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Bag of Dog Tricks


Bag of

Dog Tricks



Teresa Heath









Copyright (c) 2003 Teresa Heath












Table of Contents




Chapter One - Good Manners Tricks


Chapter Two - Helping Hand Tricks


Chapter Three - Action Tricks


Chapter Four -So Cute!! Tricks













There is an art to teaching dogs tricks, but anyone who is determined can teach a dog how to do tricks. The dogs you see on television actually are just doing a sequence of tricks they have been taught. 


Their owner or master has been consistent in the teaching or training of many short action tricks and then are able to encourage them to do them upon command at the right time. 


You don't have to have any special training to be able to train or teach your dog tricks, you only have to have determination. You have to make up your mind that you are going to do it and not give up. 


I have found there to be four key concepts when it comes to teaching dog tricks and they are:







First of all, timing is crucial when it comes to correction and praise. It has to be done at the exact second that 

your dog is doing or not doing what is expected. You must reinforce the behavior right away.


This is one of the most important aspects of training your dog.  You must reinforce behavior as it is happening. If your dog poops on the floor, but you see it when he is chewing a bone, then it is too late to correct him.


He will think you are disciplining him for eating the bone.  When teaching tricks it is recommended to use treats as a reward, because you are training your dog to do something that is above and beyond the normal, every day routine of duties.


The second key concept is consistency and this means there is no room for allowing any behavior outside the expected behavior.


If you do not want your dog jumping on people that come to visit then he should never be allowed to jump on people, not even you.  It is very easy to confuse a dog and then you will never get anywhere with your training.  Dogs do not understand sometimes or maybe.


They only understand always or never!  You must earn your dog's respect, be a good owner or master by following through consistently with your commands.






The third  key concept is praise. PRAISE,PRAISE, PRAISE!!! Your dog loves you and wants to make you happy. When you praise him for doing good, it will make him want to do it more and more. 


I have a tendency to be very loud and excited when I praise my dogs, but it works!  Whenever your dog is doing something good you should praise him.


Praise is much more effective than correction. For the most part, I feel that this is the best way to train your dog.  I do correct my dog when doing wrong, but I believe positive reinforcement works much better than negative reinforcement.


Firmness, the fourth key concept, is referring to your tone of voice. You must show your dog that you have control with your voice. If he does not obey you, then you show him the correct behavior and speak firmly as you do it.


Also, I want to add a very important concept when it comes to teaching your dog anything and that is PATIENCE!!!  It is good to work with your dog for only 5 minutes at a time. 


If your dog does not seem to be  catching on at all, it would be best to stop for the day.  Try to make sure you end your training session on a happy note, even if you did not see any improvement.  It is a good idea to play with your dog after your session, also. 


There is no reason you will not be able to teach your dog all of the tricks included in this book, if you take the time and be patient!  It will take alot of patience!!!


Dogs like humans have different personalities and will learn at different speeds. Depending on the breed of dog can also indicate how your dog might learn. 


It is a good idea to know and understand your dogs personality to be able to figure out the best way to motivate him.  A dog that is trained is a much better pet and you will enjoy him so much more.


At the least you should train your dog to sit and stay on command. I have been told that millions of dogs are put to sleep because of behavior problems.


Before you try to teach your dog the harder fun tricks in this book, you should make sure your dog knows how to sit, stay, lie down and possibly shake hands. You can also decide what you want to use to motivate your dog, such as dog treats or just praise.


Remember YOU are the master, YOU are in control, take control of each and every situation, be firm, be patient and have fun!! Don't allow yourself to get angry or lose control because this will be counterproductive and your dog will hate learning tricks and probably WON'T !!







Chapter One


Good Manners Tricks



Say Hello

Start by sitting in front of your dog. With a treat in your hand, put your hand between your knees and encourage your dog to try to get it. 


When your dog's chin touches your leg, say "Say Hello!". Then say,"OK" and give him the treat when he lifts his head. Each time increase the time his chin is touching your leg, so that in the end he will keep it there while you pet him. Then release him and reward him. This will give your friends a big smile!!


Shake Hands

Dog starts out sitting. Say, "Shake hands," lift his paw with your hand. Hold his paw and say, "Good dog!" Let go of his paw.  Make sure and do this a few times every day. 


Eventually you will be able to say, "Shake Hands!" without taking his paw and he will raise it by himself.



Teaching your dog to speak is the first step to teaching him to be quiet. Eye contact is important here. When you want him to bark you need to keep eye contact, when you want him to  be quiet you will break eye contact.


Start out with your dog standing in front of you. Hold a treat just out of reach.  Tell him to "Speak!" When he barks, happily reward him with praise and a treat.  You can train him to react to a hand signal by using the signal right before you say, "Speak". 


He will end up reacting to the hand signal before you speak.  Then to teach your dog to be quiet..say, "Quiet" or "SHHH" and stamp your foot and look away. When he obeys reward with praise and a treat.  If he does not obey, ignore him. Dont' use punishment, because it is not effective.


