Training

4 minutes reading time (742 words)

Teach your pet tricks the simple way

Dogs are amazing creatures in that they conform to their owner's desires in almost all cases. You would be amazed at the things a dog will do to please their owner, especially when there is some sort of treat involved when all is said and done. There are things that they do as a matter of course, and those are the things that you're going to want to use while you train them to do tricks. If you combine these methods with treats, then you'll find that it's a lot easier to do the training.

Have a look at your dog and try to determine what he or she does for fun. Does he chase butterflies? Does he crawl on his belly? If you think you see him doing something that would make a marvelous trick, then you're already halfway there. You'll want to use the same hand motion every time the dog does it, and then you'll want to provide a treat. By using this method the dog will know a treat is coming and be more than happy to do the trick whenever you display the hand motion.

For most dogs there are dietary requirements that you'll need to pay mind to, and bearing that in mind you shouldn't actually give your dog an excessive amount of treats. Treats are a great way to get started, but later on the hand signals and some praise will suffice. When you get everything down pat, you can decrease the amount of treats or stop giving them period.

Many dogs get the knack readily after a few repetitions and a verbal praise or snack reward. This usually makes teaching the "down", "come", "sit" and other elementary commands quite straightforward. When you want to train for something a little more elaborate it can be as simple as amplifying these rudimentary commands and behaviors. As an example, the "down" command can be the start for training "play dead".

Another way to get your dog to pay close attention while you are trying to perfect tricks is to use their favorite toy. You can dangle this close to your dog's nose and say 'jump'. It may take a few minutes, but the dog will soon realize that the word 'jump' means...well...jump. After a while you won't even need the toy.

Your dog's ability to smell is a huge factor in the training. One thing that you can do is play a little game with your dog that involves hiding a favorite toy or treat and then having them find it. You can start out by putting the toy in a close location so that it's easy for them to find the object, and when they become more adept at that you can hide it farther away so that they have to work for it. After a while you will be able to use this as a viable trick to entertain your dog as well as any guests that you might have.

What about giving you five? That's a great trick for a dog, and it's actually pretty easy. Most dogs have a tendency to give you their paw immediately, and you can show them your hand or "paw", and then say 'high five' as they give you theirs. After a while this will become second nature to them, but at first you will need to reinforce this behavior using a treat.

Quite often the dog will present you his paw straightaway. With some dogs you will help them figure it out by lifting their paw while using the verbal command. Bear in mind the need to praise even if you have to raise his paw into position, then place the paw back down and do it again.

There are a few other things that you can expand on once you've taught the dog a few tricks. One thing that you can do is expand the high five into a way to make them sit up. You can do this by compelling them to raise both paws, at which point they'll just sit up. Once you've gotten them to do this, make sure you give them a treat.

There are many different things you can do to train a dog. Whether you do it for behavior control, house breaking, or just tricks, you'll find that this greatly strengthen the bond between you and your dog. This is a great way to become closer to your dog.

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