52 Tricks To Teach Your Dog!



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Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Here are 52 commands and tricks to teach your new or old canine – and how to do them. Click on each trick for more information and pictures!

When you’re finished, remember to check out the Blog for more great tips!

Teach Your Dog To Respond To The Clicker

Trick #1 – Respond To The Clicker

This is the foundation of every other trick on this list.

Step 1: Click and give the dog a treat.

Step 2: Repeat about thirty times. This teaches your dog to associate the click with the treat.

Step 3: To maintain this connection it is important to follow the rule: Never click without treating and……

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Teach Your Dog Its Name

Trick #2 – Name

Step 1: When your dog looks at you, click and treat.

Step 2: Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Step 3: Say his name as he looks at you.

Step 4: Repeat 5-7 times.

Step 5: Call him. If he looks at you……

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Teaching Touch

Trick #3 – Touch – NEW! Featuring Additional Training Video

Teach your dog to touch the end of a dowel: a foundation many tricks build upon

Step 1: Hold your touch stick away from you and wait.

Step 2: Dogs are naturally curious, so when your dog touches it with his nose or mouth, click and treat. Keep doing this until……

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Teach Sit

Trick #4 – Sit

Teach Your Dog to Sit on Command!

Step 1: Wait until he sits down on his own. Click and treat.

Step 2: Repeat several times.

Step 3: Say Sit as soon as he sits. Click and treat. 

Step 4: Repeat several times……………………………….

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Teach Down

Trick #5 – Down

Use this trick to build more advanced tricks

Step 1: Grab your clicker and a good treat.

Step 2: Just watch your dog and wait for him to lay down. When he lays down, immediately click and treat.

Step 3: Keep waiting for your dog to do it again. Soon he will realize that he gets a click and treat whenever he lays down. 

Step 4: When your dog begins to lay down more often………

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Teach Stand

Trick #6 – Stand

If your dog will stand still, it makes care and grooming easier

Step 1: Have your dog lay down. Wait for him to stand up. When he stands up, click and treat. Repeat this action several times until he learns that he has to stand up in order to get his treat. Standing is so natural that it is likely that the dog won’t immediately understand why he is being rewarded, so it may take more repetition than usual. (Initially, it’s okay to click even if………………………………………

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Teach Release

Trick #7 – Release

This command tells your dog to be released from sitting or staying

Step 1: Give the command to sit. After waiting five to eight seconds, go ahead and use the vocal command with a hand motion of your choice to tell your dog to be released from his sitting position. If you act excited while doing this, your dog should naturally release. When he does so, click and treat. Repeat this step until your dog is consistently releasing.
Step 2: Eventually, you will want to be………………………………….

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Teach Come

Trick #8 – Come

This is perhaps the most important command to teach your dog. It could save your dog’s life!

Step 1: Load the cue instead of the clicker. Here’s how: 
Go up to your dog and give the command that you will use to call the dog, then treat him. For example: Say the word “here Puddles” and give him a piece of bacon. Repeat multiple times during the day and each time give different treats (bacon, chicken…………………………

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Teach Stay

Trick #9 – Stay

A simple command that lets your dog know to stay put

Step 1: Have your dog sit. Click and treat.

Step 2: Say ‘stay.’ Wait six seconds. Say ‘release’ then click and treat.

Step 3: Say ‘sit,’ ‘stay’ and wait ten seconds. Say……………….

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Teach Heel

Trick #10 – Heel

Teach your dog to walk beside you without pulling

Step 1: Begin by having your dog on a leash looped to your belt on your left side. That way you don’t have to use your hands to hold the leash.

Step 2: Should your dog pull on the leash—never go in the direction that your dog is pulling.

Step 3: When your dog is close to you with his…………………….

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Teach Take It

Trick #11 – Take It

This command tells your dog to pick up an item you point to

Step 1: Get one of your dog’s favorite toys and set it on the ground. Wait for him to pick it up in his mouth. Click and treat.

Step 2: Repeat this several times. When he starts picking up the toy without hesitation, start using the command take it when you click and treat.

Step 3: After a few times of that, see if he will………………………..

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Teach Leave it

Trick #12 – Leave It

This is not just a trick, it can save your dog’s life

Step 1: With your dog on a leash, let her smell the dog biscuit – then drop it two or three feet in front of her.

