With shelter in place orders in place in most states thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, you’re probably spending a lot more time at home than usual right now.
For your dog, this is great news- they always love spending time with you! They’ll want to have fun and join in with any activities you’re doing while you’re at home.
A great way to keep yourself, and your furry friend, occupied during the lockdown is to teach them new tricks. It’ll be a fun activity for you both, and will benefit you in the long run, as your dog will have unique skills to show off!
We understand how challenging it can be to teach your dog a new trick. To help, here’s a list of some easy tricks and how you can support your dog so that they pick them up quickly.
One of the most basic tricks you can teach your dog is to lift their paw into your hand. All you have to do is raise their leg and say ‘paw’ or ‘shake hands’.
Whatever command you give, make sure it’s consistent. Once you have your dog’s paw in your hand, you can reward them with a treat and praise.
It won’t be long before your dog recognizes your command as the cue to put their paw into your hand. This easy trick is a great place to start if you’re new to teaching dogs new skills.
Another fun, easy trick to teach your dog is to roll over onto their back to show you their belly. This skill can be useful for taking your dog to the vet and showing them an issue they may have on their stomach, so it’s worth teaching while you have the time.
First, get your dog to lie down. Then, position a treat in front of your dog’s nose and give a verbal command, such as ‘roll’. Make a swirling motion with your hand to indicate that you want your dog to flip onto its back.
If your pup doesn’t move in response to the movement, then gently reposition them, then praise them by rubbing their tummy and giving them the treat. Keep practicing, and eventually, your dog will be able to roll onto their back on command.
Spinning around is an even easier version of the above trick. All you need to is get your pup to turn around on command.
To do this, hold a treat at your dog’s nose level and command them using a word such as ‘spin’ or ‘turn’.
Then, make a turning motion with your hand to guide your dog around in a small circle. Once your dog has completed this, you can give them the treat and lots of praise.
It might seem like a pointless trick, but teaching your dog to spin around is cute and fun. It’s a great trick to show off to your friends once the lockdown is over and you’re able to meet up with them again.
After your dog has mastered the basic spin around, you can teach them other, related tricks. For example, you could show your dog how to spin on their hind legs, if this is safe and your dog is comfortable. This trick could even be the start of a fun experience teaching your dog to dance or compete in agility competitions if you both enjoy yourselves.
To Balance Biscuits On Their Nose
If you follow pet influencers on social media, then you’ve probably seen the popular trick of balancing a biscuit on their nose or paws before being allowed to eat the treat.
This trick takes time and effort, so you’ll need to be patient with your pup. Start by gently balancing the treat on their nose, then back away, and give a clear command, such as ‘wait’.
If they eat the treat, then simply say ‘no’ and start again. When your dog doesn’t eat the treat, then you can praise them and reward them with another.
If you’re concerned about your dog gaining weight from such training, then try using non-edible items, such as pencils or a small dog toy.
This trick teaches your dog patience and self-control, both of which are crucial for a successful therapy dog. Our testers and observers look for patience and a strong owner/ dog relationship when considering a dog for certification, so this trick is useful for those owners who are considering getting their pups certified.
Want to take your training to the next level and get your dog certified as a therapy dog? Contact us, and our team will be happy to talk you through the process. We always need new members and their dogs to help us with our vital work, so feel free to reach out!