Keeping your dog’s brain active and sharp is an integral part of their wellbeing. To achieve mental stimulation it is important that you teach your dog different commands and tricks in order for them to be stimulated and prevent them from becoming bored and depressed. Continuous training helps keep your dog happy and healthy.
Teaching your different tricks is a fun way for you both to bond and stay active. As with humans; dog’s need to be mentally stimulated and they always need to learn new things.
Listed below are 5 easy tricks you can teach your dog. Whilst training your dog, you must remember to give them treats and show lots of enthusiasm when they’ve done well. Always show lots of encouragement and make the training exciting and stimulating for them.
Teaching your dog to shake hands is normally very easy to do. Some dogs naturally raise their paws when they ask for a treat. Simply start by asking your dog to “sit” and hold that position for a few seconds before you move onto the next command. Put a treat in your hand and slowly move it towards the ground near your dog’s paw. Your dog will naturally raise their paw in anticipation and this is the perfect time to ask them to “shake” when they do, place the treat in their paw and praise your dog with lots of enthusiasm. Keep repeating this process and gradually raise your hand higher so your dog will raise their paw higher to get the treat. The end goal is to have your dog raise their paw to chest height.
Giving a High Five
After your dog has become fully accustomed to the “shake” command, this will make the teaching process of the “high five” that much easier. Repeat the same process as you would with the “shake” command and hold your palm flat. As your dog touches your palm, give the command “high five”. Repeat this process over and over again so they fully learn the difference with “high five” and “shake”. The idea is to train your dog to raise their paw as high as they can to touch your open palm.
Asking your dog to bark on command is very easy if your dog is naturally vocal. Start by getting your dog excited. This can be done by playing with a ball and talking in an excited tone of voice. After you have done this you must ask your dog to “sit” and place a treat near your dog’s nose. Wave the treat so your dog sees it and they whine or bark. As soon as your dog makes a noise reward them with a treat.
It’s also important to teach your dog to “hush” OR “stop” if you want them to stop speaking. Simply do this by giving them the command and turning your back and walking away. If your dog is still making a nose, it is important that you don’t reward them.
Majority of dog breeds can be taught to dance on command. Generally, smaller dog breeds are easier to train to dance, Simply start by asking your dog to “sit” and hold a treat in your hand and position your hand close to their nose. Slowly move your hand behind their head. This will encourage your dog to tilt their head to look behind them. Whilst they’re doing this they will naturally stand on their hind legs. As soon as your dog stands on their hind legs, give your dog lots of praise and give them a treat. Repeat this process several times so your dog stands quickly and sturdily on their back legs.
Once your dog has become comfortable with this position, place the treat above the dogs head and move it around in a circle. Your dog will naturally stand on their hind legs and twirl to follow the treat. As soon as they do this, use the term “dance” and give them lots of praise and treats. Using the treat as bait will encourage your dog to stand up and move around in a circular motion. This trick should be avoided if you have a dog breed that suffers from back issues or problems with their joints.
Place your dog in the “down” position. Place a treat in your hand and slowly move the treat towards their neck and slowly move your hand behind your dog’s neck. This will naturally encourage your dog to roll over and follow the treat without standing up.
When your dog rolls over to try and sniff the treat, ask them to “roll over”. As soon as they roll over to give them lots of praise and treats. Make a real fuss of them rolling over, so they see this as a fun trick. Repeat this trick over and over so they learn the ability to roll over.
It’s important during any training that you give your dog lots of encouragement and rewards for doing well and listening. Training should always be fun and if your dog is showing any signs of becoming tired or frustrated then the training must be stopped until your dog is ready again. Lots of patience is needed and your voice should never be raised if your dog is struggling to learn as quickly as you would like them to.