Step 2: Call her by name and say “leave it” as she starts for the treat. Restrain her with the leash.

Step 3: When your dog looks at you, click and treat with the chicken cube. Praise her as she gives up the…………………………………….

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Teaching Bring It

Trick #13 – Bring It

This command tells your dog to bring you an object

Step 1: Tell your dog to get a toy by using the “Take It” command.

Step 2: Encourage your dog to come towards you with the toy. Click and treat if he brings it towards you a few steps. Do this a few times.

Step 3: Keep encouraging him to come nearer to you with the toy. Click and treat when he comes to you with the toy……………………..

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Have Your Dog Learn Names Of Things

Trick #14 – Learn names of everything

Teach your dog the names of household items

Step 1: Have your dog touch your hand and click treat.

Step 2: Hold the object in your hand and say touch. Click treat when he touches the object not when he touches your hand.

Step 3: Call the object by its name (tug, squeaky, bunny, etc.) just as he touches it. Click and treat……………………………………………………

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Have Your Dog Ring A Bell

 

Trick #15 – Bell

Teach your dog to ring a jingle-bell when he needs to go outside

Step 1: Use a training stick to target the bell.

Step 2: When he touches the bell, click and treat.

Step 3: When he touches the bell on his own, click and jackpot.

Step 4: Whenever you take him outside, have him touch the bell first. The reward is to open the door…………………………………………………..

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Teach Your Dog To Eliminate On Command

Trick #16 – Eliminate on Command

Teaching this is better than spending hours outside on a rainy day

Step 1: Designate a specific spot in your yard to make clean-up easier.

Step 2: Wait until he finishes eliminating, then click and treat.

Step 3: Do this each time, introducing a command such as “Park” or “Find a good spot.”

Step 4: Be consistent, but vary the reward………………………………….

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Teach Your Dog To Leap

Trick #17 – Leap

Teach Your Dog To Leap Over A stick

Step 1: Have your dog sit and stay while you lay a stick on the ground. Cross over to the other side of the stick and call your dog. As soon as the dog crosses the stick, click and treat.

Step 2: Do this a few more times before adding height to the stick by placing a couple of thick books underneath it. Click and treat while he is crossing the stick………………………………………………………………..

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Have Your Dog Leap Through A Hoop

Trick #18 – Jumping Through A Hoop

Using the ‘leap’ command, teach your dog to jump through hoops

Step 1: Let your dog get used to the hoop. Set it on the ground; click and treat when he approaches it.

Step 2: Have a helper hold the hoop (do not elevate the hoop) on the floor in front of him.

Step 3: Call your dog or lure him through the hoop. Click and treat as he walks through the hoop……………………………………………………….

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Have Your Dog Jump Over People

Trick #19 – Jumping People

This is a great backyard circus trick

Step 1: If your dog can comfortably jump over a stick elevated about 25 inches from the ground then you can begin to teach him to jump over people who are on their hands and knees in the crawl position.

Step 2: Have your dog jump over the stick. Click & treat. (repeat a few times).

Step 3: Have a helper kneel……………………………………………………

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Teach Your Dog Places

Trick #20 – Go to a place

Teach your dog to go to an previously assigned spot or marker

Step 1: Have your dog touch the training stick. Click and treat.

Step 2: Place a piece of tape or a disk on the floor. Use the training stick to point to the marker, and click/treat when he is on that spot. Practice this several times until your dog knows to go to the marker to get his treat.

Step 3: Call the marker by its name (mark, spot, disk, etc.) just as he steps into it. Click and treat. Repeat until…………………………………….

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Have Your Dog Spin

Trick #21 – Spin

Teach your dog to spin around in circles

Step 1: Using your touch stick, guide your dog around in a circular motion. As he makes a full turn, click and treat.

Step 2: Keep doing this several times, eventually adding a hand signal (circular motion with index finger).

Step 3: Use the touch stick less. When your dog can spin without the touch stick, add your command………………………………………………..

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Teach Your Dog High Five

Trick #22 – High Five, Paw, Shake Hands

People love it when puppies give them their paws to shake

Step 1: Have your dog sit in front of you.

Step 2: When he lifts his paw click and treat.

Step 3: Repeat five times.

Step 4: Wait for him to offer lifting his paw…………………………………

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Have Your Dog Shake

Trick #23 – Shake

Teach your dog to shake when given the command

Step 1: Catch this trick with the clicker. Click and treat after you give him a bath or after you go outside in the rain when he shakes the water off.

