Teaching your Dog Tricks

dog-performing-amazing-handstand-trick

We’ve all seen videos of amazing dogs and their unbelievable tricks. Whether you start with a basic command like teaching your dog to fetch or move on to a complicated task like getting a beer out of the fridge, dog tricks are a fun way to interact with your pup.

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Basics first.

Take your time to build a foundation of essential obedience before you move on to more difficult and fun dog tricks. It’s important to have the fundamentals on autopilot. Master simple commands like sit, stay, come and down. When your pup is comfortable and consistent, set a goal for a higher level of training.

Reward handsomely.
Treats do wonders to initiate new behaviors. Hold a treat out in front of your dog as a motivator, give the command and then incentivize. Once your dog masters a skill, simply completing the task will be reward enough, but you’ll have to work up to that point. Eventually, treats should be replaced with praise or extra play with a dog toy.

Mental challenge.

Dog tricks are a workout for your pet’s brain. Teaching your pup new things is just as important as taking your dog for a walk. Completing tasks gives your dog an outlet to burn mental energy, which can have a positive effect on your pup’s temperament. Tricks are equivalent to crossword puzzles for humans. They keep your dog intellectually stimulated, motivated and satisfied.

Age is just a number.

Yes, old dogs can still be challenged with new tricks. Physical limitations increase with age, but there are probably many tasks your old pup would love to complete. Prevent your pup from getting complacent by instilling a lifelong regimen of training based on your dog’s abilities.

Train like a boss.

Dog tricks are actions that are perfected after lots of practice, repetition, time and patience. Set aside a few minutes a day to focus on training. Make sure you are in the right mindset to exercise calm and positive reinforcement. If you dog associates training with negativity, your pup will quickly lose interest and refuse learning.

Relationship therapy.

Humans have five love languages but dogs have just one — pleasing their owners. Your dog wants to make you happy, period. Training your dog improves your communication and helps strengthen your bond. Best friends…forever.

 

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Teaching your Dog Tricks

January 27, 2016

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