Tricks are a great way to have fun with your dog and keep them entertained. They can also be a subtle way to teach obedience to your dog, and stop bad habits like jumping up. Here are a few simple ones to work on after they’ve mastered ‘sit’ and ‘stay’.
The key is to move and position a treat in a way that intuitively gets your dog to roll over. You need to keep the food very close to your dog’s body, and move it backwards over the neck and shoulders so your dog follows the movement. It’s important to repeat the command ‘roll over’ throughout, to make sure they associate the trick with the words.
A funny trick, enjoyed by adults and children alike, is getting your dog to play dead when you point your hand like a pistol and say ‘bang’. The training starts in a similar way to the roll over trick. Say ‘bang’, and then use the treat to get them to roll over, but once they get on their back, stop them by saying ‘stay’. After you do this enough times your dog will associate ‘bang’ with rolling onto their back and staying still.
Give us a hug
Every pet owner knows the heartache of a wet dog jumping up on you and ruining your outfit mere moments before you get in the car to head out. The ‘give us a hug’ command is a fun way of telling your dog when it’s ok to get its paws all over you, and when it’s not.
Start by getting your dog to sit, and then say ‘give us a hug’, whilst exciting them by showing a treat above their nose and slapping your hands on your chest. Most dogs will naturally want to show their affection by jumping up anyway, so this is the easy part. The trick is to intermittently put in a ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ command, so your dog can learn the difference between excited greetings and normal ones. This way you have time to get changed into more relaxed clothes before giving your friend a hug.