Dogs love to learn new stunt tricks, and there are heaps of things you can teach them. For example, dogs enjoy the following tricks: rolling over, shaking hands, playing dead – laying on their back with their feet in the air –giving high-fives, lying down – whatever side they’re comfortable – jumping through hoops etc.
The fastest way to teach your dog these tricks is through repetition and patience.
Tips for Teaching stunts to your doggy
- Be sure your dog knows and follows the basic commands (sit, down, and stay) before attempting any other tricks.
- Come up with a command that you will use to ask your dog to do the trick. For example, if you would like them to jump through hoops, say “jump” as you hold the hoop out in front of your dog. Repeat this until they understand what you want of them and perform the trick on command without hesitation or repetition.
- Once they can do the trick on command without hesitation, place it somewhere where you know your dog will see it. For example, I’ve had my dogs sit down in front of their food bowl so they can see me when I come home.
- Give your dog opportunity to try the trick. If you’re asking them to jump through hoops, tell them to do so and give them time to start jumping, then say “go” when they are in position or ready to jump through.
- Sometimes it helps to hold the hoop up with your hand for them, or just toss it to them. You can also use this time to start praising them when they perform (either in anticipation before they jump or immediately after).
- This hack is best done in the early days of training, lasting around 3 weeks. After, your dog will remember the trick in their own way and may not be able to repeat the command perfectly every time you give it (which can be frustrating if you’re trying to get them to do something new). If you’re patient, you’ll eventually see improvement in their performance over time.
- If you have a pup that is young and inexperienced with tricks, keep the training sessions short and sweet. You can either work on a trick separately or do several at once.
- For the max number of dogs in your household, you may need to limit how many tricks they can master at a time. Once they have mastered 3-5 tricks, spread them out over the next month, so they don’t get too bored in between learning or in order to rotate in new things for variety.
- Some dogs can learn tricks more easily than others. Older dogs, especially those that are fully grown, may have trouble learning repetitive tricks on command.
- Make sure you keep track of which tricks your dog is currently capable of so they don’t have to re-learn what they have already learned! For example, I have a 3-year old puppy who knows how to roll over, shake hands, play dead (she’s not the biggest fan of this one), high five, jump through hoops, and do some simple balancing work. I started training her again at the age of 1 year old to teach her more tricks I wanted out of her.
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Mostly, it depends on the dog herself for how fast they can learn stunts. For example, I had my dog, Pippu – a 4-year old German Shorthaired Pointer – mastered 2 tricks within 1 hour of training. She mastered tricks including teaching her to use her nose to push over a glass sitting upright on the floor. It may take some dogs longer than others to learn new stunt tricks. Patience is key. The more patience you have with your dog, the better.