If you own a dog, there is a pretty good chance that you have thought about teaching them to do tricks. Training your dog to do tricks is not nearly as tough as it might seem. The key is patience and the persistence to push through when things are moving slower than you would like. Many people dive in and try to teach their dog a trick all in one sitting. This is not effective. You should spend no more than five or ten minutes a day on each trick so as to not bore the dog. Here are some quick and easy steps to train your dog to do tricks of all kinds.
Keys to training your dog to do tricks
Build a good relationship and communication understanding
Dogs need to be able to trust their owners and the communication process has to be a good one for tricks to truly take hold. A dog learns from his leader (you) and you have to be able to read their language as well. This is built through time spent together, paying attention and dedicating yourself to learning. Commit to getting to know your puppy and learning their wants and needs and that bond will easily get you in a good position to learn dog tricks.
Find treats they love and break them into tiny pieces
Without a treat to motivate them initially, you will have a very hard time training your dog to do tricks. You need to find a low fat treat that you can break into very small pieces so that the dog will not become heavy from so many treats. A taste is all they need for motivation and they will try to do what you ask. Keep them available and ready for practice at all times by putting them in a baggie in your pocket.
Show the dog what to do along with the command in a clear voice
The first few times you do the trick, you should show them the trick by manipulating them to doing it while simultaneously giving the command. This will eventually lead to the dog knowing what is expected when they hear the command.
Praise and reward upon completion
The moment they perform the trick, you need to praise them and reward them with great excitement. This will make the dog realize that doing what you ask brings pleasurable results. Don’t only give them the treat….also give them the praise and adoration. Later that might be all you have in your pocket.
Repeat this daily until the dog does it on command
Eventually the dog will do these things on command and be quick about it. They love getting those treats and praise and they will want to play and get attention from you. Practice regularly on each the trick and master one before moving on to anything else.
Intermittently fade out the treats with praise
Once your dog clearly knows that the action goes with the command, you can occasionally only give them praise and no actual treat. This will not be every single time…only every once in a while. Keep doing this until you are only having to give praise. At that point, an occasional dog treat is plenty and they will still do the trick because they love the praise and know there is a chance for dog treats.
Do you have any great tips for training your dog to do tricks?