Teaching your dog some new dog tricks is not only a great way for the two of you to bond, but it also provides a great form of mental stimulation for your pooch.
If you and your dog have already got the basics covered, here are 5 fun dog tricks that you can move on to next.
GIVE ME A KISS
Is your dog particularly affectionate?
If so, this is a trick that you will both no doubt love, and it's actually quite easy to teach.
All you need to do is encourage your dog to lick your face. With each lick, immediately say the word “kiss” and shower your dog with plenty of praise. A treat at this stage may also be helpful for dogs that aren't naturally fond of licking.
Keep repeating that process, saying the word “kiss” each time your dog licks your face.
It won't be long before your pooch associates the two and gives you a kiss whenever you ask for one.
To test it out, simply say the word “kiss” and wait for your dog to come over and give you a lick. If your dog simply stares at you blankly, this means that you need to spend more time on cementing the cue word into your dog's brain.
Teaching your dog to bark on command requires a little patience on your part...
It all comes down to waiting for your dog to bark naturally on his own. Each time he does, you need to be ready with a treat. Make sure that you say your cue word, such as “speak” as soon as your dog has barked, and follow this up immediately with a treat.
Since you aren't able to trigger this behavior yourself at the start, it can take a while for a dog to associate the cue word with the barking.
However, consistency really does pay off with this trick, so be patient and allow your dog to learn this one in his own time.
BALANCING A TREAT ON THE NOSE
You have likely seen numerous photos and videos of dogs with all sorts of food items balanced on their nose.
Ever wondered how this trick is taught?
It's not actually that difficult, so long as your dog knows the “leave it” command.
Begin by asking your dog to sit in front of you, and then gently rub your hands over his nose to get him used to the sensation of an item being placed there.
Then, hold a dog treat near to your dog's nose and repeat the phrase “leave it”. Once your dog understands that he can't eat the treat right away, move your hand directly above your dog's nose and continue with the “leave it” command. Make sure that you consistently praise your dog so that he knows that he is on the right track.
The final step is to place the treat onto your dog's nose, repeating the “leave it” command. Wait a couple of seconds before giving your dog a cue to let him know that he can now eat the treat. Alternatively, remove the treat yourself before feeding it to your dog.
This trick can take some time to learn, especially if you have a food-obsessed dog. However, once your pooch masters it, this is one of those dog tricks that will really impress your friends and family.
Also often known as “beg”, this is one of the easiest dog tricks to teach your pooch.
Ask your dog to sit, and then kneel down so the two of you are at the same level. Hold a treat out for your dog to sniff, and then slowly lift this above your dog's head.
Your dog should naturally lift their front paws off the ground in order to reach the treat. As soon as those paws come up, say your cue word, such as “sit pretty”, and give your dog the treat.
Repeat this process about five more times and then end the training session. It is important not to overdo this trick, as it can strain your dog's muscles. However, performing this trick in moderation is a great way to strengthen your dog's core.
Is your dog not strong enough to support his body weight when sitting pretty?
Your pooch may need a helping hand at first, at least until his muscles have strengthened. You can do this in two ways:
Stand behind your dog when practicing this trick, so that your dog can use your legs as a back support when sitting up
Use your hands to support your dog's paws once he has lifted them himself
This is one of the cutest dog tricks out there. After all, who wouldn't want their beloved pooch to give them a hug?
If your dog naturally loves to wrap his paws around your neck, then teaching this trick is extremely easy. All you will need to do is repeat the word “hug” and follow this up with a treat each time your pup naturally performs this behavior.
For everyone else...
Ask your dog to sit on the floor in front of you. You can then either use the “sit pretty” command mentioned above to encourage your dog to lift his paws himself, or you can lift them for him, placing your dog's front paws onto your shoulders once they are in the air.
Once your dog is in this hugging position, say your cue word before giving your dog a treat. Then, say “okay”, or any other release word that you use, before removing your dog's paws from your shoulders.
Repeat the process a couple more times before ending the training session.
Does your dog get too excited when you try to teach this trick?
It may help to keep your pooch on a lead while practicing. This will enable you to prevent your dog from jumping all over you.
When it comes to teaching your dog a new trick, consistency and patience are key. Make sure that you always say your cue word at the right time, as soon as your dog has performed the desired action, as this will help to speed up the rate at which your dog learns the trick.
What are some of you and your pup's favorite dog tricks? Let us know in the comments section below!