Usually ignoring him is enough for him to get the idea.  Remember to have patience and persistence!  Your dog will learn at his own pace.



For some cultures, as we know, giving a kiss is an expected way of saying hello. So that is why I included it with the good manners sections of tricks.


Each time your dog licks your face, say, "Give me a kiss. Good boy! Give me a kiss!"  To get him started if he is not a licker, put a little bit of peanut butter on your face and say, "Give me a kiss".


When he licks it off say, "Give me a kiss," again.  This trick works because you are speaking out what you are doing at the time.  Make sure you give him lots of praise and hugs and say, "Good Boy!"






Take a Bow

Start out with your dog standing in front of you, with a treat in your hand.  Move both hands in towards your dog's front paws while saying "bow". As dog puts his head down for the treat in a bow position, give him the treat right away. 



When someone waves at you, it is rude not to wave back. So your dog needs to know how to wave.


Your dog must be sitting to start out. Pick a hand signal you want to use. It can be a circular movement, like a wave or whatever you are comfortable with.  Sit close to your dog and give the command and hand signal.


If your dog does not do anything... nudge his paw until he lifts it up. Give treat.  As time goes on require him to lift his paw higher. ALWAYS reward every time he does it.  You will be able to give the command farther and farther back.















Chapter Two


 Helping Tricks



Alot of dogs fetch naturally but if your does not, you can cut a slit in a tennis ball. Place some treats inside the ball.  Make sure you show your dog that the treats are there, and give him one. Throw the ball. To start out, run with him and get the ball; then give a treat.  Keep doing that and soon he will do it on his own.

After he learns the trick, give him the treats less and less often, so that he won't need the treats all the time and he will do it just for praise.


Find It

With this trick your dog will be able to find something that is hidden.  Start out using a strong smelling treat and show it to your dog. Let him see you hide it under a blanket or towel about 6 feet away.  Let him smell your hand. Send  your dog and say, "Find It!". Give him alot of praise when he finds the treat. And let him eat the treat.  Start to move back farther from the hiding place and move the location of the treat - put it under towel or blanket further so he has to work harder to get it. Next leave the towel or blanket in the same place and put the treat a few feet away from it and send the dog. He will have to sniff out the location. You will finally be able to put the dog with his back to the location and make sure he can't see where you put the treat.  Then you can move your dog to another room, hide the treat, let him smell your hand and send him to "find it!". Make sure you give lots of praise. This is wonderful because you will be able to move from food or treats to solid items like keys, or toys, etc.  Your dog will be able to retrieve for you.


Fetch the Paper

This is a great trick if you newspaper is left at the end of your driveway.  First, fold a section of your paper over and tape it to use as practice.  Have your dog become interested in it, rewarding him.  When your dog gets excited, start with saying, "Fetch the paper!". Put the paper in a plastic bag and get him interested in the paper again.  He will start to associate the command with having possession of the paper. Take him outside and put the paper a few feet away giving him the command again. As you continue to encourage your dog to go for the paper until he seems to understand and slowly make the distance greater until you are at the front door and the paper is in its usual delivery spot. If he tears up the paper, take it away, tell him "no" firmly and gently and do it again.  Reward him enthusiastically every time he delivers. 







Turn Out Light

Hold a treat at the light switch (make sure your dog can reach the switch when on their back legs). If your dog is short, put a sturdy table at the light switch.  Give the command, "turn out light". When  he jumps up to get the treat make sure her paws hit the switch. Reward with "good light off/out" or the command you want to use. Slowly begin to stand away from the switch and send your dog. Throw the treat when the dog jumps up and paws at the light.  Or you can place the treat on the switch so he has to knock it off. 





















Chapter Three


 Action Tricks


Go Back

Stand in front of your dog and as you walk toward him, say, "Go back:".  He will want to get out of the way and will naturally walk backwards.  Eventually try walking toward him only a step or two and then until you will be able to stand still and say, "Go Back".


Turn Around

Have your dog stand in front of you facing you.  Show him a treat you are holding in your hand.  Say, "Turn Around". Lead the dog's nose around with the treat so he walks in a circle. When he has gone around in a full circle, say, "Good Dog!" and give him the treat.  Get to where you can hold the treat in  front of you so your dog can see it and say, "turn Around" but don't have to lead his nose. 



Start with your dog lying down. Hold a treat in front of his nose and say, "Crawl!". If he starts to stand up, say, "No, down...crawl."  Pull the treat away, keeping it low, near the ground and say, "Craaawl." Then when your dog moves even an inch or two without standing up, give him praise and say, "Good dog! Craawl!"

Your dog must know "Down" before he can learn this trick.


Play Dead or Take a Nap

Your dog must start out laying down on his tummy. Gently roll him over on his side and say, "Play dead!" While he is on his side with his head down, give him a treat,  Encourage him to stay there for a couple of seconds. Then say,"Wake up!" and let him stand up.  Don't reward him for standing up, only when he is lying on the floor with his head down.


