Dogs really are wonderful animals who are probably the best possible pet that anyone could ever wish for, smart, loyal and wonderfully loving, it is easy to see why so many of us have them. Dogs just love to be around us and they can be incredibly cute and funny, especially when you teach them a few tricks. The dog is a very intelligent animal, who will be happy to learn something new and perform for you, especially if he becomes the centre of attention and even better, gets a few treats thrown in for his performance. Aside from the bonding between you and the dog teaching a few tricks will generate, keeping him intellectually stimulated is great for his overall wellbeing and health.
Before you can get your dog to start doing really clever things, it is essential to get him to master the basics, such as sitting down on command, staying where he is and lying down, which are essentially basic obedience commands, but all part of the learning curve. Teaching the dog to sit is very basic and shouldn’t take more than half an hour. Treats are great for getting dogs to do something, he wants it and soon works out he is expected to do something to get it. Show him the treat and then wait for him to sit on his own. He might try a few other things first but ignore them all until he sits of his own accord. Praise him, give him the treat and start again. Once he starts to get the hang of it, add the word sit each time, possible with a hand gesture too and he will get it in no time. The commands “stay” and “down” can follow likewise and now he is ready for more.
Getting the dog to shake hands with you, or offering you a paw is awfully cute and not particularly difficult to teach. Your dog naturally uses his paw to touch you when he wants something, so getting him to do so on command is only a slight alteration of behaviour. Let him see some treats in your hand and close it to a fist. He will naturally paw at your hand, as he can’t get it with his mouth. When he continues to paw, use the verbal command to shake hands or to give me a paw, and he will learn a new trick pretty quickly.
Dogs are very adventurous animals and you can get him doing some quite wild stuff once you put your mind to it. Make sure you check out your pet insurance cover options before getting him to leap through burning rings, or other dangerous stuff. Teaching your dog how to roll over, play dead, and even how to dance can be great entertainment for you, your family and the dog, who will thoroughly enjoy being the centre of attention.
Once your dog starts to learn tricks, it is important to keep reinforcing the behaviour so that he doesn’t forget, and once he is receptive to learning, it is surprising how far they can actually go, and finding out what he is capable of is half the fun.