Getting a new dog is a lifelong commitment, but one that comes with unlimited amounts of fun, love, and happiness for both you and your pooch!
But once you’ve taught your pup the basics (sit, stay, come, leave), what’s next?
Training your dog doesn’t just make them more obedient and easier to handle. It’s also a great way to keep their mind stimulated and provides an invaluable bonding opportunity as you work together to master a specific action.
Spending as little as 5-15 minutes a day training, even a senior dog can learn a plethora of new tricks!
These 6 fun and unique tricks aren’t particularly useful in any practical sense… However, they are an entertaining way to spend some quality time with your pup and will never fail to impress and amuse at any gathering.
Target training teaches your pup to touch his nose to a specific object on command. It’s a good idea to use your hand as the target in most instances. That way, this trick can be useful as well as cool-looking.
Use Target to aid in learning other new tricks, or just to distract him from a tasty-looking chocolatey treat, to get him off the couch, or to introduce him to something or someone that makes him nervous.
- Have a treat waiting in one hand and hold your other hand open near your dog’s nose.
- Give him the ‘target’ command (you can choose another command if you prefer)
- The second your dog’s nose touches the palm of your hand, give him the treat and lots of praise.
- Practice until they get the hang of touching your hand for the treat, then move a few steps back and continue the training from a distance.
2. Hands up!
Hands up is a great way to incorporate play into your pup’s training, and any Western-loving kids, in particular, will love playing this one out with the dog! It takes a little practice, but with some love and patience, any pup can learn this one.
- Start with your pup sitting down.
- Hold a treat near his nose, then slowly raise it above his head.
- Keep the treat close enough that your dog doesn’t need to jump but does need to lift his front legs.
- Once your pup is in the required position, give the ‘hands up!’ command and reward him with the treat and lots of affection.
- Gradually increase the distance between your pooch and the treat, only rewarding him when they’re in the correct position.
Be careful not to strain your pup when training this one. If your tricks require a lot of muscle work for the dog, it might be worth getting a dog ramp for bed so they can easily cuddle up after training without having to work their joints or muscles any more.
3. Play dead
If you’ve mastered ‘hands up!’ to re-enact your favorite Western scenes, you might also want to train your pup to play dead when the bandit decides to shoot!
You could stick with the classic ‘play dead’ vocal command or make this trick a little more fun by using ‘bang!’ and finger signals to enact the trick. (HP fans might be tempted to use “Avada Kedavra” as well as teaching their pup some other awesome Harry Potter Spell commands!)
- Start with your pup in the ‘down’ position (lying on the floor).
- Gently roll your dog onto his side and provide plenty of praise and treats.
- Once your dog is comfortable in this position, move on to teaching him to ‘stay’ there.
- Once your pup will lie on his side for up to a minute without moving, start moving away from your pup, telling him to ‘stay’ whenever he tries to get up and follow you.
- Incorporate the ‘play dead’ command of your choice.
‘Play dead’ is easier to train if your pup has already learned to ‘rollover’ on command, but it can still take time to master!
4. Take a bow
After such a spectacular performance, your pup is going to deserve some very well-earned praise! As the roses fall to his feet, it’s only right for your dog to ‘take a bow’ and absorb all the rewards coming his way!
- Start with your dog standing on all four legs.
- Hold a treat in front of his nose. Slowly move it down towards the floor close to his body.
- Let your pup follow the treat with his nose, keeping his backside up.
- Hold your dog in this position for a few seconds, then bring him back up with the treat.
- After your pup has completed his bow, reward him with the treat and plenty of praise.
A job well done
We think your pup deserves to take a bow after his hard work learning these incredibly fun and unique tricks that will make playtime and even walks in the park a whole load more fun!