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Dog Tricks Build A Better Bond

You start training your new best friend the day you get him and never stop. Teaching your dog tricks is a great way to develop a strong bond. It teaches your dog to look to you for both fun and yummy treats. Here are just a few fun tricks to teach your dog.

Which One? Put a treat in one hand, show your dog, and then close both of your hands, making two fists. Hold your fists in front of you, about six inches apart and say “Which one?” Your dog will try to pry at your fists with his mouth to find the treat, but don’t open your hands. Wait until he tries to use his paw (he will if you wait long enough), let him touch the correct hand and then give him the treat.

Go Back This is an easy one! Stand facing your dog and as you walk toward him, say “Go Back”. He will want to get out of the way and will automatically walk backwards!

Take A Bow With your dog in a stand position, take a treat and hold it near the floor, under his nose. As your dog reaches down to get it (he may try to lie down), slip your hand under his belly to hold his rear end up. Hold him in that position and say, “Take a bow.” Keep the treat right by his nose, but don’t feed him. Stay there for just a second, release him, and then feed the treat.

Play Dead Have your dog lie down on his tummy. As you gently roll him over on his side, say, “Take a nap.” While he is lying on his side, keeping his head on the floor, say, “Take a nap.” Don’t give him a treat. Encourage him to stay there for a couple of seconds. Then say, “Ok” or “Wake up!”, let him stand up, and give him his reward.

Crawl Start by having your dog lie down. Hold a treat just in front of his nose and say, “Crawl.” If he starts to stand up, say, “No, down…crawl.” Pull the treat away, keeping it low, near the ground and say, “Craaawl.” When your dog moves even an inch or two without standing up, praise him and say, “Good dog! Craaawl.”

Show Shame The purpose of this trick is to get your dog to cover his eyes with one paw, on command. Put your dog in sit or a down position. Down may work better for balance purposes. With a treat in your hand, tell your dog to ‘show shame.’ Nothing will happen, at first. Physically pick up his paw and place it over his eye or muzzle, while repeating the ‘show shame’ command. Praise and reward. Keep repeating this exercise until your dog covers his eyes or muzzle on command.

Another way to get your dog to ‘show shame’ is to gently blow on his nose. The slight irritation to the nose may cause your dog to swipe at his muzzle. When he does this, praise and reward him. Keep repeating the exercise until your dog associates the verbal command with his action.

Roll Over First, only roll the dog on soft surfaces like carpet or grass. Some dogs naturally roll over, especially puppies. If this is the case, when the dog rolls over, say ‘roll over’, praise and reward. If your dog does not naturally roll over, start by putting your dog in the down position. Hold a treat in front of the dog’s nose, and then slowly move the treat towards his torso and over the body, keeping the dog’s nose close to the treat. The dog will eventually roll over to get at the treat.

Great fun for both you and your dog!

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