If you’ve ever taught your dog a trick like shake or roll over, you know how much fun it can be for everyone—you, the dog, and anyone watching. There are so many great things about teaching tricks: it’s fun, it helps you practice your training skills, it teaches your dog concentration and self-control, it keeps your dog strong and limber, it gives your dog something fun to focus on in the veterinarian’s waiting room, and it’s a perfect way for kids to bond with their own dogs. In fact, watching your dog do some tricks is a great icebreaker for shy kids or anyone who isn’t comfortable around dogs.
Here is one of the masters showing how very fancy tricks are done. Some of my favorites are the really funny ones. Try to guess how he taught the tricks and you’ll realize that you could teach your dog any of these, too.
When you teach a trick, remember that half the fun is in coming up with an unusual cue. For example, the cue for my dog to lick his lips is “Want some ice cream?” When I want my tiny dog to hop into a little bowl just big enough for her feet, I say “Potluck!” I’ll have to put some of that up in a video in a future post.