Simple Dog Tricks Your Dog Can Learn Easily
The saying ‘an old dog can’t learn new tricks,’ isn’t quite true. Older dogs, whether adopted or the dog you’ve had for years, can indeed learn new dog tricks. It just might be a little harder for her and you will have to adjust for a longer learning curve. Puppies, like human babies, are exploring the world for the first time and their minds are ripe to absorb new things. Obedience training, dog training tricks, and dog park socialization are learned while young. This doesn’t mean you can’t work with your dog to get her to learn some new dog tricks. The same is true when it comes to different breeds. Some dog breeds have been stigmatized to be stubborn and harder to train but the truth is any dog can learn new dog tricks.
As a dog approaches seniorhood, their mind slows—similarly to human minds. This is called canine cognitive dysfunction. One natural way to prevent this is to provide a healthy diet full of Omega 3 and Vitamin C & E. Another way is teaching new dog tricks to help keep your doggo’s mind active. Pet parents don’t need to worry about their senior dogs getting a little senile. It’s just another part of life. Besides, being a healthy practice, dog tricks can continue to establish the bond you have with your dog. She’ll love the attention, treats, and affection she gets during training sessions. Plus, when she’s mastered new dog tricks, you can show off how smart she is at parties.
The key to getting a dog to master any training is consistency. Everyone in the house needs to stick to a dog’s training program and follow the same steps. Some dog trainers prefer clickers, while others like verbal or visual commands. Everyone has their own preference. For instance, if you teach your dog to sit by saying the command “sit” and your partner says “bottom,” it’s really going to confuse your dog. Pick a style of cuing and stick with it. Training is also much easier when your dog is less distracted and exercised. Pick times in a quiet place, without distractions, and after a good walk. For the best results with these tricks, it’s easiest for your dog to already know ‘sit.’ From a sitting position, your dog will be more relaxed and less inclined to get distracted.
Read this article for some dog training tips on how to get your dog to learn some fun dog tricks!
Some people call it ‘shake,’ some call it ‘paw’ but we all get the idea. Pet owners love this trick because it’s cute and very easy to teach. ‘Shake hands’ is usually the third trick a dog will learn after the bonafide ‘sit’ and ‘stay.’
When you have a treat in a closed hand, your dog will naturally paw at your hand because they sense the treat. From a seated position, let your dog paw at your hand. As soon as their paw makes contact with your hand, use the verbal command. This reinforces the association of your command with their act. Gradually, as they make the association, take the treat out of your hand and increase the duration of time with their paw is in your palm. As your dog masters ‘shake’ you can begin teaching variations like ‘high five’ and ‘wave.’
Always reward her with a treat after she pulls off the desired dog trick.
Go To Your Place
This dog trick is handy and impressive. It helps prevent dogs from jumping up on guests and is a positive way of getting your dog out of the way while you’re cleaning or moving heavy things. You can use a special rug, crate, or dog bed for this dog trick as a target zone. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique recommend using a dog bed when first starting out.
The first part of this trick is simple. Toss a treat into your dog’s bed and as they go to eat the treat, say the verbal command. Next, pretend to throw a treat on the bed. If your dog does not enter the bed, just wait a few seconds for them to try and sniff around in the bed. Once their feet are on top of their dog bed, give them a bunch of treats when all four of their legs are inside. After this, get your dog to lay down. Next, wait and see if your dog will go to the target zone on their own. A step toward the bed earns a treat. Once they enter the bed, they earn another one.
If your dog is hesitant to lay down once in the target zone, you can use a treat to lure them down into a laying position. To do this, hold onto a treat with your hand closed and lower your hand in front of their face. Dogs will naturally follow the treat.
This dog trick is a classic. To quickly teach this one, you’ll need something sticky like post-it notes and of course, treats! In this variation, your dog will bring their snout to your face, without actually licking you. You’ll use the sticky-note as the target zone at first.
With your dog beside you, take a post-it note with it stuck to your hand. Your inquisitive dog will sniff the post-it note. As they do this, say the command, then reward. Keep moving the post-it note further away, getting your dog to inch forward. As her snout makes contact with the post-it note, reward her.
This is another dog trick that looks complicated but is actually super easy to teach. Since dogs can be lured—will follow a closed palm with a treat inside—you just have to train them to associate your command with the movement. Dogs are sensitive to directions. Pick a direction for them to spin and stick with it. A counter-clockwise spin is a completely different dog trick than a clockwise spin, so teach one direction at first.
With a treat in one hand, lure them onto all fours going in the requested direction. Keep your hand low and say your command once the rotation is complete. Slowly wean your dog off of lure movements by transitioning them to learn to spin without your hand as a guide.
If your dog knows the tricks ‘sit,’ ‘lay down’ and stay then they are ready to graduate to learning to ‘play dead’ or ‘sleep.’
First instruct ‘down,’ and as your puppy lays down, rub their belly for comfort. Gently roll your dog onto her side and reward her. After a few sessions, your dog will get comfortable on her side and anticipate this movement next. At this point, start adding the command ‘stay’ while she is on her side. As you go through the each individual trick with your dog, substitute the old commands with ‘play dead.’
Eventually, your dog will be able to ‘play dead’ in one fluid motion when she makes the connection between the words.
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wish you luck with teaching your dog new tricks! We advocate positive-reward methods of dog training. For a loving relationship with your dog, do not force dog tricks into their repertoire. Learning tricks takes time, patience, and positivity.
For great treat-rewards that are guilt-free, our shops offer all-natural chia seed pet treats that your dog will love and provides a boost of health benefits.
Live Dirty. Play Clean.
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