As is with any newly acquired dog, the first thing you want to do is teach it to do something. That’s definitely easier said than done, as depending on the dog, you could be faced with stubbornness and disinterest. Here are 5 easy tricks you can teach your dog today! Trick One: Be Loved Puppy—and Kiss Me Image:
The kiss trick is one of the simplest tricks to teach your dog. It is easily confused with a dog smothering you in licks, but it’s actually quite different. A clicker, post-it, treats, and your dog is all you’ll need. Place the post-it on your hand and hold it out. When the dog brings its curious nose to the paper, use your clicker followed by a treat. Each time move the paper slightly closer to you and continue to click and treat when your dog brings his/her nose up to the post-it. After a few times, you can start to associate a name with the action. Obviously, we are going to go with the word KISS. Now repeat the prior steps, but each time when you hold out the post-it say your dog’s name followed by the word KISS. This instills the word association with the action. By the end of the day, you’ll definitely have a pup eager to shower you with kisses! Trick Two: Alakazaam—I command you to Sit! Image:
Teaching your dog to sit for the first time is like telling your newborn not to put their fingers in their mouths. One of the most frustrating parts is keeping the dog’s attention long enough for it to be called a sit command. Start by lightly pushing your dog’s tush down and saying sit. You will repeatedly visit this step in the beginning, because younger dogs want to explore and are easily distracted. Once you have endured the waiting game and have associated this command this the tush-to-floor action, reinforcing the action with treats for stays longer than a second, your pup will pick up on this very fast. Trick Three: If you want to look me in my eyes—Stand up boy! Image:
The standing trick is a little more difficult than the last trick we taught above. Remember patience and repetition will rule the day! Start by having your dog sit. Hold your hand above his/her head and say the word stand. Chances are you will get a dog who just stares up at you. Now, this time place a small treat in your hand and before putting your hand above its head, start near their nose. Once they smell your hand, their first instinct will be to follow the smell. Heavier dogs might have a hard time with this, but the pup will rise onto just its hind legs. When this happens, associate the word stand with their action and reward them with a small piece of treat. Repeat and name the action and your dog will quickly be standing up to look you in your eyes. Trick Four: Be Polite and Shake! Image:
This trick is fairly easy and shouldn’t take too long to teach a dog of any age. A dog who has a good grasp on trick two will pick up on this trick in a matter of minutes. Tell your pup to sit, then bend down and extend your hand. In most cases, the pup will hammer your hand with both of their paws. You will have to be patient and remind them that you only want one hand. With the power of being rewarded a treat, dogs will quickly adapt to only giving on hand. This is a great lead into the alternating hand shake trick, in my household we call it the “Other Hand” command, only rewarding the dog after they have successfully shaken with both paws one at a time! Trick Five: No! You’re Supposed to Bring the Stick Back- Fetch Training Image:
Fetch can be one of those tricks that have you throwing your hands up. You’ll get a wide range of responses depending on your dog’s breed. Typically, the pet will go grab the item, but rarely will they bring it back. First things first, you’ll need a retractable leach or a long leash for this exercise to yield promising results. Another key step is to make sure the item you are wanting the dog to fetch is something that peaks their interests. If you are not sure, bring options. If the dog isn’t showing interest in the toy, then create interest. Do this by playing with the toy yourself. Sound kind of childish, but the dog will see you having fun and will want to participate. Once your pup holds interest in the toy, it’s time to start the training. Toss the item. The dog will go and grab it and with your long leash guide him/her back to you, then reward with a treat. Continue this a few times and then start the word chosen for the command. Some people like to stick with fetch, others may like “get it!” better. Totally up to you. By the end of the day you’ll be able to take your leash off and have your furry friend bring the toy back every time!