Step 2: If he offers the behavior again click and jackpot.

Step 3: Click and treat and give the command “shake” whenever he shakes.

Step 4: Give the command. When he shakes………………………

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Have Your Dog Jump

Trick #24 – Jump

Get your dog excited, and teach him to jump

Step 1: Catch this trick with the clicker. Click and treat after you give him a bath or after you go outside in the rain when he shakes the water off.

Step 2: With your touch stick, hold it high in the air so that he has to jump up to touch it. As soon as his legs come off the ground, click and treat. If he’s having trouble, start out with……………………………..

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Have Your Dog Roll Over

 

Trick #25 – Roll Over

Teach your dog to roll-over; the most famous of dog tricks

Step 1: Have your dog lay down.

Step 2: Lure him with the training stick or with your treat to have him move over to one hip and on his side. Click and treat.

Step 3: Use the lure to get him to go over on his back. (This may take time for some dogs). Click and treat………………………………………….

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Teach Your Dog To Sit Pretty

Trick #26 – Sit Pretty (Beg)

Begging is easy for some breeds, but others have a harder time

Step 1: Get down on your dog’s level with your dog sitting in front of you.

Step 2: Let your dog smell a treat and then slowly lift it up above him.

Step 3: When she lifts her paws off the ground click and treat.

Step 4: Each time her hindquarters……………………………………………

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Have Your Dog Bark On Command

Trick #27 – Speak

Teach your dog to bark when given the command

Step 1: Get your dog to bark. For example, if you know that your dog barks when the doorbell is rung, then ring the bell, and when he barks say “Speak” and click and treat.

Step 2: After repeating this several times, try giving him the command (Speak). If he obeys and barks, give him a jackpot…………

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Teach Your Dog To Be Quiet

Trick #28 – Teaching Hush

Teach a command that will stop your dog from barking

Step 1: Focus your attention on your dog while he is barking. If he looks at you and stops barking, even for a second, click and treat.

Step 2: Repeat this several times, eventually adding the word “Hush” as you click and treat.

Step 3: After several training sessions while your dog is barking, give your dog the command and click and treat when…………………………

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Teach Your Dog To Play Tug

Trick #29 – Tug

Teach your dog to not only tug, but also give

Step 1: Take a rope toy and offer it to the dog and say “take it.” (Reward your dog with praise when he moves toward the rope toy.)

Step 2: When your dog takes it, gently shake and tug the rope toy to get the dog to hold and pull against the tugs.

Step 3: Click and Treat when your dog tugs back on the rope toy. Use “Tug” as your command. Keep repeating this until…………………………

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Have Your Dog Open Doors

Trick #30 – Open/Close A Door

Teach dogs to open and close doors

Step 1: Tie a bandana or cloth around your door. Tell him to tug it. Wait until he tugs the door open, then click and treat.

Step 2: Keep doing this, eventually saying, “open” whenever he tugs the door open. Click and treat every time.

Step 3: After your training session, he should be able to open the door at your command………………………………………………………….

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Teach Your Dog Fetch

Trick #31 – Fetch

If your dog has mastered tug and bring it, teaching fetch will be easy

Step 1: Start by playing tug. Say the “take it” command when you want your dog to pick up the rope toy, and then the “give” when you want him to release the rope.

Step 2: Have your dog “give” the rope, but then toss it a few feet away. Say, “take it.” Click treat when he picks up the rope.

Step 3: Generally, your dog should be………………………………………

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Have Your Dog Walk Backwards

Trick #32 – Back

Teach your dog to walk backwards

Step 1: With your dog standing facing you, walk forward toward him. When he takes a step backwards, click and treat.

Step 2: Continue stepping forward. When he takes multiple steps backwards, click and treat.

Step 3: Practice this until he understands that if he backs up, he deserves a treat. Start walking toward him less………………………..

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Teach Your Dog To Yawn

Trick #33 – Yawn

This trick, like speak, is best ‘caught’ with the clicker.

