Sit! Roll over! Jump! Teaching your dog tricks might not be the easiest thing in the world, but it’s highly beneficial to you and your dog. Teaching your dog tricks can help strengthen your relationship with your beloved pet in many ways. Below are some great reasons why you should start teaching your dog tricks.
1. Make everyone safe- While learning to teach your dog tricks, you learn many training techniques which can also be used to gain control over your dog. Teaching him basic tricks like sit and stay can also be used in life situations like crossing the street or entering a store.
2. Give Your Dog Something to Do- It doesn’t take long before your dog gets bored and decides to take on a new hobby of chewing anything in sight, including your brand new sofa. Teaching your dog tricks will keep him focused on the task at hand, and will entertain him for hours!
3. Help Keep Your Dog’s Mind Sharp- Training your dog will keep his mind active and responsive. As dogs get older they become less physically active, but learning tricks will keep his mind active and alert.
4. Help Create a Better Bond between You and Your Dog- Your dog will look up to you as being the pack leader, and will listen to you instead of trying to get your attention in destructive ways. Best of all, once your dog learns tricks you two become a team when training or performing.
5. Show Off- You can show off your dog if you teach it some cool tricks, and your dog will get people’s attention. Dogs love attention and they love being in the spotlight so they will like performing in front of your friends and family. Of course, you will also get the recognition of being a star trainer.
6. Make Vet Check Ups Easier- Both the veterinarian and you hate it when your dog can’t control itself during a check up. If you teach it to be calm during the check up, it will make both of your lives easier, and you won’t be embarrassed that your dog is acting up.
7. Gives Your Dog a Hobby- We all have hobbies we like to do such as watching TV or playing games, but dogs also need things to do. Training dog tricks is great to do on rainy days when you can’t take him for a walk.
If these reasons have inspired you to teach your dog tricks, then you’ve come to the right place. Dog Trick Academy and our community is devoted to help teach your dog tricks, we keep it fun and entertaining!
Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, must not have owned a dog. If dogs are anything, they are extremely intelligent and can learn many new things given the chance to show you. When training your dog, keep in mind that yelling, hitting, cursing or punishment is uncalled for, as dogs will retreat backwards the more they are yelled at. Besides, you wouldn’t treat a child like that and dogs are essentially just little children with tails and four legs!
The first thing to learn when training your dog to do anything new is to never change your verbal expression, tone or volume. If you say, “come here, boy” then do not change to “Fido, come here”. By doing this, your dog will become confused and it will cause unneeded frustration for both of you.
A couple of tips to take into consideration when training your dog is to reward him with treats for good behavior, however be sure to also give a lot of praise and patting to ensure he does not rely totally on the treats when being good. You may also think about enrolling your dog in an obedience class. Even if training is going good at home, this will give him extra practice with interaction between other animals and people.
When training your dog don’t cram everything into one day and expect him to remember it. Dogs have short attention spans and will quickly become bored, so try to keep training time down to short sessions throughout the day. Here are a few of the easier and more popular commands to teach Fido.
• Come- Use a toy or treat to encourage him to come towards you. Say “Fido, come.” As he makes his way towards you, praise him. Once he is in front of you, hold onto his collar for 30 seconds and then let go.
• Sit- Press gently down on his backside and say “sit.” You can also hold a treat above his head. When a dog is forced to look upward, he will automatically sit on his hind legs. Just as he bends to a sitting position, say “Fido, sit.” Remember to praise and reward.
• Down- Get your dog into a sitting position. Slowly guide his legs straight down in front of him until he is flat. As you are doing this, repeat “Fido, down.” Keep him in this position for 30 seconds and then praise and treat.
• Stay- Have Fido sit. As you slowly take a couple steps backward, say “Fido, stay.” Hold your hand out as you do this, palm facing him. If he moves from position, tell him “no” and return him to the starting point. If he stays, praise and treat. Don’t forget to find a ‘release command’ like “ok”, or done.” This will tell him it is okay to move.
By using persistence, consistency and patience when training your dog, you will almost effortlessly be able to teach new commands and tricks. The ‘trick’ for you is to always praise and treat. Start with these easy commands and before long you will have him doing somersaults!
It’s not so much the kind of obedience training you do with your dog, but actually doing any training. Most of the dogs in your neighborhood or the dogs owned by your family and friends are probably not trained well, if at all. Isn’t that alone a reason to train your dog better?
There are four basic options for training your dog: enrolling in a class, sending the dog away to be trained, training on your own or working individually with a trainer.
The first option is to take a class with your dog. A vet might recommend a professional trainer near you. I take my mutt to an obedience class with about ten other people and dogs. I think it is a lot of fun and so does he. These classes run many times a year and last for about seven weeks. In this setting, a trainer works with the group on things like sit, stay and walking on a lose leash. The setting is a good way for dogs to get used to listening to their humans when there are a lot of distractions. Most instructors offer four or five levels of obedience, starting with puppy preschool through preparation for the show ring.
For a second option, you can take your dog to a training facility either during the day (like day camp) or for a few weeks or months at a time. Someone else will then begin training your dog. I never recommend this option but someone who is often traveling or too busy or simply unwilling to learn to train a dog might see no other away. The reasons I think this is a terrible idea is because a dog learns to respect and respond to whoever trains them because the dog will accept that person as a leader. For this reason, I will always train my own dogs. Some people expect their dogs to come back from places like these totally trained, and that just isn’t possible. Training a dog takes years of commitment and never ends.
A third choice is training your dog on your own. The most difficult part of this is remaining focused enough to practice each day. If you have trained a dog in the past and have the experience, then doing the training yourself might be best. You will be able to work on training when you decide and use your own techniques. You won’t have to pay a trainer, either. With all the books out there on training dogs, you can find new ideas if you have problems.
The fourth option is to work individually with a dog trainer. This is good if you need work on certain issues or if you have never trained or owned a dog before. Most likely this will cost more, but it is worthwhile. If there is a group, a trainer will be speaking in more general terms and will not be able to focus specifically on you and your dog. If you meet individually with a trainer, you can ask all the questions you want and he or she can get to know your dog and make better suggestions.
Each person and dog is different, so you should use the best method for whatever dog you own. Each trainer will have different ideas. Some will not allow training collars, like choke or prong collars, while others require them. I am hesitant of a trainer who believes every dog should wear the same kind of collar. A powerful Doberman that is aggressive to other animals will not get by with the same collar as a miniature poodle wearing a nylon cat collar. The owner and trainer should use good judgment to decide what tools are best for each dog and to use those tools properly. Many trainers are now using clickers and positive reinforcement only. With a clicker, a dog hears a click the instant she does something right, eventually associating the click with the correct behavior. Other trainers simply use lots of treats and verbal praise and are just as successful.
Above all, you should pick the suitable training methods for your lifestyle and your dog while being open to new ideas.