Dog Tricks: Where To Start

When it comes to teaching your dog new tricks this can be great fun for all involved. You can start off by doing something simple like weaving in and out of your legs or fetching some article by name or teaching your dog to shut a door.

There are a few people that find it is demeaning to the dog by teaching them tricks but I can assure you that dogs love learning and especially being appreciated and by learning to do something new it will cover both of these needs. Whatever you going to teach your dog both of you will benefit from the experience and it will be a time that you will learn more about each other.

Suggested Tricks could include:

• Close the door
• Roll over
• Catch
• Give a paw
• Open a box
• Find members of your family or toy by name
• Bark on command
• Weave through your legs
• Jump over objects
• Crawl under a low object or a chair

With any trick, split it into small sequences and teach each one a step at a time. If the task is complicated start with the last sequence first and then add the previous element to the beginning and build up from there. This method is called reverse chaining. It is excellent as it helps the dog learn as he always ends with the familiar part. Rather than waiting until the whole sequence is learnt reward every step for getting closer and closer to your goal. Each step you are asking a little more of your dog.

The use of clickers can work extremely well as you are able to reward your dog at the correct time even if he is still some distance away from his goal. While tricks can be fun they can also be a benefit to anyone that is disabled and not being able to pick something up off the ground or fetch some sort of aid to help the disabled person.

There are many people that are sight impaired that use seeing eye dogs that had started just like you are with simple to learn tricks and then graduated to more advanced training. The whole process should be imaginative, have a think of what your dog enjoys and develop this to include a whole collection of tricks.

The dog will enjoy learning something different and will certainly enjoy all of the praise in getting something right. All that is needed is a dose of persistence and time invested in her training and by doing this you will be rewarded. •

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