If you’re an enthusiastic pet parent, you probably love the idea of having your dog do tricks. Who wouldn’t want their dog to obey their commands at will? Unfortunately, while it’s easy enough to get a dog to do basic commands when they’re excited about something (like getting a treat), performing them on order can be a bit trickier. Still, if done correctly with enough patience and practice, teaching your pup a trick will make both of your lives better and maybe even more entertaining!
Get Your Dog Excited
Use positive reinforcement, as its power cannot be underestimated. You’ll find many tasteful treats on online pet stores like PetCareRx that will have your pooch drooling for more. This can act as an excellent start to kick off the training sessions.
Keep the following things in mind:
- Don’t use food as a reward unless you know your dog will respond well to it.
- If you want tricks to be performed by your dog, don’t use harsh words or tones.
- Don’t reward your dog with food until it has performed the trick correctly.
Make Sure You Have The Right Treat
The right treat is one that your dog will enjoy but won’t make them sick to its stomach. It should be of adequate size so that you can hold it in your hand and offer it to the dog quickly, but not too small or complex (like a piece of dry kibble) that they won’t want to eat. The treat shouldn’t be too greasy or dry.
The best treats are ones that come in different sizes and shapes. That way, you’ll always have an option for what works best on any given day with whatever toy you’re playing with. Some people even keep their dogs’ favorite treats in a separate container, so there’s no confusion about which ones are for training and for snacking later.
Strive For Dedicated Attention
The first thing that you should do is ask the dog to sit before performing any trick. This helps them focus on you so they can listen and learn what you want them to do. It’s also a good way to get their attention, making it easier for them when training for new tricks later.
- Use a simple hand signal for the trick.
- Make sure you can remember the trick.
- Ensure it’s easy to see, use and perform by not making it too complicated.
Don’t Punish Your Dog
Not getting frustrated or agitated if your dog doesn’t do the trick right is crucial. You must also not give up on trying to get your dog to perform tricks. If something doesn’t work for your dog, try another approach. Your efforts will pay off in the end. The activity needs to be fun and engaging for both of you.
Repeat Multiple Times Daily
Practice makes perfect.
The dog won’t get bored and stop paying attention when you practice in short bursts. Too many repetitions at once, and the dog will lose interest while also trying to get away from you or become distracted by something more interesting than tricks like food or toys (or both).
Practice in different locations: on streets or inside buildings; sitting down or standing up; indoors with furniture around them, etc. Your pupper needs to be comfortable performing, regardless of where they are positioned at any given time during training sessions, so it becomes second nature for them when there’s a variation.
Make Sure The Environment Is Quiet
While you want to be able to communicate clearly with your dog, it’s important not to distract them by speaking too much or too loudly, which can cause confusion and anxiety.
If you’re having trouble communicating with your pup, consider asking someone else to be present if they can help translate or take notes for you. Also, don’t forget that some dogs may have hearing loss in one of the ears. Be mindful of this when talking directly into it (if they’re facing away from you), as it could be harder for them to hear what’s being said.
Training A Dog Is Fun
It’s important to remember that consistency is key when training your dog. The process takes time, so don’t expect overnight results. One of the essential things in training a dog is ensuring they understand what you’re asking them to do. If they don’t know what you’re asking for or if you are not consistent about when & where commands are given, then there will be issues later on with getting your dog to listen appropriately at all times.
It’s also important that everyone in the family knows how to use positive and negative reinforcement when training your pet because different people teach differently. So, this gives them options depending on how each person feels comfortable doing something like providing treats vs. saying “good job.”
Training your dog is rewarding as long as you have time and patience. Remember that it is important to remain patient with your pet, especially during the first few days of training. If you don’t have time for this, it may not be worth it. But if you want to teach your dog new tricks, keep these tips in mind, and everything will go smoothly.