For most people, the holidays are a chance to spend some quality time with their friends, family, and most importantly, their pets! If you have a little extra time on your hands you might enjoy spending a few hours teaching your pet a new trick that you can show off to your guests. Not only is training your dog to do tricks fun, but it’s also a great way to keep your pet’s brain active. Even if your pet has never learned a trick in its life, there’s no reason you can’t start now. All you need is a big of patience, a handful of your pet’s favourite treats and a few hours to spare.
Start by getting your pet to sit in front of you and let him know you’re holding a treat. Repeat the command “high five” and tap your dog’s paw a few times. As he raises his foot, take it in your hand, give him a treat and give him plenty of praise him. Keep trying a few more times while offering a treat. Once he’s got the hang of it, you can stop offering a treat and just offer him plenty of praise.
You might see you dog trying this trick when they are too hot in the summer months, or if they have a scratch they need to itch. To do this trick. Get your pet to lie down, and then hold a treat in front of his face in a closed hand. Move your hand holding the treat close to the floor, until he follows you. Praise him as he inches forward while giving the command to “crawl”. You’ll soon be able to do the trick without a treat.
Most dogs will play with a football when given the opportunity, so the trick here is to convince your dog to dribble the ball across a field. You won’t need any treats for this one, as most dogs will respond to the ball like it’s a treat. Find a football that is larger than your dog’s mouth so they can’t pick it up. Let the get used to the ball and praise them any time they move the ball with their nose or paws. Kick the ball further and further away from you until your dog gets the hang of bringing it back.
Teaching your dog to sing along to music might be a terrible idea if you live in an apartment, but if you can stand the noise, it can be very entertaining. Most dogs will howl when they hear certain music, so try out a few different songs to see if they like anything. As you’re the leader of the pack, you may need to lead by example, so get howling! Try playing the same song every time if you want your dog to sing on cue.
Teaching your pet tricks aren’t just fun for you and them, but it’s also handy in all types of situations. Being able to control your pet enough to make sure he sits or lies down is essential for trips to the vet or microchip implanters. It’s also a great way to keep your dog stimulated and active, even in their older years.