Our Favorite Dog Tricks
Interested in teaching your dog a few tricks? Below are some of our favorites!
Teaching your dog tricks is a great way to build your bond and help your dog stay mentally stimulated (and tire them out!). Tricks can also help with basic obedience, such as sit or leave it, or simply be fun ways to show off how great your dog is.
- Have yummy treats ready. Remember, a yummy treat is a small bit of meat or cheese; something that your dog does not normally receive. The yummier it is, the more your dog will be willing to work for it.
- Have your dog sit facing you. Hold a treat in your hand, ready to dispense.
- If your dog will tolerate it, blow gently into their face. If he lifts his paw to scratch at his face, stop blowing and treat him immediately. Repeat a few times until he has several successes. It doesn’t matter how high he lifts his paw at first — reward him for any lifts.
- After 5 or 6 tries, quit and go do something fun with your dog. Return to teaching the trick after a few hours or the following day. Ending teaching sessions while the dog is still interested in the training is much more effective because it keeps the dog interested and he will be more likely to want to return to training.
- When you return, be patient. You will have to blow a few times to get him started, but if you are patient and he is hungry, he should start offering the paw soon without any blowing. Once he starts, discontinue the blowing, treat a few more good tries, and quit again.
- By the third time you get set up for this, your dog will probably be offering his paw regularly, even before you start to blow. You want to treat any paw lifts at first, then only treat the higher ones until all he offers are high ones. Make sure you praise him as you give the treat. Add the command “wave” and wave your hand before each try.
With lots of practice, your pooch will be waving like a pro!
Note: if your dog won’t lift his paw when you blow on his face, try tickling the back of his paw until he lifts it, then treat. Or, treat whatever he does when you blow on his face, and make it a different trick! Experiment!