Nothing brings people together better than laughing over a goofy dog’s antics. And, your pooch who has been trained to perform awe-inspiring tricks on command is sure to be the star of the show if you learn these easy dog tricks for beginners. Whether you want to teach your dog show-off tricks as a conversation starter, or simply strengthen your bond with your furry pal, there are plenty of impressive tricks to teach your pet. Raise the level of your pup’s performance above the basics.
10 Easy Dog Tricks for Beginners
Stock up on tasty training treats for your pooch—or make your own—grab your clicker and target stick, and start teaching these easy, but impressive, tricks to your four-legged friend.
Of all the easy dog tricks for beginners, this one isn’t difficult to teach. Leaving your dog behind when you head to work is incredibly difficult, but returning home to a waving pup is so rewarding. You can also train your furry greeter to wave hello or goodbye to guests. Keep in mind that this trick works best if your dog is sitting.
- Have your dog sit a few feet in front of you and ask them to shake a paw.
- Since you’re a distance from your dog, they’ll lift their paw, but will be unable to touch you. As they swipe at the air, reinforce this behavior with a reward.
- Once your dog understands the swiping behavior, withhold the reward until they try harder and lift their paw higher.
- When your dog has produced the perfect wave, introduce your cue word to teach them to wave on command.
#2: Touch Your Nose
This trick is super easy to teach, but still looks impressive.
- Stick a Post-it note or other small sticker on your dog’s muzzle.
- When your dog lifts their paw to try to remove the sticker, reward the action.
- Add your cue word and repeat until your dog touches their nose on command, without using a sticker.
The easiest way to teach this cool trick is to lure your dog with a treat to guide their body.
- Hold a treat in front of your dog’s nose, and then wind it around their body, encouraging them to follow.
- When your dog is halfway through their spin, treat them, to reinforce this initial behavior.
- Next, reward your dog only when they have spun completely around and are again facing you.
- Add the cue word and raise the treat higher above your dog while still making a circle. Soon, you can ask them to spin with simply a flick of your wrist.
#4: Play Dead
Make this trick extra cute by using “Bang!” as your cue word. When your pup is “shot,” they’ll fall onto their side and play dead.
- When your dog is lying on their side, reinforce the behavior with a treat.
- Continue reinforcing that particular action, and add your cue word.
- Pretend to shoot your dog, give the command, and your pooch should immediately fall onto their side, giving the impression they were shot.
#5: Take a Bow
After your dog has showed off their trick repertoire, have them take a bow.
- Stand in front of your dog, and have them stay in a standing position.
- While your dog is looking at you, place a treat under your foot. If your dog sits down, pick the treat back up, and encourage them to stand.
- Place the treat under your foot again, and wait for your dog to attempt to reach the treat. As they paw or sniff at your foot, their hind end will likely go into the air. Move your foot and release the treat immediately when you see this behavior.
- Once your dog catches onto the fact that their hind end needs to remain up, wait to reward them until they are in the bowing position you want. This will require patience on both ends.
- When your dog is bowing correctly, introduce your cue word.
- After your dog performs this trick on command, stop placing the treat under your foot, rewarding them from your hand instead.
Dancing goes to the dogs when you teach your pooch how to weave between your legs.
- Start by standing with your dog on your left side, and a treat in your right hand.
- Move your right leg forward so your dog has enough room to pass underneath. Use a treat to lure your dog through.
- Take a step forward with your left leg, hold a treat in your left hand, and lure your dog back through your legs.
- Each time your pet passes through your legs, use your cue word. As your dog learns the command, you can reduce the number of treats, and reward your pet only when they’ve completed several weaves.
Your canine friend will be ready for life as a spy once they’ve mastered the crawl.
- Have your dog lie down, and place a treat near the end of their nose.
- Slowly move the treat further away so they try to follow it.
- If your dog stands to reach the treat, start over, and move more slowly. Reward your dog as soon as they make any forward motion with their belly on the ground.
- Gradually increase the speed and distance, and add your cue word as your pup picks up on this skill.
- Once your dog has mastered this trick with the treat in front of their nose, have them lie down several steps in front of you, and then command them to crawl.
#8: Pass A Note
You may not have your phone handy, but your dog, a piece of paper, and a pen right next to you create the perfect message-sending method inside your home.
- Fold a piece of paper and teach your dog to hold it in their mouth by rapidly swapping out the note for a treat several times in a row.
- Slowly build up to your dog holding the note for longer periods before they’re rewarded.
- Have a helper stand a few steps away and call your dog when the note is in their mouth. If your dog reaches your helper without dropping the note, the helper should swap out the note for a treat. If your dog drops the note, have your helper stand closer so your dog doesn’t have to walk so far.
- Gradually extend the distance until your dog can comfortably carry a note through your entire house.
#9: Fetch a Drink
Ah, wouldn’t you love to quench your thirst without having to go to your fridge? Once your dog learns how to bring you a drink, you won’t need to pause Netflix again.
- First, teach your dog to open a door by tying a hand towel to your cabinet or refrigerator door. Once your pup sniffs the towel, reward them. If necessary, shake the towel to encourage them to grab it. As soon as the door opens, reward your dog with extra treats, and put a cue word to this behavior.
- After your dog has learned how to open a door, put a toy in an empty cupboard for your pet to find. Ask them to open the door, and reward them for sniffing the toy. As they show more interest in the toy, repeat the behavior until they grab the toy and bring it to you.
- Once your dog is reliably opening the cupboard and bringing you a toy, add a cue word.
- Swap out the toy for a drink that’s easy to grab, like a juice box or plastic bottle. Give the command, and reward your dog for picking up the drink and bringing it to you. With time, you can teach your dog to identify drinks in your fridge, and to bring you a cold beverage.
#10: Put Your Toys Away
Your pup will be the neatest kid on the block once you teach them to put their toys away. Amongst the easy dog tricks for beginners, this is verging on the harder side, but your pup can do it! Just master the basics first.
- Sit with your dog and a toy next to their toy box.
- Pass the toy to your dog over the box, so that if your pet lets go, the toy will land in the box.
- When your dog lets the toy fall in the box, reward them.
- Repeat this until your dog lets go of the toy more quickly, and then add your cue word.
- Once your dog is dropping the toy in the box on command, move the box away. Gradually increase the distance until your dog puts their toys in the box from across the room.
Now You Know All These Easy Dog Tricks for Beginners!
After learning these easy dog tricks for beginners, your dog will be the most popular pooch in the neighborhood! Regular training sessions will also help create a stronger, tighter bond with your dog, especially when using positive reinforcement paired with tasty treats. For more “pawzitive” training methods, check out the rest of the Dogvills site!