally, make sure that your hand is held open as if ready to give the high five. As soon as your dog’s paw hits your open palm, give the magic word “high five”. The timing is critical here. You need to issue the magic word just as your dog’s paw hits the palm. As soon as you give the magic word, give its treat, and lavish your pet with praises.
If you practice this often enough, you’ll be high fiving your way to the amazement of your guests. You can even entice your friends and visitors to high five with your dog.
The more appropriate term for this will be ‘bark’. But, since we all know that dogs bark, we don’t really have to teach it how to, do we? As such, when we say we’re going to teach our dog how to ‘speak’ what we mean is for them to ‘bark’ only when we tell them to ‘speak’. That’s the key. Please keep in mind that for this trick to be easy, your dog has to be quite vocal. If your dog is more on the quiet side of the fence, then it may be a bit more challenging to train.
It is best to start your dog sitting down. Now, get your dog really excited. Alternatively, you can stimulate it first before you command it to sit down. The important thing to remember here is that you want your dog to make a noise. It could be a bark, a whine, or even an impish cry. As your dog is already excited, get a treat and put it in your hand. Don’t let your dog see the treat or you put it there. Now wave your hand right in front of your pet’s nose. The scent of the treat will get your dog to become really excited. It doesn’t see the treat, but it knows it’s there. Resist the temptation of opening your hands. Keep on waving it until your pet elicits a sound. When that happens, immediately give your dog a yummy treat.
Do it again, but this time add the magic word “speak” as soon as your pet starts making a sound. Again, timing and consistency are critical. Never give the treat unless your dog makes a sound. Also, always issue the same magic word as soon as you hear your dog making a sound.
Teaching your dog to roll over when commanded can be pretty easy if your dog already knows what the “down” command means. If not, again you should start with the basic obedience commands.
Get a treat and hold it in your closed fist. Command your dog to assume the “down” position. With your closed fist enveloping the treat, momentarily place it in front of your dog’s nose. This lets it know that there’s a treat in your hands. Once you get its attention, gently move your closed fist behind the neck of your pet. The natural reaction of your dog is to follow the scent by turning its head. This also shifts its weight to the side. Assist your dog in rolling over. As soon as the rollover maneuver is complete, give its tasty treat. Don’t forget your lavish praises.
The next time you perform the maneuver, issue the magic word “roll” just as soon as your dog’s body starts to roll over. Upon completion of the rollover, give the treat, and then praise. Do this several times, but do not exceed 10 minutes at a time. Sooner or later, your dog will get it and learn to associate the command “roll” to the act of rolling over such that you will no longer need the treat. Just say the magic word and your dog will be rolling over.
This is one of the easiest doggie tricks on the books. It’s also a good way to manage your dog’s tendency to lick and smother your face with its tongue. When you teach your dog this trick, it is best to have it on a sitting down position.
Get your dog’s favorite treat and show this to your dog, but don’t give it to your pet. Not yet, anyway. Slowly move the treat onto your cheek. Your dog will try to lick the treat. As soon as it does, give the magic word “kiss” and give the treat.
Repeat this for a couple of times, making sure that you use the same magic word all the time. With practice, your dog should be able to ‘kiss’ you even without the treat on your cheek.
This can be tricky, but it can be done, especially if you have a small or toy dog breed. Always have your dog in the sitting position. Take a treat and wrap your hand around it. Hold your closed fist in front of your dog’s nose so it can smell the treat. Slowly maneuver your hand upwards, over, and a little behind your dog’s head so that it will tilt its head back. This will also make your dog start standing on its rear legs. As soon as it does, give the treat and praise it lavishly. Repeat this several times until your dog can quickly stand up and squarely on its hind legs.
When your dog has mastered this maneuver, you can start moving the treat in a small circle slowly above its head. The action you want from your dog is to twirl on its back legs. Once your dog starts moving in a circle, give the magic word “dance”, give the treat, and praise. Do this a lot of times but never more than 10 minutes at a time.
While these are considered easy, you’d still have to show perseverance, timing, patience, and consistency in teaching these tricks.