So you’ve taught your pup the basics. Sit, stay, lie down. Do you think they’re ready to move onto the big leagues? Let’s find out, and teach them a few advanced tricks! All that you’ll need to teach these tricks are some very yummy treats and patience.
For the high five, start out by picking up their paw, touching it to your hand in a high five while giving the verbal command and then giving them their treat. Do that several times, then move on to holding out your hand and saying the verbal command. If they aren’t getting it, continue to move their paw with your hand, periodically checking if they are willing to perform the trick without your help.
It’s helpful for this trick if they already know the “shake” trick. Most of the time if they know that trick, they are used to using their paws and are great at trying to figure out new paw-related puzzles.
Picking up his toys
This trick is great for the pup who likes to scatter their toys everywhere! First, get a container for all your dog’s toys. A basket, a plastic tub or a cardboard box will work. The opening has to be big enough for the toys to drop in, and for your dog to get his favorites back out! Your pup will ideally know “fetch” and “drop” as these commands will make learning this trick much easier. If they don’t, teach them those commands first.
Start off by tossing a toy you know your dog loves to fetch, and having the box in front of you where he or she usually drops the toy. Wait until they drop it into the box and then praise and treat. Continue this exercise until they get it into the box the majority of the time, treating every time they get it right.
Work up to having them pick up a non moving toy by slowly tossing the toy less and less, until you are setting it on the ground and they are putting it in the box. Remember to say whatever verbal cue you pick consistently. Then move the box away from you, toward where you eventually want the box to stay permanently, in small increments. Repeat the exercise until the box is where you want it to be and your dog is consistently putting his toy in the box.
Then start adding more toys! Put two toys out, but don’t reward them until after they pick up and put away the second toy! Then from there, keep adding until you’ve got all of their toys (or most, if your pups are as spoiled as ours!)
Remember, training is supposed to be FUN! Keep training sessions short, and if your dog seems like they are getting frustrated, end the session and go play instead. These are very advanced tricks, so don’t get discouraged if your dog doesn’t get it right away.
What tricks have you taught your pup?