Easy tricks to teach your dogs

Teaching your dog tricks comes with some amazing benefits that you might not realise. As well as impressing your friends and family, the countless hours of time you’ll spend together practising helps you and your dog form a closer bond.

In the long term, teaching your dog different tricks will help to make them easier to train as they’ll understand each command you’re giving them. They’ll also learn to become more obedient which is useful when around other people or in new and exciting places, you’ll find your pooch becomes far easier to control.

At Raised by Humans, we’ve put together a list of some of the top tricks you can trach your dog and how you go about it.

Roll over

Roll Over

One of the most popular tricks to teach dogs and probably one of the easiest. Here’s how you do it:

  • Ask your dog to perform a “down” position in front of you.

  • Kneel beside your dog and hold a small, yummy treat to the side of his head near his nose.

  • Move your hand from his nose toward his shoulder luring him to roll flat on his side.

  • Try this a few times and praise and treat each time he follows the treat and lies flat on his side with his head on the floor.

  • Now continue the movement of your hand, holding a treat, once he is lying flat, from his shoulder to his backbone. This should cause him to roll onto his back.

  • Continue moving the treat hand so he rolls onto the other side.

  • When he is consistently following the treat all the way around in a “roll over,” add the verbal cue to “Roll Over.”

  • Gradually reduce the hand motion and treat lure, until your dog can perform the trick on just a verbal cue.

  • Remember to still praise and reward his hard work!

Play dead

One of the more difficult tricks to teach but if you can pull it off, is definitely one to show your friends and family! Here’s the process:

  • Command your dog to lie down

    • Make sure they’re lying on the side they usually lean towards; they’ll most likely natural lie this way anyway

  • Guide your dog to lie down on his side

    • For this don’t use a verbal, put them into this position gently with your hands and treats to reward them for getting into position.

    • Patience is key for this part as they have no cue to follow

    • You can also bring them to their side by luring a treat in front of their nose and move the treat to the back of the shoulder of their prefered side

  •  Practice your dog going from sitting or standing straight into laying on its side

    • The more fluid the movement between these positions the more realistic the trick will look

    • To reinforce this movement don’t forget to reward your dog with a treat

  • Add a verbal cue to get your dog to play dead

    • As your dog has become comfortable with the movement add a cue word such as “bang”

    • Consistency is key! Make sure when teaching this trick that you keep to the same word in order not to confuse your dog

  • Add a visual cue

    • To add more to the trick it is great to add a hand signal in the shape of a gun

  • Patience is a virtue, it will take time to master this trick and consistent training of the trick over time will help get to perfecting it

Getting a drink from the fridge

This trick is best suited for larger dogs as smaller ones are less likely to be able to open the fridge door.  Before beginning this trick make sure you tie a towel or toy the door of your fridge. Having a treat within the towel can also help encourage your dog to pull.  As this is a hard trick to teach it comes in multiple sections.

Opening the fridge:

  • When near the fridge say “get me a drink”, encouraging the dog to bite on the towel.

    • Give praise and a treat when they complete the action and the fridge is open.

Fetching the drink:

  • Put the drink on the lowest shelf, making sure that it is clear what drink your dog has to retrieve by clearing space around it.

    • To make the can or bottle familiar to the dog, make sure to play fetch with an empty one

    • Put something against the fridge door so that it remains open and the can is visible

    • Whilst near the fridge, point at the drink, telling your dog to “fetch”. If your dog doesn’t understand, as you give the command pick up the drink and place it in the dog’s mouth.

    • Praise your dog every time they complete the command.

  • Give the “drop” command so that they drop the can into your hand. Give praise and a treat.

    • Repeat until your dog can pick up a drink can and put it on your hand using only verbal commands.

  • Move further away from the fridge and repeat. Keep moving a little further away until you’re sitting on your living room couch in front of the TV, or wherever you’ll often be when you command your dog to fetch the drink.

Closing the fridge:

  • Open the fridge door slightly.

  • In order for your dog to get on their hind legs and close the door, raise a treat above their head bringing it to the fridge door.

    • As they put their front paws on the door say “close it”

    • When they close the door make sure to reward them with praise and a treat.

    • Repeat this phase until you’re sure they understand the command

  • Once confident move further away from the fridge leaving it open and tell them to “close it”

    • Reward your dog every time they manage to complete the command

Bringing it all together:

  • Standing close to the fridge say the command “get me a drink”.

    • By now they should be comfortable with the command and opening the fridge door.

    • Whilst the door is open tell the dog to “fetch”

  • Once your dog has dropped the drink into your hand make sure to reward them.

  • Repeat these steps until your dog is comfortable with the command

  • Repeat the previous steps, however after grabbing the can say “close it” and reward him highly for completing the tasks.

  • Once again as they get comfortable with the trick, move further and further away until they understand the command from your sofa

When teaching your dogs tricks it is important for you to be patient. Every dog is different and can take different amounts of times and repetitions for them to understand what you are trying to teach them as well as doing the trick on command. Take a look at our post talking about the smartest dog breeds to find out which breeds are the most intelligent.

By Raised By Humans