Sit pretty! Roll over! Jump! Teaching your dog tricks might not seem like the easiest thing in the world, but it’s highly beneficial to you and your dog. Teaching your dog tricks can help strengthen your relationship with your beloved pet in many ways. Below are some great reasons why you should start teaching your dog tricks.
1. Make everyone safe- While learning to teach your dog tricks, you learn many training techniques which can also be used to help manage your dog. Tricks can allow your fearful dog to be around people and other dogs at a safe distance. Also, people who are afraid of dogs can still enjoy dogs without having to get too close to them.
2. Give your dog something to do- It doesn’t take long before your dog gets bored and decides to take on a new hobby like chewing anything in sight, including your brand new sofa. Teaching your dog tricks will keep him focused on the task at hand, and will entertain him and you!
3. Help keep your dog’s mind sharp- Teaching your dog tricks will keep his mind active, responsive and alert. Teaching your new and challenging tricks gives your dog the mental stimulation it needs to avoid boredom.
4. Help create a better bond between you and your dog- Tricks are fun to train and learn, so the tricks you teach become their own reward. Best of all, once your dog learns tricks you two become a team when training or performing.
5. Show off- You can show off your dog if you teach it some cool tricks, and your dog will get people’s attention. Dogs love attention and they love being in the spotlight so they will enjoy performing in front of your friends and family. Of course, you will also get the recognition of being a star trainer.
6. Make Vet check ups easier- Both the veterinarian and you hate it when your dog can’t control itself during a check up. If you teach your dog to be calm during the check up, it will make both of your lives easier, and you won’t be embarrassed that your dog is acting up. Wouldn’t be nice if your dog could lie on its side on cue to be examined (“play dead”) or offer its paw for nail trims (“high-five”)?
7. Give your dog a hobby- We all have hobbies we enjoy like watching TV, gardening or playing games, but dogs also need things to do. Teaching your dog tricks is a great thing to do on rainy days when you can’t take him for a walk.
If these reasons have inspired you to teach your dog tricks, then you’ve come to the right place. I am a Certified Trick Dog Instructor available for private and group lessons. I offer a Tricks for Fun and Fitness class in Ft Lauderdale at Auggie’s Doggies Learn more about trick training at www.Domorewithyourdog.com or call me at 954.507.7524 for help training more fun and creative behaviors.
Do more with your dog!
Dogs get themselves into all kinds of trouble. Some of these troubles can send you speeding to the nearest veterinary hospital – resulting in lots of stress and sky-high veterinary bills. Accidents can happen to any dog, but you can help protect your pet and reduce his risks of injury or worse with effective training.
Basic training is a very important foundation for every dog. Whether a puppy or an adult, each new pet you acquire should be instructed in basic manners. Basic tricks for a dog include “sit,” “stay,” “lie down.” Once your pet can perform these tasks reliably, they serve as the groundwork for more advanced concepts.
“Sit”, “lie down” and “stay”
“Sit” and “lie down” are very basic but very important. While your dog is sitting or lying down they should still be focused on you – waiting for your next command. You can reinforce these basics with “stay,” which lets your dog know that they should maintain their position until you release it. This will ensure that your pet will listen to you and do as you ask during any sticky situation.
Sit in a doorway
Every dog should be taught to sit before entering or exiting an outside door. He needs to learn that you always go through the door before he does. Not only will this make it easier to put on his collar and leash, this can help prevent your pet from darting through an open door and out in to the path of an oncoming car.
Sit at a curb
If your pet knows to sit at a curb, he will be less likely to dart out into the street without you leading him. If he did, it could be catastrophic.
Teach your pet how to “wait” on the side of the road so cars, animals or people can pass by without interaction. There are many potential situations where this could be helpful. It also lets distractions move along so you and your dog can focus on enjoying your walk.
Don’t jump up
Another important concept to teach your dog is that he is not allowed to jump up on people. Jumping up on someone is a bit rude and can cause scratches, bruises, or even knock the person down. Certain breeds – those with elongated spines – should never be allowed to jump up on people or furniture. These dogs – dachshunds, corgis, bulldogs and similar breeds – are more prone to back injuries and must be protected.
Come when called
Your dog should learn to come when you call his name. This way, if he does happen to scoot out of your front door or dig a hole under your fence, you can simply call his name and wait for him to come running. Save yourself the hours you might spend searching and spare yourself from the sadness of losing a pet.
“Leave it” and “drop it”
“Leave it” will save the day when your dog decides he wants to scoop up that tasty dead thing off the side of the road. When your dog picks up and eats things outside, there are many potential risks: intestinal blockage, poison, even parasites. This essential command will probably come in handy someday. “Drop it” will allow you to remove whatever nasty thing is in your dog’s mouth without having to grab it and pull it out yourself – Yuck!
A dog that has been schooled in proper leash behavior is essential to a safe and enjoyable stroll around the neighborhood. This is especially true of large, strong breeds. If your dog drags you down the street it opens up a lot of potential for injury – for both you and your pet. Suffering a slip and fall injury when your dog suddenly darts after something could really ruin your day, and if Fido gets away from you, there’s no telling what he could get into. He could be hit by a car, get into a scuffle with another animal, or he could be lost for days.
