Best Tricks to Teach Your Dog

Best Tricks to Teach Your Dog

Author WDF Staff


Training should play a vital part in your dog’s life, and teaching your dog tricks can become a part of that training process. Teaching your dog to stay, sit, or come is vital not only for their behavior but for their safety as well.

Some owners might think their dogs are not too happy about learning new things, but the truth is that any dog can learn tricks with proper techniques and tools. Pick your preferred training method, and prepare to be amazed at how fast your dog can learn. If you are not sure how to train your dog, check out this fun and interesting training method - Getting Started With Clicker Training.

Training rules

Before starting with trick training your dog, there are some things you should know about. There are over 400 recognized dog breeds worldwide and millions upon millions of dogs with different learning abilities. All dogs can be trained, but not all of them learn at the same speed. Some will require more time, and you should keep that in mind before you start training.

boston terrier high five

Make sure you have plenty of treats involved in training your dog. Dogs react well to food-based training methods. They will do anything for some treats or peanut butter.

The second important thing is to keep the training sessions short and exciting. Some dogs can keep their concentration longer, and some keep it shorter. Not all breeds have the same capabilities, so make sure you adapt.

The third essential thing is to keep a good mood. Your dog won’t be too eager to learn if they are stressed, anxious, or scared. You need to make sure you keep a positive atmosphere and praise your dog when they do something you expect them to do.

Since January is the official “Train Your Dog Month,” why not start your year by teaching your dog one of these three cool tricks.

Some owners choose to enroll their dogs in obedience classes. Here is an article that can tell you a bit more about it - What Will Obedience Training Teach Your Dog?

1. Speak!

Nuisance barking can be irritating, but barking on command is an impressive dog trick that will surely make your dog stand out. The idea behind training your dog to speak is mostly patience. At first, you will have to wait for your dog to bark first, and only then can you endorse such behavior. This is definitely one of our favorite tricks, and you can be sure that all bystanders will be thoroughly impressed with your dog’s skill.

labradoodle bark

This is not a trick you can force on your dog; they need to have the right attitude. The best way to do it is with a clicker. Make sure you reward the exact moment your dog barks; otherwise, you will just confuse them.

How to do it

Take your dog’s favorite treat, something you might not even consider their favorite treat, but they will go crazy over it, like cheese or a piece of bacon. Let them know you have it, and tease them until they bark. At that exact moment, click your clicker, so they understand this is what you want from them. Let two or three tries pass, and on the third bark, start introducing the command “Speak!”

2. Shake hands or High 5

This is one of the basic dog tricks that are relatively easy to teach a dog. Even if you have no training experience at all, you might figure it out on your own. At least, that is what we did with our first dog.

The basics are the same - make sure you use treats to motivate your dog into doing what you want, and the tastier the treat, the more enthusiasm they will show. Make sure you don’t get frustrated and take your time. Even if your dog doesn’t get it right on their first try, it doesn’t mean they won’t eventually get it.

How to do it

The easiest way to do it would again be with a clicker. It doesn’t actually have to be a clicker; you can also use a sound you make, after which you will give your dog a treat every time. Some owners prefer it that way.

dog high five

The first thing you should do is place dog treats in your fist and close it. Your dog will be able to smell them in there and will naturally start pawing at your fist. When they do that, you use the clicker to let them know what behavior is expected. Make sure your timing is correct, so you don’t confuse your dog. After the first two or three times, start introducing the command you want. Voila! Your smart dog can shake hands!

Do you know how service dogs are trained? Check out this article - Service Dog Training.

3. Give a kiss

Most dog owners know that getting a kiss from your dog is one of the best feelings in the world. So why not teach your dog to give you a kiss on command? It is not the most complicated thing to teach your dog, and with persistence and time, you will get a kiss from your best friend whenever you’d like! For this dog trick, a clicker would be useful.

How to do it

To teach your dog how to give a kiss, you will need three things - post-it, clicker, and treats. Tape a post it to your palm and show it to your dog. As soon as they touch it with their nose, use your clicker and indicate what you want from them. After each click, remember to reward your dog. Repeat that with the post-it on your palm at least 10 or 15 times. Every time they do it, use your clicker and reward them with a treat.

dog kiss

Start moving your hand away and make them touch it every time. After a while, you can introduce the command “Kiss!” After your dog can do it 10 out of 10 times, you can move the post-it to your cheek. They will most likely do the same, and you should do too. Use the clicker and reward, so your dog will know exactly what they need to do. Start removing the post-it and repeat it as often as necessary for your dog to completely learn the command.

Using a clicker for tricks

Before teaching your dog any trick, you will need to make a mental map for them. You’ll need to create an association between the clicker and treats. Start by making a click and rewarding your dog randomly. Don’t try to teach them anything before they understand that a clicking sound means getting a treat.

With enough time and patience, you will have your dog learning tricks like it’s nothing. Not only is it good for them to develop their cognitive skills, but it will also deepen the bond you have with your dog.

World Dog Finder team

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