Teaching your new Puppy Useful Tricks
It is important to start teaching your puppy when it is young like with a child. You must be firm to show you are in charge but very forgiving and laid back. Make sure you are fun with them and you can even teach them tricks while you are playing. It is important that you are not too tough with disciplining them when they are young as if it is repetitive they will connect you to this. Instead of telling them not what to do, try and teach them what they should do.
There are some great tricks that are very useful for their safely day to day, some common, others not as much.
Firstly, the command ‘in’ is great when walking your dog, especially on a road. This command should follow with the action of your dog moving to the side of the road. If there is a car or another danger, this trick is very useful and can mean you are able to walk your dog off the lead if they can follow your vocal directions. A hand action can be included to make it more clear to the dog, and is easier when teaching them. Treats can be used, although when you are out and about it’s a little harder so praise can be put in the place. As it is a short, one syllable word, it is a clear instruction that your dog can pick up quickly and directing where they should go with your hair or a noise, such as a click, will enforce the response.
Heel is an action that people may have heard of but do not practise with their dog. It seems like a hard trick to teach but in a similar way to the first it is quite simple. As you can see, all of the tricks mentioned here are commanded with one word. This will make it less confusing for your dog and enable him or her to pick it up more quickly. The heeling action is for your dog to walk at your heels, again at times possibly keeping them out of harms way, and can mean you will not need to put your dog on a lead if it is obedient. This can be taught, however, using a lead. If you keep the lead taut you can direct the position of your dog behind you a little along with your instruction of ‘heel’. Repeat this and give your dog praise, remembering it may take time and patience.
This is the most common instruction to a dog. Sit is very useful for obedience to keep them safe and others around them. This is most likely the first trick you will teach your puppy and it is a great one to start with. It will also teach your puppy to listen to commands and respond. Teaching your puppy to sit, shouldn’t take long, however as it is the first time they will be learning a trick, it is not always that easy and can be aggravating. Be patient and stay in control. To teach your dog the sitting motion, do not push and hold your dog’s behind down. You can give a little soft tap or if they don’t understand that slowly apply some pressure until they complete the motion themselves and then praise them with cuddles and treats.
Stay is obviously another great, but common, one. It can help in dangerous situations, or keep your control when giving them food, or when you are in company. Using actions along with the command is the best way to teach this one. Use your hand out in front of you in a stop gesture, or just use a finger to show them they cannot move any further forward. It can be handy if you have taught your dog to sit as this can be used to help teach them to stay. If you tell them to sit, they should sit as long as you are signally for them to. This will therefore help with the stay action.
Remember to keep it simple and reward them with praise and treats. Good luck!
Let us know of any other tricks you find useful in day to day life in the comments below.
Photo by gigi