5 tricks that every dog can learn
By the Get Leashed Health Team
Teaching your dog new tricks is a fun way to spend time together. It also ups your doggy parent cred (and your dog’s coolness factor) when you can show off their polished skills to friends. But before you go teaching Bentley to play dead, you might want to consider what kinds of tricks your dog is even able (or willing) to do. Dominant breeds do not like exposing their belly and therefore might not be keen on rolling over. Similarly, fetch might be not the best game for a pooch with teeny-tiny legs and a teeny-tiny mouth. With that in mind, we’ve got 5 tricks that don’t discriminate. Your friends will love them, you’ll love them and Bentley will love them too.
Allow your dog to smell the treat in your hand and then slowly raise it above his head. His head will tilt up and the rest of his body will naturally end up sitting on the floor. When this happens, reward with a treat.
Hold the treat with your thumb and second finger, leading with your index finger. Start with half circles and once they’ve managed that, move on to the full 360º and then on to the opposite direction.
There are two ways to go about this: Either reward your dog when the behavior naturally occurs or prompt him to cover his eyes by sticking a piece of masking tape high on his snout. As he tries to remove it, reward him when he covers his eyes.
Balance the treat
Get your pooch to sit and gently hold up their chin so their head is level enough to balance the treat. Hold a treat on their snout for gradually longer periods of time until you can remove your hands and have them hold it on their own.
Easy as pie! Or peanut butter actually. Dab a little PB (or whatever tasty goodness your pooch prefers) on your cheek and when she licks it off, thank her for the kiss and reward her for her very conditional love. Slowly wean her off the PB until she can do it without the initial treat.
Karen Pryor, i-Click Dog Training Clicker, $7.48