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5 Easy and Fun Tricks to Teach Your Dog

Dogs love to learn and tricks keep your dog mentally alert and energetic. If your dog can learn tricks, it will be much easier to teach him obedience and good manners.

The best way is to make it fun! Use praise and small healthy treats to reward your dog.

#1. Kiss

Here's an easy one: Every time your dog licks your face, say, "Give me a kiss. Good boy/girl! Give me a kiss." If he isn't a licker, put a little peanut butter on your cheek and say, "Give me a kiss." When he licks it off say, "Give me a kiss," again.

Tricks like this work because you put a word to something your dog does naturally anyway. Pretty soon your dog hears "Give me a kiss," and thinks about licking your face. Then you give him a hug, rub his ears and say, "Good boy!" Dogs love that.

#2. Shake Hands

Start by having your dog sit. Say “Shake Hands” and take his paw with your hand.
Hold his paw and say “Good boy/girl!” and reward with a treat.
Let go of his paw. Repeat every day (a few short sessions each day work best).

After a while, say, "Shake hands," but don't take his paw. See if he raises his paw by himself. If not, keep showing him what to do by saying, "Shake hands," and taking his paw with your hand. Your dog is not slow; he is just learning!

#3. Fetch

If your dog doesn't fetch naturally, cut a slit in a tennis ball (a smaller, rubber ball if that is too big). Put some treats inside the tennis ball. Show your dog that there are treats in there, and give him one. Then, throw the ball. In the beginning, run with him and get the ball; then give her the treat. Soon you will be able to throw the ball and he will go get it (because he wants the treat!).

After your dog has figured out what he has to do to get a treat, start throwing the ball two times in a row without giving him the treat. What you are trying to do is give him the treats less and less often so someday he won't need the treats in the ball to fetch it.

#4. Come to a whistle

Have your dog sit in front of you. Using a dog whistle from your local pet store, blow it once and give your dog a treat. Do this several times and repeat several times during the day. Repeat this over several days, trying it a increased distances. Your dog should soon be running to you every time he hears the whistle.

Use a small, but tasty treat, one that your dog really loves. After your dog will come to you from different areas in the house, move outside, to fenced areas only. When you notice your dog is a little distracted, give the whistle a blow and see if he comes. By now, he should be coming. If not, go back to shorter distances without distractions and take the steps a bit slower.

#5. Go back

Stand facing your dog and as you walk toward him, say "Go Back". He will want to get out of the way and will automatically walk backwards!


If your dog doesn't walk back in a straight line, practice up against a wall or in a narrow hallway. After your dog is walking backward with you, try walking toward him only a step or two. Eventually, you will be able to stand still and say "Go Back”.

Happy training and stay tuned for more advanced tricks in an upcoming post!


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