Step 1: Most dogs will yawn when they are anxious. You can use that to help you catch the yawn. Look for your dog to yawn when he wants to go outside or wants a ball or toy that you are holding. When he yawns, click and treat. Because this trick has to be ‘caught’ with the clicker, it can be fairly difficult, and you have to……………………………

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Teach Your Dog To Retreive Objects

Trick #34 – Bring Your Slippers

Teach your dog to bring you your slippers, or any object

Step 1: Using the “Learn Names” trick, teach your dog the name of whichever object you want him to bring you (Slippers, for example).
Step 2: Now that he knows what the name of the object is, tell him to “Take my Slippers.” Click and treat.
Step 3: Tell your dog to Take it and Bring it. If he does so, click and treat.
Step 4: Now, try combining all three tricks…………………………………

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Teach Your Dog To Bring Its Leash

Trick #35 – Leash

Train your dog to bring you his leash

Step 1: Set the leash on the floor. Tell him to take it. Click and treat when he does.

Step 2: Go to the door. Tell him to take the leash, bring it, and drop it in your hands. Click and treat.

Step 3: Repeat the take it, bring it, drop it action several times, saying, “Leash!” when he……………………………………………………..

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Teach Your Dog To Get Its Dish

Trick #36 – Get Your Dish

Teach your dog to bring you his dish when he is hungry

Step 1: Use the “Learn the Names of Everything” (Trick #13) to teach him to touch his dish on command.
Step 2: Teach him to hold the dish in his mouth using the “take it” command (Trick #11). Your dog may not like holding a metal dish in his mouth, but this trick is worth the extra effort. Take extra time with this step. 
Step 3: With the dish on the floor say…………………………………………

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Teach Your Dog To Put Its Toys Away

Trick #37 – Put Toys Away

Get your dog to gather his toys into a basket

Step 1: Get a large box or basket. Gather all your dog’s toys and put them in a pile.

Step 2: Point to each toy and say, “Take it,” then “Bring it” and “Drop it” into the basket. When he does this, click and give him a treat. After he puts all his toys in the basket, reward him with a treat, saying “Put your toys away………………………………………………………………………..

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Teach Your Dog To Find Objects

Trick #38 – Search/Find It

This is a fun, and useful, game to play with your dog

Step 1: Have your dog sit.

Step 2: Hold up an object that he is familiar with (he knows its name) and let him smell it.

Step 3: Place the object under something obvious (like a towel), and say “find it.” You might add the name of the object if it doesn’t do it quickly (“find it” bunny). Click and treat when……………………………..

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Teach Your Dog To Catch

Trick #39 – Catch

Train your dog to catch balls and other objects

Step 1: Start out with a short distance and a good treat. Throw the treat to your dog. If he doesn’t catch it, take the treat away and try again. If he does catch it, praise him and give him another treat!

Step 2: Keep doing this until he is catching well. Start saying “Catch” while he is catching them………………………………………………………….

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Teach Your Dog to Act Ashamed

Trick #40 – Act Ashamed

Teach your dog to act ashamed if one of her other tricks goes awry

Step 1: Put some scotch tape or a sticky note on your dog’s nose so that she paws at it. Click and treat.

Step 2: Repeat this a few times, but add in your command. Think of a short phrase such as “I’m Ashamed of you!” Use this command each time she paws at her nose……………………………………………………..

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Teach Your Dog Its Left From Its Right

Trick #41 – Left/Right

Teach your dog to walk next to your right or left side

Step 1: With your touch stick, have your dog go around your right side and stand by your left side. Click and treat.

Step 2: Keep doing this, eventually saying, “Left” as soon as he stands by your left side.

Step 3: Repeat this action until he no longer needs…………………….

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Teach Your Dog To Weave

Trick #42 – Weave

Your dog can weave just like a professional agility dog!

Step 1: Set up obstacles, such as orange cones (bought at Wal-mart), buckets, or even red plastic cups in a straight line. Start with three or four, and space them 24-30 inches apart. With your touch stick, guide your dog in and out of the obstacles, starting from the left side. When he goes in and out of one or two, click and treat. Continue to do this until he goes in and out of all of them.

Step 2: After getting your dog used to……………………………………….

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Teach Your Dog To Count

Trick #43 – Count

Teach your dog to count and solve simple math problems

Step 1: Have your dog sit facing you.

Step 2: Hold a treat in your left hand and hold your right hand up. (Here we are getting the dog to associate the speak command with the visual command of holding your right hand up). Also look your dog in the eye (I look directly into his right eye).

Step 3: Have the dog speak, and treat when……………………………….

