How to Teach Your Dog Tricks

The key to teaching your dog tricks is a lot of repetition and rewards. It is important to reward your dog with praises and/or treats when he is learning how to perform a new trick. Positive reinforcement is key. Only practice tricks for a few minutes at a time, your dog may become tired or frustrated because repeating tricks over and over may cause your dog's muscles to become fatigued. After each session reward your dog with a fun play session.

Paw
This is a fairly easy trick to teach your dog. The paw trick is your dog shaking your hand. Start by having your dog sit and simply reach your hand out and take hold of your dog's paw while saying "Paw". After a while all you have to do is reach out your hand and say "Paw" and your dog will put his paw in your hand.

Kiss
This is a fairly simple trick where you get your dog to lick you on command. Simply say "Kiss me" anytime your dog licks you. As an incentive you can put peanut butter on your face for him to lick off and say "Kiss me" while he is licking it off. After a while your dog will "kiss" you anytime you give the "Kiss me" command.

Catch
Catch is probaly one of the easiest tricks you can teach since it'll come naturally to most dogs. Simply toss a treat (small enough so that they won't choke on it and big enough for them to see it) into the air and when your dog sees it they will grab it before it can hit the ground. This may take a little while for your dog to get this trick so keep on practicing by tossing up treats.

Fetch
Fetch is another trick that comes naturally for most dogs. Simply throw a ball or another object that you want your dog to retrieve and he'll go get it and return it to you. If you dog doesn't fetch the object, throw the ball and run with your dog to retrieve the object. Give your dog a treat every time you retrieve the object (you can cut a slit into a ball, place treats inside the ball and take them out of the ball when retrieved for a stronger association with the ball and the treats). After a while you can throw the ball and your dog will automatically go after the ball and return it to you in order to get the treat. After a while slowly wean your dog off the treats by only giving them a treat every other retrieval, then every 3 retrievals and so on.

Beg
This is one of the more advanced tricks, your dog stands up on their hind legs to beg. Start by having your dog sit and hold a treat at his nose and bring it above your dog's head at a height where they have to stand on their hind legs to reach the treat. While doing this say "Beg" and give him the treat when he is standing on his hind legs. You can help your dog stand up by holding his paws for support. Each successive time you perform this trick, wait a little longer before giving him the treat.

Speak
Try to get your dog to bark by finding an activity or game that gets your dog excited and talk to him in an upbeat tone of voice. Once your dog starts barking say "Speak". Reward him by playing the game or doing that activity which got him to speak and/or reward him with a treat. After a while your dog will learn to bark whenever you give the "Speak" command.

Bow
This trick is where your dog looks like he is taking a bow by bringing his head to the floor. To start out with get your dog in a standing position. Hold a treat in front of your dog's nose and bring it downward, his head should follow the treat while his body should stay off the ground (if he lays down simply place your hand underneath your dog to keep him from laying down and continue with the trick) and give him the treat after a couple seconds and say bow. After a while your dog will learn to bow whenever you give the "Bow" command.





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