Staying inside for days at a time can be as hard on your dog’s mind as yours, so hopefully you’re able to safely take Fido on a lot of walks away from other people during quarantine. Dogs may get restless, and you may be bored, so why not be productive by training your pup while also giving him or her a little mental stimulation?
The first step to training your dog to do tricks is that they respond much more effectively to positive reinforcement, NOT punishment. This means that you reward behaviors you like, and ignore behaviors you don’t like. Begin by rewarding your pup with small treats paired with a positive “good boy/girl” tone. Then, you can reward a little more with just “good boy/girl” by itself, and you can use the treats intermittently.
Here are a few simple tricks you can teach your dog besides sit and stay!
Training a dog to speak is fun and it helps to solve a common behavior problem. Many dog trainers recommend using the 'speak' and 'quiet' commands to put an end to excessive barking. Putting these on command allows your dog to bark in certain situations, and also allows you to have control over when the barking should start and stop. It's also a lot of fun to show off your dog's conversational skills at family gatherings!
2. Back Up
Back up is a fun dog trick that can come in handy in a variety of situations. Once your dog knows how to back up on command, you can use it to keep it from rushing out the door, crowding you at the refrigerator, or just to entertain your friends.
Back up is fairly simple to teach a dog. All you need is some patience and a handful of treats. You can quickly train a dog to back up a few steps when you give the command.
Have your dog greet your friends by shaking hands (or paws, as the case may be). This is an easy dog trick that you can usually train a dog to do in a few short training sessions. Most dogs naturally like using their paws and will enjoy the positive attention they get when doing this trick.
Training a dog to wave hello or goodbye is a fun and fairly simple dog trick. Start by training your dog to shake paws. You will use the same action your dog uses to shake to train it to lift its paw to wave. This is a great attention-getting trick that will be very cute to watch.
By holding a treat near your dog's nose, you can easily lure it into a spin. If you want to add some difficulty to this dog trick, you can teach your dog to spin in a specific direction. You'll amaze your friends when you show them how your dog can tell the difference between left and right.
6. Roll Over
Most people train a dog to roll over in several small parts and work up to getting the dog to roll over all the way. It may take some effort to train a dog to do this dog trick, but it is well worth it. It's lots of fun, and it also serves as a building block for several other dog tricks, such as playing dead.
7. Play Dead
Your friends are sure to be blown away when you hold your finger like a gun and say bang and your dog falls to the floor to play dead. Although it looks impressive, it's not as hard as you might think to train a dog to play dead, especially if you have already trained it to roll over.
8. Take A Bow
Taking a bow is a dog trick which involves having your dog put its chest to the ground while keeping its rear end up in the air. It may sound like a difficult dog trick to train a dog to do, but the truth is that bowing is a natural behavior for dogs.
If you watch two dogs playing together, you will frequently see them bow. Trainers refer to this behavior as a play bow, and it is a dog's way of asking another dog to come and play. You can easily use your dog's natural playfulness to train it to take a bow.