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Have Your Dog Bow

Trick #44 – Bow

At the end of a performance, take a bow with your dog!

Step 1: Start ‘rough-housing’ with your dog. Whenever he starts to get into the “bow” position, click and treat. Keep doing this until he starts doing it on his own.

Step 2: Start saying “Bow” whenever he gets into the Bow position; then click and treat.

Step 3: Keep doing this until he will……………………………………………..

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Teach Your Dog To Jump Rope

Trick #45 – Jump Rope

Teach your dog to jump rope; a difficult, but funny routine

Step 1: Put your dog on the table. Ask him to jump. Click and treat. Your dog should stay in the same place so he won’t fall off the table.

Step 2: Tie the jump rope to another object. Let your dog get used to the jump rope by moving it back and forth.

Step 3: Give the jump rope almost a……………………………………………

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Teach Your Dog To Fetch A Drink

Trick #46 – Fetch A Drink

Teach your dog to bring you a drink when you ask for it!

Step 1: Get a bottle of soda appropriate for your dog’s size and put it on the ground. Tell your dog to “Take It.” Click and treat when he does. Do this several times.

Step 2: Now, tell your dog to “Take It” and “Bring it.” When he brings it to you, tell him “Drop it” Do this repeatedly and remember to click/treat………………………………………………………………………….

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Have Your Dog Bring You A Tissue

Trick #47 – Bring Tissue

Teach your dog to bring you a tissue; and then throw it in the trash

Step 1: Set a tissue box on the ground. Tell your dog to “Take It.” He may want to take the whole box – but when he takes one tissue from the box and pulls it out, click and treat.

Step 2: Have him continue to do this until he starts pulling them out on his own. Then, have him “Bring it” to you and “Drop it” in your hand. Click and treat……………………………………………………………

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Have Your Dog Turn On A Light

Trick #48 – Light

Teach your dog to switch a light on and off

Step 1: Using either a laser pointer or touch stick, get your dog in the habit of jumping up to touch the light switch. It is best to have him jump up with his pads on the wall (instead of his claws) touching the switch with his nose. I used a laser pointer here, because I would play with it as a game, knowing that he would really go after it—even if it’s on a wall.

Step 2: Using the clicker, begin clicking only when………………………

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Teach Your Dog To Limp

Trick #49 – Limp

Teach your dog to limp on command

Step 1: Hook up your dog’s leash to his collar and use it to pull his front dominant paw up – be very careful as you walk with him – click and treat when he walks one or two steps. 

Step 2: Keep doing this until he is successfully ‘Limping’ with the help of the leash.

Step 3: Try to encourage your dog to …………………………………..

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Teach Your Dog To Crawl

Trick #50 – Crawl

Use this trick to get your dog to crawl towards you

Step 1: Tell your dog to lay down.

Step 2: With treat in hand, coax your dog to move forward with the touch stick. Make sure he does so while in the down position.

Step 3: Repeat several times. Once your dog is crawling naturally, begin saying ‘Crawl’ before you click and treat……………………………

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Teach Your Dog To Play Dead

Trick #51 – Play Dead

Your dog rolls on his back and lies still to give the impression that he’s dead

Step 1: Have your dog lay down. Take your touch stick, or with your treat in hand, slowly guide it so that your dog moves into the ‘Play Dead’ position. Click and treat. Repeat until he gets into the ‘Play Dead’ position without help from the touch stick.

Step 2: Keep repeating the process while……………………………….

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Teach A Combination of Limp, Crawl and Play Dead

Trick #52 – Bang!

Teach your dog this showstopper death scene performance!

Step 1: Tell your dog to limp, crawl, and play dead, clicking and treating after he performs each action.

Step 2: Now, give him all three commands again, this time keeping the treat until the end. Repeat several times.

Step 3: Now say “BANG!” before giving the………………………………

— Read More! —

Here are some helpful tips that might help you out:

 

  • Try to keep commands one or two-syllable words – which is easiest for them to identify.
  • Keep training sessions short – around 5 minutes.
  • Always end on a high note – if the 5 minutes are almost up, and he is doing well, stop then. Try not to wait until he is not interested anymore. He will learn the trick much easier if his training session ends when he is doing something well.

Most of these tricks and commands require several training sessions. Some dogs and puppies can grasp the idea in their first 5-minute training session, but don’t expect it to do it extremely well.

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