You can teach an old dog new tricks! Obvious pun but it’s true… All you need is some patience, a little luck, a clicker and bag of pup’s favourite treats. And this simple 5 Easy Dog Training Tricks article in the back of your mind.
If you get the basics right, anything is ‘pawsible’. Your fur baby might even surprise you by fetching a drink from the fridge to thank you for teaching him some human skills. Ha.
Trick #1- Unleash the clicker
This one’s not very exciting, but you should build a strong foundation before attempting the other awesome easy dog training tricks on this list. You need to introduce your dog to his training ‘pawtner’, the clicker.
A clicker is a small, handheld device that uses a unique sound, a click, in the place of words for positive-reinforcement training.
Step 1: Buy a dog clicker from a store like Pet Barn.
Step 2: Introduce pup to it by clicking then feeding your barking buddy a healthy treat.
Step 3: Repeat about 30 times (click-treat-repeat). This teaches your dog to associate the click with a treat. Just remember not to spoil his healthy diet. He needs to stay in shape for the ladies. That’s why you need to feed him small bites of healthy treats like our Dognut. Yum!
Step 4: To maintain this click-treat connection it is important to follow the rule: When doggo is learning, never click without giving a treat and never treat without clicking.
Trick #2- Sit on command
You can teach your dog to sit by saying his name followed by the word “sit”. It sounds like a boring trick, but it will be super useful.
Step 1: When your pooch takes a break from running amok and puts his butt on the floor, you can begin training. Click and feed him a tasty munchie while sitting.
Step 2: Repeat the click and treat routine five times.
Step 3: Make your dog stand up (try throwing a frisbee or stick) and then say “sit” followed by a click and a treat.
Step 4: Repeat the get-up, sit, click and treat routine until he sits on your command.
Step 5: Say “sit”. If he sits, click and give him a tasty treat. If he does not, return to step 4.
Trick #3- Gimme five
Nothing’s cooler than saying “gimme five” and catching a palm full of paw! This move is also useful if you have a dog that tends to paw at you – redirect those bad manners into something you can be proud of.
Step 1: Have your dog sit in front of you or stand in front of him while he takes a seat.
Step 2: Wait and test your patience. When he lifts his paw say “paw”, click, treat and repeat five times.
Step 3: Wait for him to offer to lift his paw (no matter how slight). Click and treat.
Step 4: Say the word “paw” each time he lifts his paw. Click and treat.
Step 5: Modify the trick by rewarding only higher lifts. You can encourage him to lift his paw by tickling the hollow behind his paw.
Trick #4- Take it
Okay, so now that your dog knows some easy dog training basics, let’s teach him something impressive and super handy. This will bring your pooch one step closer to serving you a delicious beverage or snack. AKA one small step for a dog, one giant leap for mankind.
Here’s how you can train your dog to pick up objects:
Step 1: Get one of his favourite chew toys. Throw it somewhere or let it make a squeaky sound to grab his attention. Once your dog grabs it with his mouth, click and offer a treat.
Step 2: Repeat this several times. When he starts picking up the toy without hesitation, start using the command “take it” when you click and treat.
Step 3: After a few times, see if doggo picks things up on your command. “[Name], take it!”
Step 4: See how many objects he’ll pick up. Point to anything lying around, though save him your gym socks. Click and treat.
Trick #5- Jump for joy
This dog training trick will make your furry friend jump for joy. They will learn how to jump straight up in the air to grab something tasty or a chew toy to play with. Just make sure your dog doesn’t get hurt during this stunt. Puppies shouldn’t jump or train too hard.
Step 1: Hold a touch/target stick high in the air so he must jump up to touch it. Click and treat as soon as his legs come off the ground.
Step 2: Keep doing this until he jumps at your command.
Step 3: Gradually stop using the touch stick and use your command instead. Click and treat whenever he does this. Praise for a trick well done. “Aw…who’s a good boy? [Name’s] a good boy!”
If the above dog tricks take more than a week, don’t fret. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Keep at it (and when you’re taking a break, take a couple of minutes to check out our dog insurance).