Teaching your dog tricks can be one of the more rewarding parts of having a dog. What’s even better, most dogs love to do it – they love the intellectual challenge of learning what you’re trying to have them do, and they love to make you happy when they’re successful. Of course, the reward of a treat sure doesn’t hurt.
Here are some of the best tricks to teach your dog:
Your dog might already shower you with kisses and affection, but the trick here is to have them do it on command. You’re on your own if you want to teach your spouse this one.
Your dog will naturally paw you when he wants something. Take that to the next level with a reward and the command word, and he’ll soon connect the dots.
This one is actually more challenging, and it does come with some risk of backfiring. The trick is to teach your dog to bark on command, while differentiating that not all barking is good nor will be rewarded.
One of the more ubiquitous of dog tricks is fetch. What better way to pass an afternoon together than the metronomic back and forth of a good game of fetch.
Your dog likely has a natural tendency to roll over for you – to expose his belly as a sign of subordination, and to let you know he’s ready for a good belly rub. Your choice whether ‘roll over’ means just onto his back or all the way around.
Bang (play dead)
Who knew finger guns were made for more than awkward dance moves? Use them to get your dog to lie still as if dead on command – a bit more advanced than a simple lie down.
You can always hug your dog – and probably already do. But this affectionate trick has your dog hug back with a paw on each shoulder.
There are hundreds if not thousands more tricks you can teach your dog. Different tricks will be more easily learned by different dogs, but in general a few tips to maximize your success are:
Use one-word commands, and be sure the word isn’t one you generally use in normal conversation. Speak the word forcefully and clearly. And it often helps to say your dog’s name first, so he knows you’re talking to him. Happy Training!