Five Principles on How to Teach Dog Tricks

I love showing off the tricks my dog, Fido, can do. Whenever my sister and I get together, we have dog trick competitions between her Goldendoodle and my Scottish Terrier. They both sit, stay, shake and catch, but my favorite trick is “poodle.” For poodle, my sister’s Goldendoodle does a dance. I’ve trained Fido to give anyone who tells him to do “poodle” a look. It conveys, “Yea, right. Like I’m going to do that? I have dignity.”

While having dogs do tricks is fun for everyone: dog owners, dogs and spectators, teaching a dog to do tricks can be frustrating. Before you can teach a dog any trick, you must first learn how to teach a dog tricks. In other words, dog owners must have to know how to teach a dog tricks, or else their pooch will become as frustrated as they are. Here are five tips on how to teach a dog tricks that I have learned by training Fido and other dogs.

Learn How to Teach a Dog Tricks with Authority

Before your pooch will listen to you, he must respect you. You have to become the Alfa-male (or female). In your head, know you are the boss. Then, let your puppy know you are the boss. There is no need to hit a dog to do this. Simply follow two steps. First, always be above your dog when you teach a new trick. Second, have an authoritative voice, and teach your dog to obey that specific tone.

Learn How to Teach a Dog Tricks with Simplicity

No matter how smart you think your dog is, he’s still a dog. You’re smarter, hopefully. As intelligent as Fido is, he cannot understand full sentences. He knows words like “walk,” “paw” and “roll.” Keep the trick’s names short. Don’t say “Go fetch the ball. Over there, c’mon. Go get it.” The trick is “fetch,” and that is all you should tell your dog.

Learn How to Teach a Dog Tricks with Consistency

Without consistency, your dog will not know what to do. There are three aspects to consistency. Always call the trick the same name. Always do the same thing for the trick. For instance, if “shake” is for your dog’s left paw, always shake his left paw. Shaking the right paw should be called something different. Finally, always provide a reward immediately after completing a trick. Treats are the best reward.

Learn How to Teach a Dog Tricks with Patience

Your dog will not learn a new trick on the first try. It will take repetition. The key to teaching a dog trick is to be authoritative, simple, consistent, and patient. As long as you remember the above three tips, new tricks will come, eventually. Be patient as you learn how to teach your dog tricks.

Have Fun Learning How to Teach a Dog Tricks

Finally, don’t forget the main reason for tricks. They’re supposed to be fun! Any time training your dog becomes burdensome on either of you, take a break. Try again some other time, when both of you are in the mood for tricks and treats. It also helps to always end your trick-training sessions on a positive note.

With these principles, you can teach a dog almost any trick. Before the pooch learns a trick though, the owner must learn how to teach a dog trick. Once you understand how, have fun with all sorts of tricks!

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