The advantages of trick training
Teaching your dog entertaining good tricks is not solely to impress your friends. Trick training a dog can:
- Develop a stronger relationship with your pet. Training your dog may strengthen your relationship with him and improve his obedience and demeanor.
- Teach your dog to be patient. Teaching your dog tricks can help them learn to wait patiently (or work) for a reward, as dog training is all about repetition and persistence.
- Help your dog expend surplus energy. Tricks can help hyperactive dogs expend energy and provide them with a focused time for exercise and movement, reducing destructive or unpleasant behaviors.
How to effectively teach your dog tricks
How we train our dogs affects their ability to learn and their health. Multiple studies demonstrate that punishment-based training reduces the ability of dogs to learn new tasks. Additionally, it heightens anxiety and causes the dog to fear its owner. In contrast, reward-based training has yielded smarter, happier puppies when teaching your dog skills.
Good Tricks to Teach Your Dog
Teaching your dog new skills can improve their obedience and promote positive behavior. Here is a collection of enjoyable and straightforward dog tricks you may teach your pet:
The “sit” command is one of the most straightforward commands a dog may learn and serves as the foundation for many other simple commands, such as “shake” and “stay.” To teach this skill, maintain your foot on the dog’s leash, allowing them to move but not jump. Hold a treat above their head until they naturally assume the position, then say “sit.” Repeat and reinforce the sit command until your dog knows it.
Teaching your dog the stay command can help them remain safe and quiet while they acquire impulse control. This method also fosters a sense of trust between an owner and their pet. A dog who learns how to stay is less likely to jump on humans, bolt out the front door, or go where they’re not supposed to, giving owners peace of mind and safety. You may teach your dog the stay command using brief training sessions, a firm verbal cue, and positive reinforcement to ensure they understand when to remain still.
To teach your dog how to shake hands, they must first understand the sit order and be able to remain seated. Once they are in position, hold a treat in your closed palm and wait for them to sniff or paw at it. Reward them, and continue. Eventually, your dog will consistently paw at your hand, which you can transform into a paw shake. If you treat your dog before he learns to hold his hand in yours without pawing, he will learn to paw instead of shake.
Playing dead builds on the fundamental instructions “lie down” and “stay,” so ensure that your dog has mastered these commands before teaching them to play dead. Instruct your dog to assume the down position using the traditional vocal command and hand gesture. Hold the treat between your first and second fingers, inches above the dog’s snout. Bring the treat over to the dog’s side to entice him to roll over and continue examining the treat. When your dog is lying on the right side, provide a treat and vocal praise as a reward. Repeat the process multiple times, rewarding your dog for lying on its side.
Once your dog has mastered the sit and down commands, they are prepared to learn how to roll over. Once your dog is in the down position with its belly on the ground, its paws resting in front of it, and its head facing upward, you may begin teaching the trick. Place the treat near your dog’s nose so they can both smell and see it. Be vigilant if your dog attempts to steal the joy before executing the trick. Your dog’s head should turn to follow the treat. Move the treat so that your dog must roll onto their side to follow it, and then rotate the treat so that your dog must roll over to maintain it in view. Once your dog has rolled over completely, give them the treat.
You can teach your dog to speak if they know the silent command. Excite your dog to the point of barking, give a verbal command and reward the sound with a treat. As your training progresses, label a single bark at a time so your dog does not believe you are rewarding them for excessive barking.
This technique is simpler to teach a more affectionate dog, but most dogs can learn to kiss. Place a dog goodie near your face to encourage your dog to lick it. In addition to a verbal command, offer them a treat when they lick your cheek.
Use a reward to attract your dog to a circle, then say “spin” or “twirl” while you make a complete circle with your hand. Reward your dog after a spin. You can increase the difficulty of this technique by using distinct commands for clockwise and counterclockwise rotation.
Put your dog in a sitting position and place a reward before its nose. As your dog reaches for the treat, carefully elevate it over his head until he is on his hind legs attempting to grab it. Say “beg” or “paws up” to encourage obedience to a demand.
You can leverage the natural tendency of dogs to bow to your advantage while teaching this skill. Utilizing a reward, place your hand in front of the dog’s nose and slowly glide it between its legs and toward its stomach. This leisurely movement will lead your dog to stoop to reach the treat while maintaining an elevated rear end. Once your dog has taken a bow, lure them back to a standing position with a treat to prevent them from falling entirely to the ground.
Once your dog has mastered paw-shaking, you can teach them to wave. Place a treat in your closed palm, wait for your dog to smell or paw at it, and then lift your fist so your dog must “wave” his paw in the air. Gradually raise the height they must elevate their paw, and reward your dog when they successfully perform the command.
Back up is a valuable command since it allows your dog to move out of your way. Put your dog in the stay position, then move away from them. After facing them again, walk towards them while they are in the stay position while leaning forward. Most dogs will naturally back up as you approach them, so you’ll need to use a verbal cue or hand signal to teach your dog to move in that direction after hearing your instruction.
Avoiding Mistakes When Teaching Your Dog Tricks
Try to be as calm and optimistic as possible throughout interactions with your puppy. Negativity and rage can destroy a connection and leave a dog lonely and miserable. To avoid that, follow our advice:
Do Not Scream
Your dog will not better comprehend you by shouting. In contrast, your dog will be perplexed and unsure why you are “barking” at it. Your anger will cause the dog to feel threatened, and it may become violent over time.
Do not employ force
Never employ punishment when teaching your dog a trick. Multiple studies demonstrate the harmful effects of using force to train puppies, which range from despair to hostility. Do not beat your dog. It merely desires your affection and attention.
Revisit the fundamental commands you’ve taught your dog if he isn’t learning them. Training requires time and energy. Angering and isolating your dog will not fix your concerns.
Isolation can also cause physical harm to your dog and encourage destructive behavior out of loneliness. One of the pets’ most important safety guidelines is never leaving your puppy alone for too long. It requires your friendship and affection to remain healthy and content.
Teaching your dog tricks is an excellent way to spend time together and to develop the dog’s mind and body. Additionally, it contributes to the health and pleasure of your pet.
You can opt to teach your pet only the fundamental commands, such as “Sit,” “Lay down,” and “Stay.” Alternatively, you may educate your puppy to jump and roll. Whatever decision you make, always utilize positive reinforcement and remain patient. There are countless tricks you can teach your dog; use your imagination and have fun!