One of the fun activities that you and your dog can do together is to learn new tricks. If you have a few free minutes a day, and some small treats to use as a reward, you will be surprised at how fast your dog can learn some pretty impressive tricks. Dog tricks are a great way to offer your dog some mental stimulation, and many of them build from the basic commands. Here is the list of 10 easiest tricks to teach your dog.
10 Easiest Tricks to Teach Your Dog
Teaching your dog his or her name is perhaps the easiest trick of all. Use positive reinforcement when the dog looks at you or comes to you after speaking the name to teach this basic trick.
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2. Go Outside
Another essential “trick” to teach any dog is housebreaking. Best done when dogs are puppies, housebreaking teaches dogs to relieve themselves outdoors in a specific location which in turn keeps the house or living area clean, but requires patience, consistent repetition and positive reinforcement.
Easy to teach as dogs sit often on their own, to associate the word sit with the behavior, say the word “sit” and use positive reinforcement when the dog sits on his or her own. Eventually by repeating this process the dog will associate the action with the word and the positive reinforcement to sit on command.
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Another really easy trick is getting a dog to come here. Call the dog’s name with “come here” added and positively reinforce the action when done correctly and repeat.
Often used only very rarely in a safety or emergency situation, stop should be a command that immediately causes the dog to cease what they are doing and stand still. This training is best done with your dog on a leash and you can control him or her into stopping, then waiting for your verbal cue to continue.
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6. Lay Down
Dogs naturally lay down to rest so getting them to lay down on command is as simple as getting them to associate the action with the verbal command. Use positive reinforcement and the lay down command when the dog lays naturally to create this association.
Great for keeping dogs from jumping on furniture and people, the down command is best taught by providing positive incentives for not jumping up in the first place. If your dog attempts to jump on you, turn sideways and give the “down” or “off” command then positively reinforce the dog when he or she does. Engaging with a dog that has jumped on you already will only encourage the behavior to continue.
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Equally fun for the dog and useful for the owner is the fetch command. By positively reinforcing the dog when it successfully retrieves an object on command, the dog learns the trick and likely enjoys the process as well.
9. Go to Bed
A great way to teach the dog where he should sleep is the go to bed command. This can be taught by laying out a blanket, curling up on it yourself and urging the dog to do the same with the command. Eventually the dog will learn to go to their bed, lay down and sleep on their own when the command is given.
10. Drop It
A great trick to learn when playing fetch or for the dog’s safety is the drop it command. To teach this, when a dog has something in their mouth such as a toy or ball, give the drop it command until the item is dropped, then give positive reinforcement. Eventually the dog will want the reinforcement more than the object and obey the command.