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Teach Your Pup New Tricks

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Shake Hands

Start by having your dog sit. Say, "Shake hands," and take his paw with your hand. Hold his paw and say, "Good dog!" Let go of his paw. Do this a few times every day. TIP: After a while, say, "Shake hands," but don't take his paw. See if he raises his paw by himself. If not, keep showing him what to do by saying, "Shake hands," and taking his paw with your hand. Your dog is not slow; he is just learning!

 

Turn Around or Turn Left

Start by having your dog stand up facing you. Let your dog see a treat in your hand. Stand still and say, "Turn around". Lead the dog's nose around to the left (clockwise) with the treat so he walks in a circle. When he comes back to where he's facing you again, say, "Good dog!" and give him the treat. TIP:After some practice, hold the treat in front of you so your dog can see it and say, "Turn around," but don't lead his nose. See if he is ready to turn around by himself and get the treat. Pretty soon, he will turn around faster than you can say 'Lassie!" If you choose to use the words, "Turn Left", use them all the time. Don't use "Turn around" sometimes, and "Turn Left" other times. Be consistent.

 

Twirl or Turn Right

"Twirl" is the same trick as "Turn Around" (see above), but this time your dog turns to the right (counterclockwise), instead of to the left. Start by having your dog stand up facing you. Stand still and say, "Twirl". Lead the dog's nose around to the right with the treat so he walks in a circle. When he comes back to where he's facing you again, say, "Good dog!" and give him the treat. If you choose to use the words, "Turn Right", use them all the time. Don't use "Twirl" sometimes, and "Turn Right" other times. Be consistent. TIP: After your dog has learned "Turn Around" (or Turn Left) and "Twirl" (or Turn Right), you can put them together and have your dog look really smart. First have your dog "Turn Around" (turn to the left), and then say "Twirl" (turn to the right). Be careful, though, don't get your dog dizzy!Be sure to teach Turn Around and Twirl separately. Wait until your dog has learned the first one very well.

 

Crawl

Start by having your dog lay down. Hold a treat just in front of his nose and say, "Crawl." If he starts to stand up, say, "No, down...crawl." Pull the treat away, keeping it low, near the ground and say, "Craaawl." When your dog moves even an inch or two without standing up, praise him and say, "Good dog! Craaawl." TIP:Your dog must know 'Down' ' before he can learn this trick. (See Basic Training)

Speak

Choose a game that your dog loves to play, like catch with a ball, or hide and seek with a toy. Then get him excited by saying, "Let's play! Want to play?" and show him the ball or toy. Jump and act silly so he barks and then say, "Good dog, speak!" Then play the game as his reward for learning "Speak". Choose a game that your dog loves to play, like catch with a ball, or hide and seek with a toy. Then get him excited by saying, "Let's play! Want to play?" and show him the ball or toy. Jump and act silly so he barks and then say, "Good dog, speak!" Then play the game as his reward for learning "Speak". TIP:You can't make a dog bark, but you can get him happy and excited so he wants to bark. After a while, your dog will bark when you say, "Speak."

 

Play Dead or Take a Nap

Have your dog lay down on his tummy. As you gently roll him over on his side, say, "Take a nap." While he is laying on his side, keeping his head on the floor, say, "Take a nap." Don't give him a treat. Encourage him to stay there for a couple of seconds. Then say, "Ok" or "Wake up!", let him stand up, and give him his reward. TIP:You can use the treat to lure your dog into a laying down position. Don't give your a dog a reward while he is laying down. Give him a treat after he has completed the trick.

 

Beg 

Have your dog sit, facing you. Hold his favorite treat just above his head and tell him, "Say please." Your dog will probably lift his front feet off the ground to reach the treat. As soon as the feet are lifted, even a little bit, give him the treat. TIP:This is a hard trick for most dogs. Wait a little longer each time before giving the treat, but be careful not to let your dog fall over on his back. You are helping your dog develop his balance. Be kind and only do this a couple of times.

Kiss

Here's an easy one: Every time your dog licks your face, say, "Give me a kiss. Good boy! Give me a kiss." If he isn't a licker, put a little peanut butter on your cheek and say, "Give me a kiss." When he licks it off say, "Give me a kiss," again. TIP:Tricks like this work because you put words with something your dog does. Pretty soon your dog hears "Give me a kiss," and thinks about licking your face. Then you give him a hug, rub his ears and say, "Good boy!" Dogs love that.

 

Roll Over

Start by having your dog lay down on his belly. You can stand over him or kneel beside him. Using a treat, hold it by his nose, and then move it around and behind him, so that he lays on his side and then rolls over. Tell him what a great dog he is!TIP:Only roll your dog on soft surfaces like carpet or grass so he doesn't hurt his back. Some dogs don't like to roll over. It can be a little scary for them to put their belly up. Try it a few times and but if it's not fun for your dog, choose another trick.

