This is a guest post after my own heart. You all know just how besotted me and Jon are with our little boy Opie, if you follow our instagram you will no doubt have seen lots of him on there. Although he has learnt a few tricks (sit, paw (both paws!), lie and stay being about it) and he will come when he is called he hasn’t been trained with any proper agility tricks. But today I am handing the blog over to Ruth from Dog Oddity to talk all about her Top 5 Dog Tricks.
Over to Ruth…
You can have so much fun teaching your dog cool tricks and often don’t realise that you are improving your relationship and your dog’s overall obedience at the same time!
1. Leg Weaves – Stand with your legs at least shoulder width apart and guide your dog to walk through your legs, from in front of you to behind you, following a piece of food. Now lead the dog around one leg so they circle around your leg and back in front of you. Next have a piece of food in each hand and swop over half way, so the dog goes through your legs, around and back in front of you then through your legs and around the other leg and back in front of you. As your dog gets faster and faster they will be doing a figure of 8 weaving in and out of your legs! For walking leg weaves try walking slowly forward and asking your dog to pass through your legs after you take a step forward.
2. Spins & Twists – Teach your dog to spin around in a 360 on the spot. Take a piece of food to their nose and encourage them to slowly follow it toward their own bottom and around in a circle and reward! Be careful, big dogs will need a much bigger turning circle than little ones. Use a different command for left and right spins, such as spin & twist! Slowly remove the treat and stop guiding your dog with your hand as much, so they start to do it on the command only.
3. High Five – First teach your dog to give paw by holding a piece of food in a closed fist and reward when they pat their paw on your fist to try and get the treat. Alternatively you can gently pick up their front foot and reward. With time you should be able to hold your hand near to their foot and they will give you their paw on their own. Once your dog is giving paw, hold your hand a little higher and ask for paw and reward. Progress slowly to holding your hand even higher so your dog is giving you a high five!
4. Hand Touch – Once your dog has learn how to touch something with their paw and nose you can get them to do all sorts of tricks such as closing the door behind them, pressing the button on the pedestrian crossing or wiping their own paws! Teach your dog to touch their nose to the palm of your hand by holding your hand open in front of their nose. When your dog moves towards your hand to sniff it reward them. Repeat this a few times before waiting to see if your dog will nose touch your hand, rather than just moving towards it, then big reward! Once your dog is confident at the hand touch then add a command such as “touch” and put your hand in a difference place each time, such as up high or flat on the floor.
5. Stand Tall – Teach your dog to walk on his back legs like a human! This should only be done once your dog’s joint and bones have finished developing. Use a piece of food in your hand, take it towards your dogs nose and then up above their head. Encourage your dog to stand up to get it and reward when they lift their front feet up. Have your arm far out so the dog doesn’t put its paws up on you to try to reach it. You can help your dog by letting them put a paw on your arm at first or teach them to lean back onto you. This will be really hard for your dog as it uses their core muscles so only do a little at a time and build up very slowly.
Training sessions should be done in short bursts and progressed gradually during each session, getting better and better every time! Use little bits of tasty treats and a clicker used correctly often helps dogs to learn even faster. The best time to trick train is while you are boiling the kettle for a brew or when the TV adverts are on, you’ll be amazed at how much you can fit into that short bit of time and your dog will love learning with you.
Thank you so much Ruth! If anyone is looking for a great blog to read for all your doggy needs please do check out DogOddity and check out what Ruth and boarder collie Guinness have benn up to