Old tricks for new dogs!!!

We all love to show off what our lovely pets can do or perform, isn’t it? So why not teach them some simple tricks and add a  dash of fun to their life???

GIVE ME FIVE or SHAKE HANDS!!!

By far, this is the most simplest trick to teach your pooch. Here it goes:

  • Get your dog’s most favourite treat and show it to him. Grab his attention with the help of that treat.
  • Ask him to sit in front of you and hold the treat in front of him, in one hand. Tease him a little with the treat to get him excited.
  • Mostly, by looking at the treat, the pup will start jumping up or barking or getting excited. Let him do that in the initial stages. You can even praise him, give him the treats if he lifts both front legs up in the air, initially.
  • When he is sitting, with your free hand, tap on his front leg and encourage him to move his feet with use of the treat. Keep saying Good Boy all the time. Do not force him or pull his leg.
  • Once he gets the idea of what you expect him to do, you can slowly start praising him only when he lifts one of his paws and give it in your hand.
  • Practice this 3-4 times in a day and for several days till he gets the idea.
  • Keep giving him the treats until he does it correctly. Afterwards, praise and treat him only for the best Shake Hands.

Alternatively, you can also teach your dog to give you a “hi fi” instead of a normal shake hand i.e. the dog touches his paws to your palm. For the dogs who are “toy driven,” you can use his favourite toy instead of treat and repeat the same exercise.

ROLL OVER

Your dog must know the command ‘Down’ prior to teaching him Roll. And then you can start like this:

  • Ask your dog to go flat on the ground. It’s better if your dog has a habit of lying flat on one side.
  • Hold your dog’s favourite treat in your hand and keep it close to his nose.
  • We want the dog to move his entire body from one side to another i.e. from left to right. So slowly move your hand from left to right as shown in the picture, and encourage your dog to turn his body accordingly.
  • Initially praise him even if the dog is just able to go flat on his belly but not able to turn his body completely to the other side.
  • Practice it step by step and give your dog some time to understand it.
  • Do not move your hand too fast or away from your dog’s body too much or else he will break the down position and might get up to reach the food.

BARK ON COMMAND

You have to understand your dog’s nature to teach him this command. You have to know what excites him i.e. treat/toy etc. We want to teach our dog a simple ‘Bark on command’  and not to bark aggressively/nervously at any object/person. Here’s how to teach him:

  • Get the dog’s most favourite treat and show it to him. Grab his attention with help of that treat.
  • Ask him to sit in front of you and hold the treat in front of him, in one hand. Tease him a little with the treat to get him excited. Mostly by looking at the treat, the pup will start jumping up or getting excited. Let him do that in the initial stages.
  • Praise the dog for any slightest of the noise he makes.
  • With some dogs you can even have the other person hold the dog and stand on a little distance from him. Then call him by his name in a happy and cheerful tone. Praise him with the treat or by patting him, if he barks.
  • Your dog will need some time to understand what you expect him to do and might as well try to do things which he already knows i.e. shake hands, sit etc. So, give him enough time to understand the concept.
  • Once your dog gets the idea, you can work on reducing all the unnecessary excitement i.e. jumping up etc.

Once he knows how to bark, it is also important to teach him to be quiet when you want to. He should not keep barking as long as he wants to keep getting the treats.

Steps to teach the dog to be quiet:

  • Once he knows to bark on command, praise him only for one or two barks.
  • Ask him to sit after that, so that his attention gets divided from barking.
  • Start praising him by saying “Good Boy” in a low and soothing tone to get him to relax.
  • Ignore him if he keeps on barking for more treats and praise him only when he calms down. Most importantly, when you are teaching anything new to your dog, please do not start using the command from beginning, because your dog does not understand the word automatically. You have to teach him the action first and then associate that action with the particular command.

(Pooja Sathe is trained under Northern Centre for Canine Behaviour and Training, UK. She can be contacted at: poojasathe11@hotmail.com, Ph: +91-9820596903, 022-24165358 – Mumbai.)

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