Sit. Lay down. Roll over.
These commands get pretty tired after a while for most dog owners, even though we all feel like heroes when our dog first conquers these simple tricks. Seeing your dog try and try again until they get something right (and of course get their treat or reward) is one of the best parts of being a dog owner! It bonds use to our furry little companions and makes the dog owning experience even more fun for everyone involved.
When you’ve asked your dog to “play dead” for the hundredth time you might start to wonder if there are any other tricks your pup can learn.
With countless videos out there of owner-proclaimed puppy geniuses doing crazy tricks, most pet owners might feel training their dog to do something new is impossible – not so!
We’ve compiled a list of 5 unique (really!) tricks that any dog can master with a little time and some patience on your end. Read on to learn more:
The high five trick!
Um, can you think of anything cooler than giving your dog an actual high five? We can’t, and that’s why this neat trick was included in our list! Just imagine crowding your friends and family around for this one. This is a fun trick that will amuse everyone, and believe it or not, it’s extremely easy to learn! Sit on the floor with your pup, close enough that he/she can easily touch you. Put a training treat (or something your dog will drool over) in the palm of your hand and make a fist. Hold your hand, keeping your palm turned downward, under your dog’s nose. At this point your dog will start pawing at your fist because they smell the yummy treat! After a while of this, trying opening your hand in front of your dog’s face for him/her to paw at your palm. Eventually, if you add a command statement (“High five me!” or “Paw!”) your dog will get the point, and the trick will be cemented into his/her vocabulary permanently.
Teach your dog to bring you the remote!
Well, not just the remote – but plenty of other items, too, like his leash, a specific toy, or your shoes if you’re particularly lazy! This trick is handy for both pup and owner, and it’s actually easier to learn than you might think. The first thing you’ll want to do is teach your dog to retrieve exciting items like tennis balls or squeaky toys first, using the technique found here: http://dogtime.com/dog-training-off-take-thanks-dunbar.html
After you’ve mastered that, it’s time to move on to inanimate objects! The key to making sure your dog wants to retrieve these objects is to reward in one of two ways – by using treats or “life rewards.” Treats are pretty self-explanatory, but life rewards can be used in a different way. For example, if your dog brings you his/her leash, time for a nice, long walk! If your dog retrieves the tennis ball, it’s pretty likely he’ll want you to throw it again (and if you’re dog doesn’t seem too interested in tennis balls, you’ve gotta try Kong’s squeaky tennis balls, found here: http://www.amazon.com/KONG-Squeakair-Tennis-Medium-Yellow/dp/B000A8CUSM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1432924410&sr=8-2&keywords=kong+squeaky)
Teaching your dog to speak or sing!
Some dogs may have an easier time with this than others depending on how noisy they naturally are – if you have a timid little guy or gal, this may be trickier! Either way, it’s definitely possible to get your pup making some noise on command. The way to start this is by experimenting with different kinds of instruments, music, and other sounds to see what your dog with appreciate the most. See what your pup responds to in body language and by barking, and that sound will be most likely to make this trick happen more easily.
After you’ve found some tunes your dog digs, you need to find a noise cue to train your dog when exactly to bark. If there’s a loud guitar solo that your pup tilts their head at, try that. If your dog jumps when you bang on the drums, try that. Either way, use that particular noise cue to make a command statement (“Now, Sing!” or “Talk!”). Reward with a treat if your dog responds accordingly.
Teach your dog will power. (AKA balancing his/her favorite treat on their nose!)
I think we can all agree it’s pretty tough to practice will power from tasty treats, so this is the ultimate trick of all! In actuality, this trick involves getting your pup to balance a treat on his/her nose for an extended period of time. This takes a little gracefulness and lot of reserve for any dog, especially when their favorite snack is right there on the tip of their nose.
The first step is to get your dog to sit or lay down to help with the balancing aspect. Place a treat on your dog’s nose and say “OKAY!” loudly – right before your dog gobbles down the food. After this, giving a crazy amount of praise to your little buddy is a must, because that shows him/her that what they just did was what you wanted them to do. Repeat these simples steps over and over again until your dog “gets it,” distancing the time between when you put the treat on their nose and when you say “OKAY!”
Train your dog to use the treadmill!
NOTE: Our last trick can actually be good exercise for your pup, but it’s your responsibility to make sure the treadmill is at an appropriate speed for your dog! Start at the very slowest setting and increase until you find one that is comfortable (not over-exerting) for your pup.
Walking your dog on a treadmill can be an excellent option for when you can’t take him/her outside, and it’s also a fun trick that your friends and family will be tickled by. It’s a dog doing a human thing! What’s not to love about that?!
For this trick you’ll need some patience and time, because some dogs are a little spooked by the treadmill at first. Try letting your dog stand on the treadmill or even holding him/her while you walk on it (if your pup is small enough to be held!) to get him/her used to the weird noises a treadmill makes. After a while you can add treats to the training, by turning the treadmill on the very lowest speed, placing your dog near the end (not too close), and a treat near the front of the treadmill. Encourage your dog to walk toward the treat, and eventually you’ll find your pup start to like working out a little more. Shame us humans can’t sneak treats on the treadmill isn’t it?