3 Easy to teach dog tricks
When teaching your dog new tricks you can set yourself up for success by being well prepared:
- Make sure you are in a quiet area and keep the training sessions to 10 – 15 minutes or your dog will start to get bored
- Have some treats close at hand so you can reward him when he gets something. Give him lots of praise but be careful not to get him over excited or he will lose concentration!
- “Paw” or Shake hands
- Get your dog into a sitting position then, as you say the word “Paw”, take your dog’s paw in your hand & give a treat. Repeat several times.
- To encourage him to lift his paw on his own, do not lift his paw straight away. Say the word, “Paw” count to one and then take it. You will soon find that he is bringing his paw up as you say the word.
- After 2 or 3 sessions most dogs pick this one up quite happily.
- The “High Five”
Like many tricks the high five is a progression of an earlier trick – in this case the “Paw” trick.
- Hold a treat in your fingers and raise your hand slightly higher than you would for the paw trick. You dog will think you want to do the paw trick and will reach for the treat with his paw.
- As he reaches up say “high five” and give him the treat.
- Once your dog has mastered “Paw” this one should be very easy to learn and within a few sessions is likely to be doing it on hand signal rather than voice command.
- “Jump through a hoop”
Before you start this one I would urge you to be a little sensible and not hold the hoop too high as you do not want your dog to hurt himself while doing the trick. For a medium sized dog (eg: a Labrador) start approximately 15cm from the ground and slowly raise the hoop to waist height, For a smaller dog you could start with the hoop touching the ground.
- Sit your dog on one side of a hoola hoop and show him the treat in your hand which is on the other side of the hoola hoop.
- Release him from the sit position – at first he may attempt to go around or under the hoop… if this happens start again. Your dog will soon learn that going around or under the hoop does not earn him a reward.
- When he springs through the hoola hoop say the command “Hoopla” and give him a treat. Repeat several times – once he has the hang of it you can start to raise the hoop further off the ground.