Teaching your dog to sit, drop and roll is just the beginning when it comes to some of the unique and interesting tricks you can train your dog to do. If you have the patience and a handy supply of Scooby Snacks on hand, you can teach your pup to become the highlight of the party.
1. So you think your dog can dance?
Sick of spending those lonely Saturday nights dancing solo in your PJ’s to your collection of So Fresh CD’s? Well now you can train a dance partner who might actually make you look good in comparison (probably not).
This is a skill best suited for smaller dogs and those who are in good shape. Begin by getting them to sit and hold a treat above your dog’s head whilst spinning it around in gentle circles. Repeat a command of your choosing as you do this, preferably something along the lines of ‘dance’ and not ‘purple monkey dishwasher,’ so that they associate the command with the action. If your dog does not rise up to grab the treat, you may have to hold it slightly behind their head to encourage them to go onto their hind legs.
Boogie along with them to get them excitable and spin/dance alongside you. Continue this process until they associate the action with the positive reinforcement of the treat.
2. He was a skater dog
You might not have the coordination to become the next Tony Hawk, but Fido might. This can be a difficult trick to teach and requires a few stages of progression. First you need to help your pup become comfortable with the board by making it stable. Next, give them treats whenever they put a paw on the board and progress to placing them on entirely – with more positive encouragement. Once they seem comfortable enough standing on the board, get them rolling with some gentle nudges. Before long, your dog will be ripping out grinds on the half pipe at the local skate park with the best of them.
3. Stop, drop and army crawl
This trick’s nice and easy to teach and could be useful should a warzone happen to break out in your living room. First, have your dog lie down and reward them with a treat. Next, get down in front of them and drag a treat along the ground and away from their nose. This will encourage them to wiggle forward on their belly and begin to crawl. Reward your dog with the treat afterwards and associate an appropriate command with this action so your dog will remember this affirmation.
Keep in mind with all of these tricks that patience is key and they are ideally for dogs who have already learnt the basic commands.