Dogs can bring a lot of pleasure into our lives. They’re loyal friends who offer their owners unconditional love. But another joy of being a dog owner is watching your dog learn a trick that you’ve put hours into teaching her. These 5 tricks to teach your dog are well-known favorites that aren’t that difficult to teach to your dog, no matter her age. Follow our tips and you’ll have your dog sitting, laying down, begging, shaking, and staying in no time.
This is perhaps the most common trick dog owners try to teach their dogs. Sitting can be useful when trying to get a dog to calm down, or simply to allow your dog to show off his ability to follow your commands. It might seem difficult at first to get your dog to quiet down enough to sit still, especially if he is still a puppy.
The key to teaching a dog any trick is to use positive reinforcement. Take your dog’s favorite treat and place it on the floor directly below his nose, keeping your hands cupped around it so he can’t take it from you. At the same time, say the command (sit) and tap the ground.
The dog will go through a series of movements, attempting to please you. When they get into the sitting position, give them the treat and offer praise. Go through this series of events frequently enough and the dog will begin to sit on command, even without the treat!
2. Lay Down!
Once you’ve taught your dog to sit, teaching her to lie down is the next logical step. To lie down you should go through the same series of actions.
Place a treat under her nose, tap the ground and say “lie down”. Don’t sell your dog short, she’ll realize that the command is different from “sit”, even though you’re performing the same action. When she finally puts her belly on the floor, immediately praise her and provide the treat.
After you’ve repeated this several times, mix up sit and lay down. This will make clear the difference in your dog’s mind.
Interestingly enough, many dog owners spend a lot of time trying to stop their dogs from begging at the dinner table, but they still teach their dogs to beg for treats! There is something different about your dog begging on command, though, as compared to begging at the dinner table for food that isn’t theirs.
Your dog can tell the difference between the two, so teaching your dog to beg shouldn’t make his dinner table habits worse. Begging is a very easy trick to teach your dog. Hold a treat above his nose just high enough that he has to leave his front paws to reach it. Once he does, praise and provide the treat. Each time you do the trick, hold the treat higher to the point where your dog really has to lift his body high off of the ground. Eventually he will do it without needing a treat.
There isn’t a better crowd-pleaser than a dog that can offer her paw to someone to shake. The process to teaching this trick is very similar to the others.
To teach your dog to shake, sit in front of her and hold out your hand, palm up.Keep a treat in your other hand and repeat the command “shake.”If your dog doesn’t comply, pick up her paw gently, shake it, then praise her and give her the treat. Eventually she will begin offering her paw on her own, and you can withhold the treat.
This is by far the most difficult of the commands listed in this article. It is easier to teach with a dog who is slightly more mature than a puppy, and you’re more likely to be successful if you’ve already taught your dog to obey one or two other commands.
Start slowly with this one.
Tell your dog to sit, then to “stay”. After a few seconds of him sitting still, offer a treat and some praise. Then you repeat this process, only each time increase the amount of time your dog must sit still in order to get a treat.
After he is successfully sitting still for several seconds, begin to walk backward slowly after you make the command.After time, your dog will be able to sit still as you walk away.
So in Conclusion…
When you have a rambunctious puppy at home, her ability to obey commands may seem to be in the distant future. However, with some well-timed praise and a pocketful of treats, you can teach any dog new tricks! Just have patience and eventually she will have these 5 tricks to teach your dog down pat!
By Michelle L.