If you are going to teach your dog tricks, even easy ones, you need to have some small reward treats on you. You also need to be in a quiet suitable place and keep the training sessions to 10 – 15 minutes. Otherwise, your dog will start to get bored. Remember, when your dog gets something right, give lots of praise and a reward treat. Just be careful not to get your dog over excited or he/she will lose concentration.
1. The Paw
First, get your dog to sit, then as you say the word ‘paw’ take your dogs paw in your hand. Give the dog a treat, repeat this and after a few times, do not take the paw so quickly. Say the word, count to one, then take it, you should notice he is bringing his paw up as you say the word. If he does not, go back to saying it at the same time, do it a few more times then slow your response again. After 2 or 3 sessions most dogs pick this one up quite happily.
2. High Five
Like a lot of tricks, the high five is a progression of an earlier trick, in this cast the paw trick above. Hold a treat in your fingers and raise your hand slightly higher than you would for the paw trick. You dog will think you want to do the paw trick and will reach for the treat with his paw as we taught him earlier. As he reaches up you say “high five” and give him the treat. Once your dog has mastered the paw trick this one should be very easy to learn and with just a few sessions he will be doing it on your hand signal rather than voice control.
3. Hula Hoop Jump
Before you start this one, I would just like to say…be a sensible and not hold the hoop too high as you don’t want your dog to get hurt while doing the trick.
Sit your dog on one side of a hula hoop. Get the dogs attention on your hand on the other side of the hoop. Put a treat in your hand and give the dog the command to release him from the sit. At first he may attempt to go around or under the hoop. If this happens start again. Your dog wants the treat and will soon learn that going around or under does not get the reward. Your dog will soon start going through it and when he/she does, say ‘hoopla’ and give the treat.
Your dog will soon be jumping through the hoop on the command of ‘hoopla’. When I started doing this trick I had a small sized dog (a Parsons JR) so I started with the hoop about an inch off the ground. Then I slowly raised it as he got used to the trick.