Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? You can teach any dog a trick if you are patient, kind, and the dog is having fun with it. We found 10 tricks that are so easy, any dog can learn them. Always introduce a dog to a new trick in short, steady, positive bursts. Don’t scold the dog or get mad if he doesn’t do it right. This is all about having fun and bonding with your pup.
1) Walk Backwards
With a treat in your hand, walk slowly towards your dog. Keep the treat up in your hand so the dog sees it. When he first backs up a little, reward him even if he’s only moved a bit. Slowly increase the steps backward. Try this for a week or so and see how it goes.
2) Tilt Your Head
This is super easy to teach and all you need is your voice and some snacks. With your dog in a “sit” position, say a word like “treat” or something else he likes. When he tilts his head, reward him. This trick works great for taking Snapchat and Instagram photos.
3) Kissy Face
Many dogs love to kiss their humans, but how cool would it be to get a kiss on command? Say the word “kiss,” point to your face or cheek, then encourage your pup to give you a smooch. Add a dollop of peanut butter to your cheek for the “secret ingredient” to encourage canine kisses!
4) Give Me Your Paw Or Shake Hands
This is one of the cutest tricks to impress your friends. Whether you call it high five, give me your paw, or shake hands, this is a classic. Your dog will paw at your hand if you have something in it. Be sure you are at doggy level. Have a treat in your closed fist. Put your dog in a sit position. One they start pawing, say the word “shake” or “paw.” Be consistent. Soon, they’ll be shaking without the treat. Very cool, right?
5) Go Fetch
Some dogs have no idea you want them to bring the toy or ball back after throwing it. That’s up to you, the human, to show them what you want. It’s got to be a party for the dog when he brings it back and a toy the dog loves. Start by playing indoors. Toss the toy just a short distance from you. When the dog picks it up, have a verbal party and praise him. Toss the toy further and encourage them to bring it back. When they do, party time again! Practice and patience make perfect.
6) Hide and Seek
This one requires two people. Start out with a few of your pup’s favorite treats. One person stays with your dog in a room, while the other hides. When ready to be sought, the person hiding lets out a sound to initiate the game. As your dog scours from room to room, occasionally let out a verbal signal. Once found, praise him like he just won an Olympic medal and reward with a treat. Repeat.
7) Come When Called
Don’t use your dog’s name with a bad word like “Fluffy, No!” A dog’s name should be a happy thing to say, for you and the dog. For those just starting out, have a treat for the dog. “Fluffy, come” is a great way to start. Just saying “come” will likely fall on deaf ears. Once the dog does come to you, reward him. You don’t want to say “Fluffy, treat” or he will associate his name with food every time.
8) Learning The Names Of Objects
How neat would it be if you could tell your dog to go get a certain item and he does it?! Whenever your dog has an item nearby you want him to learn, associate it with the word. Hold the item in your hand and say what it is. Using ball as an example, you would say, “Fluffy, ball.” And as the dog sees it, you reward with a treat. Do this over the course of several days or a week. Eventually, you can tell him to “go get the ball” and get goosebumps when he does!
9) Walk Without Pulling
You’ve probably seen dogs on their walk who seem more like they are headed for a finish line. Slow and steady is key here. Go for a walk and use something on the dog that won’t hurt his neck. These days, harnesses are a great choice. Start walking and when the dog pulls, you stop and put him into a sit position. Don’t move again until he stops pulling. Every time he pulls, you stop. You tell him what a great boy he is every time for listening.
10) Jump Me
Lying on the floor on your back, your dog is seated next to you on one side. Teaching him to jump is all about praise and reward. You have a treat in one hand on the other side of you. Instruct your dog to “jump” and lead him over your body. He is okay to walk on you at this point. Let him see the treat, say jump, and lead him with the treat near his nose. Once he is on the other side of your body, reward and praise!
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