This article was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Jenn Lee
5 Fun Tricks to Teach Your Dog
Getting a puppy can be one of the most exciting times in life! Of course, a dog comes with a lot of responsibility, and while obedience training is a critical part of caring for them, not all training has to feel like work. Try getting your dog to learn these five tricks. It can be a really fun way to bond with your new pup and a great way for them to burn off some of their ental energy.
Every dog owner knows these: “Sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “lay down”. These are the most basic tricks that every dog should know. If you are unsure where to start, many obedience classes can walk you through how to train your dog to complete these commands. “Sit”, “lay down”, and “come” can be pretty easy, whereas “stay” may take your dog a little while to get. Don’t lose hope! In time, they will get it.
The high-five trick is another classic. Whether you go for this trick, or “shake”, the premise is the same: get your dog to place their paw in or against your hand. A simple way to start this trick is by giving the command and lifting your dog’s paw into your hand. Then reward them! Repeating this process can be helpful until your dog learns the association and starts lifting their paw to your hand on their own.
“Touch” is an easy follow-up to the high-five trick because your dog will already understand the concept! Basically, this trick gets the dog to tap your hand with their nose. Try easing your dog into it by placing your hand close to their nose and giving the command. If they move their head and their nose touches your hand, reward them! It may help to touch your hand to their nose for the first few times, until they make the connection. Soon, you will be able to hold your hand up high and get them to bounce up and “boop” their nose against it!
This trick is a bit more advanced, but still a really fun one to teach your dog. Once you have taught your dog to lay down, have them start in that position. Then, with a treat in your hand, give the command to roll over and guide them onto their side (using the treat). Then give them the reward! Eventually, you can manually ease them over to their other side and reward them for that. Over time and with repetition, your dog will have this trick down in no time!
Ring a Bell
This can be a great trick for dogs that bark to be let outside! If you are tired of your dog barking when they want access to the backyard, try teaching them to ring a bell instead. Hook a bell against the door (at nose level for your dog), first. Then give the command (you could say “bell” for instance) and use a treat to get your dog to knock the bell with their snout. Reward them with the treat or by letting them outside.
While these can all be really fun tricks to teach your dog, it is also important to be aware that some tricks can be harmful. A dog walking on hind legs or jumping down from heights can get injured or put unnecessary strain on their body. It is always a good idea to keep your dog’s health and safety as your top priorities during their training.
Become Best Buddies in No Time
Now that you have a dog of your own, you can start training them to perform all kinds of fun tricks. Remember to keep obedience and basic training as the foundation of everything else you teach them. After that, starting with these five tricks can be a great way for your and your dog to
become best friends. Before you know it, you will be impressing all your fellow puppy-parents at the dog park!
Jenn Lee, is a family blogger and proud parent of Reggie the Golden Retriever .