Teaching 3 Easy Tricks To Your Dog

Dog Tricks

Just about everyone is proud of their dog. After all, your dog loves you, so your dog must be brilliant and wonderful, right? You may want to show the world how smart your dog is by teaching him some tricks. There are lots of great tricks you can teach your dog. It’s usually best to start with some basics.

1. Shaking Hands

Shaking hands, or shaking paws, is a popular trick that is fun and easy to teach. Most dogs can learn to shake hands very quickly. All you need for training are some treats.

Your dog should be sitting for this trick. If your dog doesn’t know how to sit, this is an easy command to teach and one that your dog should know. With your dog sitting in front of you, you should put a treat in your hand and show it to your dog. Then close your hand over the treat and hold your hand out to your dog. Most dogs will sniff at your hand and then they will paw at your hand to get the treat. Don’t do anything until your dog touches your hand with his paw. Once your dog touches your hand with his paw you can tell him “Good!” and give him the treat.

Keep practicing for a few minutes several times per day. You can start adding the “Shake” command as you go along. Your dog will start offering you his paw very quickly.

You can gradually start phasing out using the treats once your dog has learned the trick, but do give your dog a treat for this trick often enough to still make it fun for him. Remember to keep giving your dog praise for doing his tricks. He likes to please you.

2. Teaching Your Dog To Bow

Dog Bow TrickDogs bow all the time. They bow (stretch) when they wake up from a nap. They bow, or make a “play bow” when they are trying to get another dog to play with them. It’s a natural behavior for dogs so it is not hard to teach your dog to do it. When your dog bows, he puts his front legs down on the ground and raises his back end in the air. All you need to teach your dog to bow are some treats.

There are really two ways you can teach your dog to bow. One way is to catch your dog when he is waking up from naps and bowing naturally (or any time you see him bowing, as in a play bow). When you see him bowing, you can give him a treat and praise him for bowing. Some dogs will catch on to this method quickly and start bowing on command, but this is a little “iffy” since you may not catch your dog bowing that often.

The other way is to have your dog stand in front of you. It is good if your dog knows the Stand command. This command is easy to teach if your dog doesn’t already know it. Once your dog is standing in front of you, you should hold a treat next to his nose. Then slowly lower the treat toward the floor. Your dog should follow the treat down with his nose, and then with the front part of his body. If he partly reaches the floor, sort of in a bow, you should praise him and reward him. You can make the behavior more perfect as you go along. This lesson will be easier for some dogs to do than others, just because of the shape of their bodies and the length of their legs. Keep working at it for a few minutes several times per day and your dog will soon be bowing on command. Remember once your dog bows, you should also bring him back up to a standing position and reward him. Don’t forget the praise!

3. Kisses

Not everyone likes dog kisses, but if you would like to teach your dog to give doggy kisses, on the cheek or on the hand, it’s very easy to teach your dog to give kisses on command.

All you need to teach your dog to give kisses is a little peanut butter or cream cheese. Plus a towel. You will want to wipe off any doggy drool.

You should be sitting some place where your dog can approach you, calmly and quietly. Place a little dab of cream cheese or peanut butter on your hand or on your cheek. Choose where you would like your dog to give you a kiss.

Give your dog the command “Kisses,” or whatever word you would like to use.

You should get closer to your dog so he can lick off the peanut butter or cream cheese. Most dogs don’t have any problem with this part. You can practice letting your dog give you a kiss several times per day. Your dog should learn this trick very quickly.

It’s usually a good idea to have a way to stop the kisses, too, so you can teach your dog to stop giving kisses when you say, “enough.” When your dog stops giving you kisses you should say, “Enough,” then praise him and give him a treat. Your dog will learn to make the connection. You will want to be able to control your dog’s kissing enthusiasm when he is around children and people who don’t want dog kisses.

Westside Los Angeles/ Beverly Hills dog trainer and dog behavior expert with 30 years of experience.

Posted in Dog Training Tips