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Dog training: 6 dog tricks to impress your friends

In addition to all the commands your dog has already mastered, you may want to teach him a few that will make him the talk of the neighborhood. It will be much easier to train him for these commands now that he has mastered so many tricks.

1. Dance. This trick can actually come in handy when your dog has difficulty with the “Off” command when jumping on people. Dogs sometimes respond well to replacement behavior, and teaching him to dance is a great way to put all that energy to work.

Every time your pet gets excited and jumps around you, command “Dance” as you gently grab and hold his front legs, forcing him to stand on his hind legs. Move it a bit from right to left. Praise him, give him a treat, and gently put him back on the ground.

2. Pray. The goal is to get your dog to drop his head between his paws when you command him to “Pray” or “Say your prayers,” and for all your friends and family to say “Awww! That’s cute!”

Begin by sitting in a chair with your dog in the “Sit/Stay” position facing you. Put a treat on the chair between your legs. Command your dog to “Pray,” then encourage him or place both paws on the chair while he remains in the “Sit” position.

Use the “Leave” or “Don’t Touch” command to keep him from eating the treat, then give him the “Pray” command. Your dog should stick his nose down to treat between his paws. Command the release, “Amen,” then give your dog the treat and praise it. For smaller dogs, or if your larger dog doesn’t get the chair route, you can use a low table. You can stand behind him to guide his paws onto the table.

3. Sneeze. You can train your dog to sneeze on command. You will do it with a hand signal, which consists of covering your nose and mouth with your hands and commanding “Sneeze!”.

Sit in a chair and place your dog in the “Sit/Stay” position. Place your hands around his snout, say a sneeze and blow gently into his nostrils. Keep blowing until he sniffles or sneezes, then praise him and give him a treat. Some dogs pick up on this trick quickly, while others may take some time.

4. Turn off the light. Amaze your family and friends with your energy conscious dog! To prepare for the trick, make sure your dog can reach the light switch on his hind legs. If not, you can train your dog to jump on a table under the light switch to perform this feat.

Hold a treat to the light switch and command “Turn off the light!” When your dog jumps up for the treat, make sure his paws touch the top of the switch so when he goes down he turns off the light. Reward with the treat and verbal praise.

Once he’s got it down, move away from the light switch and give the command. Throw the treat nearby when he jumps and kicks the switch. Be sure to give him lots of verbal praise. Eventually, you won’t need to give him a treat to perform the trick.

5. Arch. This is a good trick to teach your dog when you are working on the “Down” command. Put your dog in the “Stay” position and place a treat in his hand. Kneeling in front of his dog, move both hands to his front paws as you give the “bow” command. Your dog will extend his head down to receive the treat, placing him in the “bowing” position. Work on his bow until you can command him to bow from across the room.

6. Counting: Your dog, with time and patience, can learn to count. Because this is a tricky maneuver, there is a prerequisite: Your dog must know the “Talk” trick and be commanded to stop with the release word, “OK.” All you do at that point is plug a number into the command “How much is six, Laska?” When your dog counts to six, you command him to stop with “OK.”

However, there is a catch: time is involved. If you do not combine the command “What is?” with a subtle cue, your dog will start barking before you say the number. As you begin to train him, make a perceptible signal, such as a deep nod, when you give him the “Speak” command. Nod deeply when you give the “OK” command and let go as well.

You will have to practice the trick for some time until your dog is trained to respond only to head movements. Once you’ve got the hang of it, gradually make his nod more subtle. Once your dog pulls off the trick with the finer nodes, he’s ready for Broadway.

marilyn burnham

Author: ‘Dog Owners Boot Camp’

The practical guide, dog training secrets Professional dog trainers don’t want you to know!

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