How to Teach Your Dog Tricks

>> 10/20/09

Sit. Stand. Roll over. Paw. Heel. There is something about well-trained dogs that make them better to have in your home than a dog that doesn't listen. The following are five of the most common tricks you can teach a dog, but the possibilities truly are endless. Some people teach their dog how to get the newspaper each morning. Other dogs know how to open doors. And some amazing dogs can even work a television remote!

Training your dog can often be a long and arduous process, but in the end, both you and the animal will reap the benefits. The following are some tips to make dog training a bit easier:

• Give the dog treats. Dogs react to treats like men react to sex. Give the dog a treat if he does something correctly. It is important to bring along treats on every walk and always have them accessible in the house. As the dog begins to learn a trick, slowly wean away the treats.

• Constantly repeat whatever action you want your dog to follow. It's the same concept as practicing. The more a dog sees how a trick is done, the easier it will be for them to replicate it over and over.

• Never take a day off. It is important to work with your pup numerous times throughout the day in order to emphasize and reemphasize the trick at hand. • Use both verbal and physical commands. Kids are often to study out loud, which allows them to see and hear the material. The same concept can be applied to dogs. Associate different hand actions with different tricks. If you want your dog to sit, sternly shout "Sit," while putting your hand in a fist. If you want the animal to roll over, say the command and move your hand in a circular motion.

With the proper amount of time and patience, your dog has the ability to perform any trick in the book. Just remember that dogs do not speak the same language as humans, so becoming frustrated and yelling at the animal will get you nowhere. Dogs can sense heightened stress levels, and lower, calmer trainers will have a greater success rate than those who become infuriated. The best way to remain calm is to always keep in mind that dog obedience training is supposed to be fun.

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