Dog tricks are a great way to provide mental stimulation to your furry friend. The more you practice the dog, the better he becomes at learning and paying attention. Plus, you get to impress your friends with those fun tricks!
Today’s article will show you ten fun tricks you can teach your dog. Stay patient during the training and most importantly, enjoy your time together!
What Tricks Can I Teach My Dog At Home?
Some pet parents feel that training a dog is almost impossible, especially if they have an old dog.
But the truth is, you can train your dog to do anything, from shaking hands to spinning around. (We’ll be presenting a list of unique dog tricks with specific steps and tips in a while!)
The AKC says that trick training benefits not just dogs, but also people. It allows you and your dog to work as a team. It’s also an opportunity for your pet to exercise. Trick training also keeps a dog out of trouble since after each session, a dog will happily take a nap .
To make trick training effective, keep each session short. Teach your dog a single trick at a time to avoid confusion. Since dog training is a commitment, provide clear rules and remain consistent.
10 Simple, Fun Dog Tricks
Ready for some dog commands? Here are simple and amazing tricks to teach your dog.
1. Shake hands
This trick can be mastered in a few sessions. Since many dogs like using their paws, people say that “shake hands” is easy to teach. Here’s how to do it:
- Hold a treat in your hand and show it to your dog.
- Wait for your dog to sniff your hand. Keep your hand closed so he can’t get the treat.
- Your dog will try different tactics to get the treat.
- Once he tries to paw at your hand, tell him, “Good boy!” and offer the treat.
- Repeat this process many times and when he does it consistently, add in the cue, “Shake hands!” while you present your hand.
Tip: If your dog doesn’t use his paw to get the treat, try moving your hand closer to his paw.
If you’re looking for easy dog tricks that are extremely useful, try this. Teaching your dog to speak on cue helps him warn you when he needs to go outside . Follow these steps:
- Find something that excites your dog and makes him bark. It could be a toy or treat.
- When your dog barks, acknowledge him and offer the toy or treat.
- Repeat the steps above and add the command “Speak!”
Tip: Take note that the Basenji, a very smart dog breed, may not bark and instead make a yodel-like “baroo” sound.
How do you train your dog to bring you things? Fetch may be one of the oldest commands, but it’s not that simple. Here’s what you should do:
- Pick an item that your dog wants to chase, like a tennis ball or frisbee. Toss the object.
- Once your dog retrieves the toy, reward him.
- Encourage him to give back the toy to you by tugging it from his mouth. Toss the object again.
- If he gets the toy, entice him with a treat. Back away and say, “Bring it.”
- If he drops the toy, encourage him to get it by pointing to it, saying, “Get the toy!”
Tip: For this trick to work, it’s important to use an object that he really likes.
4. Roll over
How do you teach your dog how do you roll over? Follow these steps to help your dog master this trick:
- Ask your dog to stay down.
- Hold a yummy treat to his nose. Move the treat towards his shoulder so that he follows it.
- Your dog should be able to lie on his side and roll all the way over.
- When he’s done rolling, offer the treat and praise him.
- Start adding the verbal cue, “Roll over!” once he does it consistently.
Tip: Wait for your dog to master the trick and you can slowly eliminate the treat.
5. Play dead
Playing dead is one of the most impressive tricks to teach dogs. The best time to teach this trick is when your dog is tired .
- Ask your dog to lie down on command. (Your dog should already know this trick.)
- Hold a treat to his nose and slowly move it to the side.
- When he rolls over to his side to get the treat, offer the treat and say, “Play dead.”
Tip: When your dog performs the trick correctly after several attempts, you can add a hand signal (like a gun pointing to him).
6. Leave it
Some tricks can actually save your dog’s life, and “leave it” is one of them. Here’s how to train your dog to leave something alone:
- For this training, you need two treats. One treat should be his favorite and the other should be of low-value.
- Present the low-value treat while keeping your hand closed. Let your dog sniff it. While he does, tell him to “Leave it” and wait until he stops.
- When he’s done sniffing, offer him the high-value treat. This marks the good behavior of leaving the low-value treat alone.
Tip: Increase the difficulty over time by moving the low-value treat to the floor.
Puppies should be taught how to sit. But how do you teach an old dog new tricks such as sitting down?
- Hold a treat above your dog’s nose. Make sure that it’s not too high to prevent your dog from jumping.
- As soon as your dog moves his nose up and tries to sit down, praise and reward him with the treat.
Tip: Avoid pushing your dog’s bottom to force him to sit. This will only confuse him.
8. Say your prayers
One of the unusual dog tricks you should teach is saying their prayers. For this trick, your dog puts his front legs on a chair and lowers his head down.
- Let your dog face a low chair. Hold a treat while placing your hand on the chair. Tell your dog to go “up” while patting the edge of the chair to get the treat.
- If your dog tries to jump on the chair, let him go down. Do this until he understands that he needs to place only his front legs on the chair.
- To get him to bow his head between his front legs, lower the treat between the legs.
- Reward him with the treat.
Tip: After a few successful attempts, add the command, “Say your prayers.”
9. Walk backwards
Walking backwards is a useful trick if you need your dog to back up when you’re entering the house while carrying loads of stuff.
- Walk a few steps away from your dog.
- Take a pause, then move towards him.
- Notice your dog talking a few steps back. If he does this, praise him and offer a treat.
- Slowly add the verbal cue, “Back up” or “Walk backwards.”
Tip: Practice this dog trick daily for about ten minutes. Don’t get frustrated if your dog doesn’t get it right away!
10. Spin around
Here’s great news: Spinning around is an easy trick. Some dogs learn this command fast, while others need more time.
- Hold a treat above your dog’s nose. Let your dog follow the treat.
- Move the treat in a circular motion so that your dog moves along with it.
- If your dog completes a 360-degree turn, add the cue, “Spin around.” Then offer the treat.
Tip: You can try different variations. For example, you can teach your dog to spin around you or beside you!
Are you ready to try these useful tricks on your furry friend? Start training your pet early. Be understanding of your dog’s pace – stay hopeful! Let us know your progress with each trick by leaving a comment below.
- Burch MR. Why Trick Training Is Good For Dogs…and Their People. https://www.akc.org/products-services/training-programs/canine-good-citizen/articles/why-trick-training-is-good-for-dogs/
- AKC Staff. Teach Your Dog to Speak in Four Easy Steps. 2015 November 19 – https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/teach-your-dog-to-speak-in-four-easy-steps/
- AKC Staff. Teach Your Dog To PLAY DEAD! 2015 August 11 – https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/teach-your-dog-to-play-dead/