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Teaching some easy dog tricks to your pooch not only stimulates the dog’s brain, but also improves your communication skills with your dog. The key to teaching dog tricks is a lot of rewards and repetition. It is important to reward your dog with treats and/or praises when he is learning how to perform a new trick. In this article, I have explained six easy but important tricks (with steps) that you can teach your dog.
Trick 1- Respond to the Clicker
This trick is the foundation of any other trick on this list. In clicker training, your dog learns to associate with the sound of clicker with a tasty treat. Just click and treat a few times for the dog so as to get the gist. Steps for this training are:
Step 1- Click and give your dog a treat.
Step 2- Repeat the step 1 about 30 times, which will teach your dog to associate the click with the treat.
Step 3- You should remember that never click without treating and never treat without clicking.
Trick 2- Teach Your Dog Its Name
When your dog starts responding on clicker, you can use it to teach him many tricks and commands. If you want a well trained dog, the first thing you need to teach is the most basic of commands: his name. Follow following steps to teach your dog its name:
Step 1: Ignore your dog until he looks directly at you. Click and treat.
Step 2: Do step 1 several times, eventually adding your dog’s name right before you click and treat.
Step 3: Continue doing this until your dog will look at you when you say his name.
Trick 3- Teach Your Dog to Sit
This part of the training is fun for dogs, and it is like a game to them. While teaching your dog this training, it’s better to have short productive training sessions with lots of breaks. You should follow below mentioned steps for this training:
Step 1: Wait until your dog sits down on his own. Click and treat.
Step 2: Repeat several times.
Step 3: Say ‘Sit’ as soon as he sits. Click and treat.
Step 4: Repeat several times.
Step 5: Say ‘Sit’. If he sits, click and give him a treat. If he does not, return to Step 4.
Trick 4- Teach Your Dog Release
This command tells your dog to be released from sitting and staying. This is an essential dog-training to tell your dog that it’s okay to move around freely. Here are three steps for this training:
Step 1: Give the command to sit. After waiting six to seven seconds, go ahead and use the command with any hand motion to tell your dog to be released from his sitting position. If you act excited while doing this, your dog should naturally release. When your dog does so, click and treat him. You should repeat this step until your dog is consistently releasing.
Step 2: Again give the command to sit. After your dog holds for six-seven seconds, use just the vocal command, but still be just as energetic as before. You should tone down your enthusiasm, each time you repeat this step, and make your command more subtle.
Step 3: In subsequent sessions extend the wait time (about 4 or 5 seconds) before releasing. This will gradually build up endurance so that your dog can wait several minutes before being released.
Trick 5- Teach Your Dog to Go To A Place
This training teaches your dog to go to a previously assigned spot or mark. This trick can also be used to teach your dog to lie down on his bed or sit on a rug. To teach this trick, follow below mentioned steps:
Step 1: Have your dog touch the training stick. Click and treat.
Step 2: Then place a piece of tape or a disk on the floor. You can use training stick to point to the marker, and click/treat when he is on that spot. You should practice this step several times until your dog knows to go to the marker to get his treat.
Step 3: Call the marker by its name (like spot, mark, disk, etc.) just as he steps into it. Click and treat. Repeat this step until you can say the name of marker and he will go right to it! Now, place the marker anywhere in room where you want your dog to sit or lay down.
Trick 6- Teach Your Dog to Speak
With this trick, you can teach you dog to bark when given the command. By teaching your dog to bark on command, you may actually cure his barking problem. You can teach this trick in such a way so that your dog only barks when you give him the command. Follow these steps to teach your dog to speak:
Step 1: Get your dog to bark. For example, if you know that your dog barks when doorbell is rung, then ring the bell, and when he barks say “Speak” or any other word of your choice, and click and treat.
Step 2: After repeating step 1 several times, try giving him the command. If he obeys and barks, give him a treat.