 

Fetch

If your dog doesn't fetch naturally, have an adult cut a slit in a tennis ball (a smaller, rubber ball if that is too big). Put some treats inside the tennis ball. Show your dog that there are treats in there, and give her one. Then, throw the ball. In the beginning, run with her and get the ball; then give her the treat. Soon you will be able to throw the ball and she will go get it (because she wants the treat!). TIP:After your dog has figured out what he has to do to get a treat, start throwing the ball two times in a row without giving him the treat. What you are trying to do is give him the treats less and less often so someday he won't need the treats in the ball to fetch it.

 

Say Hello

Start by sitting on a chair. While holding a treat, put your hand between your knees and encourage your dog to get it. As soon as your dog's chin touches your leg, say "Say Hello!". Then say "Release" or "OK" and give him the treat after he lifts his head. TIP:Only give your dog the treat after you have released him. Increase the time his chin is touching your leg, so eventually your dog will keep it there while you pet him. Then release him and reward him. Your dog will soon charm your friends with this trick!

 

Go Back

This is an easy one! Stand facing your dog and as you walk toward him, say "Go Back". He will want to get out of the way and will automatically walk backwards! TIP:If your dog doesn't walk back in a straight line, practice up against a wall or in a narrow hallway. After your dog is walking backward with you, try walking toward him only a step or two. Eventually, you will be able to stand still and say "Go Back".

 

Take a Bow

(Method 1) When you see your dog take a big stretch, with his head down low, say, "Take a bow." Every time he wakes up and stretches, say, "Take a bow." Someday you will say, "Take a bow." and your dog will take a big stretch, but it will look like he is bowing. As soon as he is finished, give him the treat. TIP (method 1):Tricks like this work because you put words with something your dog does. It may take some dogs longer than others to figure this one out. Some dogs learn it in a week and some take years...yes, years! But one day you will say, "Take a bow," and maybe, just maybe, your dog will take a bow. (Method 2) With your dog in a stand position, take a treat and hold it near the floor, under his nose. As your dog reaches down to get it (he may try to lie down), slip your hand under his belly to hold his rear end up. Hold him in that position and say, "Take a bow." Keep the treat right by his nose, but don't feed him. Stay there for just a second, release him, and then feed the treat. TIP (method 2):If you feed your dog the treat while he is in the bowing position, in the future he won't bow until he sees the treat in your hand. If he learns that the treat comes later, he'll be willing to perform for you without it right there all the time.

 

Yawn

Every time you see your dog yawn, say the command you want to use like "Give us a yawn.", or "Are you sleepy?". If he yawns enough and hears those words enough, he will eventually yawn whenever he hears those words.TIP:Here's one of those tricks that your dog has to perform before he actually learns it. Hopefully, you have a dog that yawns a lot. Be patient. This one can take a long time. Be sure to really praise your pup when he yawns - he'll thinks he's doing something totally wonderful. And eventually he will be!

 

Wave

Your dog should know how to shake hands before learning this trick. Face your dog and hold out your hand as if you are going to shake. When your dog lifts her paw to shake, don't grab it, just pull back your hand, and say "Wave". Then give your dog a treat.TIP:At first your dog may not lift her paw very high. But once she realizes that you're going to give her a treat if she holds it up there, she'll get it. You may have to tease her a little with your hand so she thinks you are going to shake with her. Waving your hand a little may help to get her paw into a waving motion as well.

 

Quiet

This is easiest if your dog already knows how to speak. Tell your dog to Speak or catch him when he is barking. Get right in front of him and say "Quiet". The second he stops, even if it is to take a breath, give him a treat.Do this often and your dog will be loving the word "Quiet".TIP:As you teach your dog Quiet, gradually increase the quiet time from 2 seconds to 5 seconds or more. Then, when he understands the trick, make a game of it. Tell him to "Speak", "Speak", "Speak", and then "Quiet". Then "Speak" again. It's a great trick that will entertain your friends and your pup will look so smart!

 

Which One?

Put a treat in one hand, show your dog, and then close both of your hands, making two fists. Hold your fists in front of you, about six inches apart and say "Which one?" Your dog will try to pry at your fists with his mouth to find the treat, but don't open your hands. Wait until he tries to use his paw (he will if you wait long enough), let him touch the correct hand and then give him the treat.TIP: If you have tried this several times, but your dog still won't use his paws to touch your hand, let him use his mouth to point out the correct hand. It'll be just as good and your audience will love the trick just as much.

 

Circle

With your dog facing you, take a treat and lead your dog's nose to the right and around your body. Let him follow the treat all the way around behind your back and around to the front. Give your dog the treat and praise him. He will be making a complete circle around you.TIP: In the beginning you might have to give your dog several treats while he is going around behind you and when he returns to the front.Practice it several times a day,but only for five minutes or so,two or three times a day.

 

 

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