So, you’ve decided to get a new puppy and want it to be the smartest dog in town. I must warn you, however, that this title is already taken by my puppy (okay, okay, we’re still working on his paw shake), but let’s take a look at some dog tricks that are quite easy to teach your pup today—and are fun, too! The idea of teaching your puppy a trick (or trick training) may seem a little daunting. After all, puppies can have incredibly short attention spans. However, with a little persistence and a lot of treats, you can most definitely teach your puppy the following tricks in no time:
Yes, this is the most standard of dog tricks, but all dogs need to learn to sit, right? Puppies can usually pick up on this trick pretty easily. You can teach your pet “sit” by getting his attention, and letting him know that you have a treat in your hand. Follow this by moving the treat from around your dog’s nose, to the back of his head. This should automatically put your pup in the sitting position. Say “sit” as he sits his bottom down, and give him a treat. Practice this as many times as it takes and I guarantee, sit will be a trick your pup will soon remember.
2. Give Kisses
There are many complicated ways out there to teach your pup this trick, but we prefer the simple way. Your pup loves to shower you in kisses, correct? The feeling’s probably mutual! This is actually one of the easiest tricks to teach your pup, and definitely one of the cutest. You can actually teach your dog to kiss with two different methods, but both combined are the most effective. The first is known as “capturing the behavior.” When your pup goes to lick you your face, shout “give kisses!” and reward him with a treat after doing so. Another way to do this is to put something that will both stick and is safe for your pup to eat on your cheek (peanut butter, cream cheese, and so on). When your pup goes to lick it off, give the command again, and reward him after doing so. This means double the treat and more potential for this trick sticking (literally).
Fetch is another one of the absolute easiest tricks to teach your pup because, odds are, you play fetch already. It can’t even really be classed as training as dogs seem to naturally know how to play fetch. This is probably due to their natural inclination to chase, and their willingness to please you! The challenge is getting your pup to associate the word “fetch” with the action. Next time you are throwing his favorite ball, exclaim “fetch!” as you throw it, and reward him with a treat when he brings it back. With the number of times you and your pup play his favorite game, he’ll catch on in no time.
Now, this trick definitely works best if your pet has already mastered “sit” (why are you trying to teach your dog shake before sit anyway?) This, again, can be done by joining two methods into one. While your dog is in a sitting position, gently lift up his paw, say “shake!” and give him a treat. This one may take slightly longer than sit (in my experience, anyway), but your pup will catch on in no time. Some dogs also naturally lift their paw up when in the sit position, especially when they’re about to get a treat—catch them doing this and exclaim “shake!” Be persistent with this one, and you will be well on your way to getting him to master it.
It’s most definitely true—you can teach your pup to bow. Before you wrack your brains too hard wondering how this is possible, why don’t I just tell you? Does your pup love a good, long stretch? You can actually turn this into a trick. There’s really no way to do this other than by catching him in the act. Next time your pup goes for a big, long stretch, repeat the command “bow!” once or twice while he’s in action. Make sure your pup knows that you’re talking to him, and isn’t too wrapped up in the business of stretching. Get extremely excited after he’s done this. In fact, praise him loads and give him the odd treat. Even if this trick is a bit slower in the learning department than others, your extreme enthusiasm and endless treats will catch on eventually. (Plus, it makes for a cool party trick at your pup’s next soiree.)
6. Go Potty
Yes, I know, this is more of a command than a “trick.” However, it will possibly be the most useful one your pup will ever know, and it will be incredibly useful for you. Whenever your pup is about to relieve himself, simply exclaim “go potty!” as he goes about his business, and enthusiastically praise him once he’s finished. I’ve found this to be the most useful trick ever, and can eliminate any confusion about why you’re bringing your pup outside at 2:00 am do his business!
“Come” is another incredibly valuable trick. On top of it being useful, it is also a great trick to know for safety reasons, such as if he gets away from you, or if he is about to approach a dangerous situation. It’s also incredibly easy to teach. Pups will catch onto this trick in many different ways, but an effective start is to have some distance between yourself and your pup and get his attention. Show him that you have a treat in your hand, and exclaim “come!” He will more than likely come flying over to you, where you then give him the treat and praise him enthusiastically. Easy!
There are endless fun tricks that you can teach your pup and offer positive reinforcement, but we have listed the seven that we find most effective. Remember, teaching a dog new tricks is not just a novelty, as each one provides structure, discipline, and can even be life-saving in a dangerous situation. Even professional dog trainers struggle with certain pups, but it is definitely worth taking that extra half-hour out of your day to practice some tricks with your furry BFF.
Bringing a new family addition into the home is extremely exciting! Becoming a new puppy parent comes with a ton of new joys, challenges and responsibilities. PupBox was created to help new puppy parents like yourself, by providing all of the toys, treats, accessories and training information you need, when you need it. CLICK HERE to learn more about PupBox.
And remember, puppyhood is fast and is gone before you know it. Make sure to savor the time when your pup is young, and take lots of pictures along the way!