Teaching your dog tricks is a great way to bond with your pet. Not only will you both have fun, but your dog will be less likely to develop behavioral issues and more likely to feel secure in any situation. If you’ve ever wanted some new tricks up your sleeve, here are 6 simple tricks that’ll make your pup think it’s the smartest dog ever.
Bite inhibition teaches your dog to use teeth gently to avoid problems, even if your pet bites someone. While training your dog on bite inhibition, you can use a toy or your hand as a target. While a hand can do, it is best to get some toys to prevent injuries. You can easily find many toys at local or online stores.
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If they’ve mastered the skill of gently mouthing and biting, reward them with praise and food. If they bite too hard, yelp in pain by saying “Ouch!” or another similar vocalization that will make it clear that biting on this object is painful for you. You should repeat these steps until the dog realizes that using his or her teeth doesn’t feel suitable for either party involved.
Loose Leash Walking
Loose leash walking is one of the most important things to teach a dog, especially if you plan to take them for walks around the block or on hikes. Walking is vital for a pet’s health. According to a study published on the NIH website, veterinarians recommend walking as the most-prescribed physical activity.
If you don’t teach loose leash walking to your dog, it can become challenging for someone taking your dog on the walk for the first time. A similar instance recently occurred when the pet sitter said he was crying tears. A video of the same has gone viral on the internet. This trick can be taught in three simple steps:
- Start by holding your dog’s leash with both hands and ensuring that it is tight enough so they cannot pull out of it easily.
- Walk forward while keeping the leash loose and give praise when they walk beside you instead of pulling ahead or lagging behind you.
- Once they have gotten used to this reward system, start walking faster until your dog has mastered walking at your side, even when moving quickly.
Shake paws is a fun trick to teach your dog because it’s easy and great for socialization. To start, hold your hand with the palm up, then put some food in your palm. Your dog will likely grab it with his mouth, but that’s okay. That’s what you want him to do, so give him a treat when he does so.
Then, repeat the process until he knows that shaking hands means getting food from you. Once he seems comfortable with this idea, grab his paw gently and shake it while giving him another treat. He might be confused at first, but if you keep practicing and being patient with him soon enough, he will get what’s going on here.
After this step has been achieved several times successfully, take it one step further by asking for “shake paws” and offering an open hand gesture for him instead of just holding out your palm without saying anything about what exactly is going on here. It’ll help ensure he understands what’s happening when asking for the trick rather than just expecting something without explaining beforehand why we’re doing so.
You can refer to The Spruce Pets article written by Amy Bender for a detailed process of how to teach your dog to shake paws. The article even has images demonstrating the same, making it easier for you to understand everything.
Recall simply means coming back when called. This is an essential command for your dog to learn because it teaches him or her that you are the one in control and will be able to call them back if necessary.
When teaching a recall, start with a reward-based method, such as tossing some treats on the ground and then calling your dog to get them. After they have come over and eaten their treat, have them sit down so that they can’t follow up by eating another before you give another one.
Repeat this process until they consistently come when called without needing further rewards. Once they do this reliably in routine situations such as out walking in a park or around town, they start practicing it in more challenging locations like busy streets or crowded areas like parks during peak hours.
This is a fun trick to teach your dog. To teach this trick, the dog must first learn to lie down on command. Once that is mastered, follow these steps:
- Put your hand flat out in front of you and say, “Down.” The dog should lie down on his belly with his paws stretched out in front of him. If he does not understand what “Down” means yet, practice this step until he does understand it before proceeding further with the trick training process.
- Once he has lain down, hold up both hands and say, “Stay.” You must also stay still so that he understands what staying means and doesn’t think you’re going elsewhere after giving your command, as this may cause confusion and hinder his learning process. Also, make sure there are no distractions while teaching him this trick. If other animals nearby might get up suddenly, be sure they’re inside, so there aren’t any interruptions during their training sessions together.
You can also do this by giving your pet some treats. You can find a detailed guide on how to teach your dog to play dead using treats on WikiHow.
Spin is a fun trick to teach puppies, but it can also be helpful if you have a dog who runs off during walks or gets overly excited in new situations. By teaching your dog to spin around in place, you can use the command as an alternative way of telling them that they should calm down and stay put until further instruction.
Several methods exist for training dogs to spin on cue, the simplest being rewarding them with treats when they perform the behavior correctly. It might take some time before your pup will start spinning without needing any encouragement from you, and even then, it might not happen every time at first. But once they get the hang of it, they will listen to your commands quickly.
The American Kennel Club recommends starting with a single spin. Place your finger above your pet’s nose and move it in a large circle with the dog following it. Once the first spin is good, you can start with multiple spins.
Hopefully, both you and your dogs will enjoy performing these tricks. Remember, the sky’s the limit when training your dog. The more you practice together, the better he’ll get at performing each trick. Whether it’s a new command or an old favorite, keep working on it until both of you understand what needs to happen next. And if something doesn’t go as planned? That’s okay; you can always try again tomorrow.