Many dogs can be “reactive” to interesting things while walking on a leash. Some will lunge and bark at other dogs passing by. Others can have issues with moving objects like runners, bicycles, skateboards or cars. And still others will intently try to kill any vermin that happen to cross your path.
All dogs should be trained in loose-leash walking techniques. They should walk nicely at your side on straightaways and should follow smoothly along around turns. Your dog should resist lunging or chasing after other objects or animals. It is very important to start leash training while your pet is young, but even older dogs can learn to behave on walks. Reactivity can be prevented with proper socialization, but dogs that are already reactive can also be rehabilitated.
Prevent or treat separation anxiety
Dogs with separation anxiety express their emotions in a variety of ways. Sometimes they experience so much stress than can cause damage to your house or furniture. These dogs can shred couches, try to chew their way out of their crates, and have even smashed through windows out of fear and anxiety. Not only could this cost you thousands of dollars in repair bills, it could result in astronomical vet bills as well. Dogs can fracture their teeth, give themselves lacerations, swallow inedible objects or even get into poisons this way.
Preventing separation anxiety needs to start at a young age. Your pet should be taught that good things happen when you leave. Making a fuss right before you go out the door can cause your pet to feel more stress. Provide a safe haven like a crate and teach your pet to love it. This will help him feel secure while you are away.
Training saves dogs lives
Many healthy pets are put to sleep because of behavior problems that could have been solved with training. Dogs have been euthanized because they can’t be house-trained, they bark excessively or because they’ve hurt someone with their jumping or nipping. Training can help prevent the euthanization of a healthy animal for what really amounts to bad dog manners.
Proper training is vital to developing a strong, healthy relationship between you and your dog. Not only will proper training keep him safe, it will make your pet-owning experience the best it can be!
Vida loves to train
There is no such thing as no time to train. Actually, you’re already training your dog all this time. Because whether you know it or not, your dog is learning from every interaction with you. You just have to make sure your dog is learning what you want it to learn not just the bad behaviors it learns because you’re nor paying attention. Good thing you have a very powerful training tool at your disposal that you should be using every day: food. All dogs will work for food. It’s a survival instinct. Your dog is always thinking, “What do I need to do to make sure I get fed?” Your dog will do whatever works best. So it’s is up to you whether that means tipping over the garbage, making “puppy eyes” at your sandwich, or sitting politely until given permission to eat. To a dog, the leader of the pack is the one who controls access to things it wants. And that includes food. They love the person who feeds them. You can use your control of food to enhance your dog training efforts — every day.
Following these suggestions will help you establish your role as benefactor, reinforce your dog’s compliance and enhance your relationship overall.
Dogs learn things they practice every day the best. You feed your dog every day so why not use that daily ritual to create a consistent training schedule? It’s the perfect time to train. Most people do it already. But don’t make the mistake of doing the exact same routine every meal. Change it up. Be sure to raise your standards as your dog becomes reliable at each skill level. A ten-second sit could soon become a thirty minute down-stay or a chain of a dozen behaviors in a row before you finally give your dog permission to eat.
It’s not a buffet
Don’t free-feed your dog. Your dog’s meals shouldn’t be an all-you can eat buffet, where food is available around the clock. This is actually a pretty common feeding program in many homes because it’s convenient. So why not do this? One reason is food loses value as a reward if it is always there. You want the dog to see that its primary necessity in life comes from you. Free-feeding just means one less thing your dog needs you for if its food is just sitting out. Believe me, a dog is not grateful for the constant presence of food if it means less time with you. Free-feeding could also lead to an obese dog who doesn’t listen to your commands, respect your leadership position or play by your rules.
Mealtime is Doggie and Me Time
Let your dog know wonderful things happen at mealtime. You get the opportunity to have your dog perform for his meal. Your dog gets more quality time with you. Win-win. It’s just another dog training opportunity for you. If your dog is jumping, yipping, and pawing at you for food, you can teach her to be calm at mealtime using these steps. While holding the food bowl in your hand, say a command once and wait for your dog to offer the behavior. When your dog complies, you can place the food dish on the floor. Then you can give the dog a release word that gives him permission to get the food. But if your dog starts to get up, put the dish right back on the counter. Repeat this the moment your dog tries to get up, every time as you lower the food dish. If your dog stays put then start raising your standards and changing the commands.
Training doesn’t have to be a chore. Pick up the dog dish and make meals an interactive and bonding experience. Take advantage of your dog’s dinner to make time to work with your dog everyday. Throw in a little training with meals. Be creative and challenging. It’s the effortless way to train.
I have partnered with Barkers Pet Center to offer group classes, day training and two-week board and train programs. So I can be your one-stop dog behavior solution center! I am offering Level one Beginner classes on Wednesday nights starting November 5 at 6pm. I am also starting a Trick Dog training class on Thursday November 6 at 6pm. As a Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI,)I can help you get a trick title for your dog.
I will be at Barkers weekdays Monday-Friday from 2pm-6pm to answer training questions and help you select the appropriate dog training class for you. Call 954-888-2274 to sign up or scheduling information or 954-507-7524 for other questions.
Looking forward to seeing you here at Barkers.
Sign up before November 5th and save 10%!
Trick training class