Eight of the most interesting tricks to teach your dog
If like me you have been a dog lover since you were a child, you will probably have fond memories of dressing up the family dog and teaching it to perform some basic tricks. I don’t dress my dogs up anymore of course but I do still enjoy teaching them some tricks. This is a great way to bond with your pet and adds another positive element to being the owner of a dog.
Many pets like to have fun with their owners, and teaching them playful tricks can be a great way of doing just that. Practice a new trick two or three times in a row, then take a break so that the dog stays motivated when returning to practice again. Here are some tricks that I recommend you try teaching your dog. Good luck!
1. Hide and seek
Once a dog has mastered basic obedience training move on to more sophisticated actions that teach it to follow routines on command. Hide an object and tell the dog to ‘find’ or ‘seek’ it, starting with a familiar toy and moving on to other objects – make a fuss of your pet and reward each time the dog is successful. When fully proficient, the dog will eventually will be able to fetch dropped gloves, newspapers or car keys and bring them back to you.
2. Mix and match
To teach the dog the names of different objects and then identify them on command. Start with known items such as dog toys and offer high praise and a reward when the name is matched by fetching the right article.
3. Tidy up time
A trick that encourages tidying up following playtime is to teach the dog that has learned to identify a few objects to fetch them and deposit them in a box. Enunciate carefully and stay watchful, otherwise there may be objects belonging to family members that find their way into the dog’s custody.
4. Delayed gratification
A great trick that is really impressive is teaching the dog to balance a favorite treat on his nose until the command is given to toss it in the air and catch it. Patience is needed for this one, and the dog’s obedience skills must be very sharp. With the right approach, most dogs can be trained and both purebred dogs and popular celebrity designer dog breeds enjoy learning a variety of tricks.
5. Attention seekers
It is important to maintain eye contact when teaching a dog and to reward correct actions; this helps in teaching dogs to ring bells or bark on cue. Sometimes they can pull on a rope, or use their noses or paws, depending on what they have been taught to do already. When the bell rings, of course, they get a treat.
6. Travel tricks
Dogs who get used to riding in automobiles can easily be convinced to try smaller vehicles, such as skateboards or carts. Starting slowly with lots of encouragement and a reward every few feet soon convinces them to be brave and enjoy the ride.
7. Opening doors
Some dogs learn how to do this by themselves as a result of frustration with being pent up – far better to encourage them first to jump up and grasp the handle, when a reward is due, and then to pull down on the lever to open the door when they get double helpings.
8. Take a friend for a walk
As soon as a dog can hold something in its mouth, and particularly if it is friendly towards other animals, it can be taught to hold a leash and take another pet for a walk. Make sure the dog is used to having the leash in its mouth and then work towards attaching another friendly animal to the other end.