Teaching your dog tricks is really fun and compared to obedience training, is simple to do. The important thing to remember here is obedience training must come first.
Obedience training teaches your dog to give you his full attention and places him under your control, so once these two things are achieved you can teach him many tricks.
Puppies do learn more quickly than older dogs, just as humans learn to do things easier when young. If you can get and hold your dog’s attention you can teach him many tricks. In basic obedience trainign you’ve already taught him to sit and lie down, now you can move on to the fun.
Sit Up and Beg
To teach him to Sit up or Beg, start by having your dog sit in a corner, be sure his back is as close to the walls as possible. This will keep him from falling over backward.
Now gently lift his front legs while commanding him to “Sit up”, he will want to stand on his hind legs but don’t allow it keep him pushed in the sitting up position. Allow him to relax and repeat it several times until you are sure he understands what you want.
Next take your hands off him and give the command, if he doesn’t obey help him up again. Some people use a special treat and dangle it above their nose to get them to sit up, I highly recommend you only do this as a last resort. If you can only get him to sit up by offering a treat you have changed the focus from you to the treat and you will need a treat every time you want him to “sit up”.
Once he has learned to sit up in the corner repeat the command in the middle of the room and other places. Each time he obeys make him stay there with a warning command until you give the “Okay” or “All right” to let him know the lesson is over. Follow with lots of praise and loving.
Teaching your dog to “Play Catch” is a fun lesson for both of you. Once again have your dog sit in the corner. Have a supply of small treats or pieces of food, get his attention and toss the treat at his face and say “Catch” it will fall to the floor and you must rush and grab it before he does. Put him back in the corner and get his attention be sure he is watching your hand. Toss the treat and repeat the command “Catch”.
You may have to do this several times before he realizes he must catch the treat in the air before it hit’s the ground. When he does catch it give him praise, since he gets the reward to eat you can practice often without him getting bored.
How about teaching him to “Roll Over.” Do this while he is in a lying down position. Command your dog to roll over. At first he will not understand so make roll over motions with you hands. Repeat the command and motions several times then grab his legs and forcibly roll him over, praise him even though you rolled him over. Repeat the lesson until he connects the command and motions and does it on his own, when he does give him extra praise and a treat to show your approval.
Teaching your dog tricks can be a way to gain more attention not only from your dog but you can show off to friends as well. Keep your sessions short maybe 5 to 10 minutes each a few times a day. Don’t move on until you are sure he’s learned each trick in several different locations.