Dog tricks are more than simple commands such as sit, come, stay, and lay down. You might have seen those adorable videos of dogs shaking paws with their owners or rolling around to play dead. Believe it or not, your dog can do it too! Dog tricks are not only fun and cool entertainment, they are also a great way to stimulate your dog’s cognitive abilities. By putting out commands and conducting positive reinforcement, you can better improve your communication with your dog through the teaching of dog tricks. In addition to communication, dog trick training can also help curb some dog behavior issues such as excess barking. If you have a dog training clicker at home, it would make trick training much easier. If not, it is perfectly fine to train your dog with just some delicious treats. Here are 5 fun and easy dog tricks you can teach to your dog today!
Shake paws is one of the oldest tricks in the book but it’ll never get old. The key to teaching your dog how to shake their paws on command is to first guide your dog’s paw in a hand shaking position so your dog can get used to the motion. Then, put a small dog treat in your closed fist and offer it to your dog. Dogs would naturally paw at you if they want something from you. Since they cannot access the treat in your closed fist, they would paw at your hand. It might take your dog a few sniffs and licks at first, but once your dog starts pawing, release the treat and praise your dog. Repeat the motion a few times as you slowly phase out the treat with affection as a reward instead. Before you know it, your dog will be greeting your guests with perfectly mannered pawshakes.
Bark on command
Have you ever seen a dog that can speak? While most pawrents train their dog to stop barking, training your dog to bark on command is another way to cure barking as a dog behavior issue.The first step in this trick is to get your dog to bark. Use a stimulation that your dog often barks at, like the sound of a doorbell. When your dog barks at the sound, present your good dog with a small treat and say a special keyword like “speak” or “bark”. Repeat the process a few times until your dog responds to your keyword instead of the stimulation. If you dog barks when you say the keyword, give them a big reward!
Teaching your dog how to kiss your cheeks is definitely one of the cutest tricks you can teach your dog. Although not everyone enjoys the slobbery mess, this dog trick works particularly well with children. First put a small dab of peanut butter on your cheek and kneel down to your dog’s level. Give a command word such as “kiss” and let your dog lick the peanut butter off your cheeks. Repeat the command a few times and slowly decrease the amount of peanut butter that’s given. Before you know it, your dog will be giving out free kisses on demand!
Spinning is another easy trick you can teach your dog with just a handful of dog treats. You would need to first teach your dog how to do a basic spin using treats as a guide. Hold a treat in your fist and slowly move the treat around your dog. Your dog should follow the treat and move in a circular motion. Once your dog completes an entire circular movement, say a cue of your choice such as “spin” and give your dog the treat. You will most likely need to repeat the movement multiple times to build the cognitive connection between the action “spin” and the word “spin” in your dog’s brain. Once your dog is comfortable with the movement, try saying the cue and see if your dog responds by spinning in a circle. Prepare lots of patience and love as your dog learns this super adorable trick.
If you want your dog to learn how to play dead, the first step is to learn how to roll over on command. This dog trick will be easier to teach if your dog already knows how to lay down on command. You will need your dog to be in a down position to start off the trick. Hold a dog treat in your fist and place it near the side of your dog’s head, close enough that your dog can smell the yummy treat. Slowly move your fist from the side of your dog’s head to the shoulder so your dog will naturally roll flat on their side. At this point you want to give your dog a treat first as a reward for completing the half of the trick. Keep moving the treat from the shoulder of your pup to the backbone which will lead to a natural roll over movement. Give your dog another piece of treat and say the action cue of choice. Repeat the action until the treat is not needed and that your dog will respond to the cue with the “roll over” action. This dog trick is slightly harder and will require more practice for your pooch to master it completely.
Remember, every dog responds differently to learning and training. Trick training has so many benefits for both you and your dog. Trick training through positive reinforcement is not only a great exercise for your dog, but also helps strengthen the communication you have with your lovely pooch! Prepare some yummy dog treats, patience, and love before your training session. The most important goal is to have fun with your dog!