Dog Tricks - How To Instruct Your Dog When It Comes to Tricks

>> 8/14/09

For the most part dogs are energetic to do what their owners want and try their best to please when it comes to receiving a reward for doing so. These are dog tendencies that need to be taken advantage of when it comes time to teach them tricks. It makes sense to take advantage of their natural tendencies. By building on these natural 'dog' tendencies and behaviors in conjunction with rewards to generate pet tricks, the operation becomes easier than trying to teach a trick from scratch.

Observe what your dog does for his own enjoyment. Does he jump into the air pursuing butterflies? Does he like to lay on his back with his feet in the air? If some kind of impromptu behavior can be expanded into an entertaining trick, that will quicken the training process. Be in readiness to use a fitting hand motion and voice command when this behavior is displayed and then follow through with an immediate reward.

Some dogs have weight or diet concerns so don't get carried away with the food treats. Training with treats may be a good way to get started and to strengthen your dog's attention and focus but in the end you want your dog reacting and completing tricks as a result of vocal instructions, hand signs, and praise for a a completed and well done trick. Once the correct signal-command/reaction-trick correlations are ingrained and automatic the use of treats can be lessened or completely stopped.

Most dogs don't take very long to get the hang of it because they recognize quickly that when they do the trick they get the treat. This makes the training pretty simple, and you can use simple commands as a gateway to other tricks. One example might be using the command 'down' instead of 'play dead'. This will be a good starting point, and eventually you can move on to 'play dead'. 'stay', 'come', and 'sit' will also come naturally to the dog once a little bit of practice is done.

You can try using a favorite toy in the training, and you can do this pretty easily. Hold their toy close to their nose, and then command the dog to jump. The dog will jump, and though it won't understand at first, it will soon come to realize that "jump" means jump. There will come a time when you don't even require the toy to get the dog to jump, you can just use the verbal command and/or hand signal.

Take advantage of your dog's keen sense of smell... his capacity to recognize smells close by and at long distance is unbelievable. This incredible capacity can be used in teaching various types of "hide-and-seek" tricks and games. Again, using a favorite tug toy or chew ball, hide it under a box or other object. Start-off up close and slowly extend the distance or increase the difficulty in stages, for example setting the box in another room or up on a shelf.

What about giving you five? That's a great trick for a dog, and it's actually pretty easy. Most dogs have a tendency to give you their paw immediately, and you can show them your hand or "paw", and then say 'high five' as they give you theirs. After a while this will become second nature to them, but at first you will need to reinforce this behavior using a treat.

Sometimes you may find that the dog doesn't lift its pay when you want it to, in which case you'll have to resort to other measures. You'll have to physically lift their paw, but make sure you praise them and give them a treat. After a while they'll do it immediately without you lifting the paw as long as they know there is a treat for them.

There are a few other things that you can expand on once you've taught the dog a few tricks. One thing that you can do is expand the high five into a way to make them sit up. You can do this by compelling them to raise both paws, at which point they'll just sit up. Once you've gotten them to do this, make sure you give them a treat.

There are many different things you can do to train a dog. Whether you do it for behavior control, house breaking, or just tricks, you'll find that this greatly strengthen the bond between you and your dog. This is a great way to become closer to your dog.

How To Instruct Your Dog When It Comes to Tricks by Tom Steffler

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Learn important information, tips, and techniques about Dog Training. Also Learn about choosing the best Dog Bedding for your dog.

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