Roll Over

Start with your dog in play dead position. Gently grab both the front and hind leg that are the bottom and gently pull him over.  Then let go of his legs and let your dog jump up and play. Make sure and praise him for being a good boy! Make sure he rolls over all the way before he jumps up.  Repeat this a couple of times. As he starts to get it, you won't have to force him to pull over. Say "Roll over" every time you roll him over.

If your dog does not like you holding and pulling him, let go of his legs right away









The Shake Trick

Call your dog over to you and have him sit in front of you. Say, "shake!" gently blow in the direction of his ear. Most likely he will shake his head, as soon as he does give him a treat. Do it a couple of times, repeating, "shake" and finally you will not have to blow towards his ear anymore, he will do it on his own.


The Spin Trick

This is a very easy trick!

Stand your dog in front of you and hold out a treat so he can see it.  Hold it so he can't just get it out of your hand. Lead him in a circle while saying, "Spin!" After he spins, give him a treat and praise him with

"Good spin!" and repeat.  Similar to the other tricks you will eventually be able to just say, "Spin" and he will do it.


Go That Way

You will be able to send your dog to a specific location.

You will need to use a bait for this which can be food or a toy.  put down three baits - one directly in front of you about 10 feet away, one along the same line (10 feet away) to the right and one to the left.  When you give the command, "go that way", point to the treat you want the dog to go to. If he has any trouble, throw a treat in that direction to get started.  Reward him when he goes the right way.   If he goes the wrong way, stop him with the long line and direct again.  Keep giving the command until he does it.  After he picks up the first treat, point to the next one and say "go that way", and so on.  He has to pay attention and move in the direction you are pointing to.  Switch around your commands until your dog will obey from longer distances.


Jump Rope

This is a hard trick!

The simplest way to start this trick is to get your dog on a box, large enough for him to turn around on, but not big enough to walk around. Hold on to his collar and slowly slide a stick under the dog.  Start athis forequarters and then move on to his hindquarters. Go really slow the first time, so he does not get scared and try to jump off the box. Let him step over the stick. Only do this for 2 minutes at a time.After he gets used to stepping over the stick  slowly then speed up. Use the command "Jump rope!" when he is jumping over it. Then you can try him with the jump rope. Always start at his front and pull the rope to the back. Once he is jumping over it, you can take him down from the box and try it on the ground.  If he jumps over the rope and stays on the same spot your work is done! If not back up a step. 







Your dog will be trained for this by touching a piece of paper stuck to the wall first.  Take your dog to the wall, command "touch" and touch the paper. When he jumps up and touches the paper, reward him. Then place something on the floor and send your dog to "touch". Reward when dog moves to the item and touches it.


Jumping Through Hoop

First it is best for your dog to learn to jump something straight like a broom or stick balanced over two blocks.  Start out low.  A good way to know how high to start out is the dog's height divided in half minus 1 inch.  Let your dog check out the broom or stick, without any chewing.  With your dog on a leash walk a few steps away and saying, "over" as you move towards the stick, jog up to the jump and go over it. If your dog won't do it, try walking over first. Do not punish. Once he gets the idea you will be able to loosen up your leash and encourage him to jump over by himself. Don't forget to say, "over" each time.

You can get a hula-hoop from the toy store to teach him to first walk through the hoop while it lies on the floor until he becomes comfortable with it. Use food to lure him if you need to and if he seems nervous. Use the command, "through" this time.  To teach him to jump throught the hoop have someone hold the hoop level with the same jump you started with and

use "over" and "through" together so that he gets the right idea what he is to do. It might take a while for him to get the idea. Use alot of praise and treats!
















Chapter Four


So Cute!!! Tricks



Say Prayers

For this trick you will  be basically getting him to put his head down between his paws when you give the command, "say prayers" and to end it you will give the command, "amen". Start sitting in a chair in front of your dog with your dog sitting. Place a treat between your legs on the chair.  Tell your dog,

"say prayers" and get him to lift both of his front paws on to the chair. (He must stay sitting.) Tell him to "leave it" so he doesn't eat the treat and say again,"say prayers". He should put his nose down to the treat between paws. Then to release say, "amen" and reward him with the treat. You can also do this on a low table. You stand behind your dog, guide his paws on to the table and encourage him to lower his chin between paws towards the treat.


Book on Head

Make sure you use a book that is the right size for your dog. You must balance the book on his head between the ears. Hold him very still with your left hand and put the book on his head with your right hand. Hold the book there while you say,"stay". In the end you will take away both hands (slowly) until he is balancing the book. Count to 3 and take away and release and reward. Each time try to make the time longer that he is balancing the book.

Your goal is to have him come to you while balancing the book. This is a hard trick so it will take time.


Cookie on Nose

Hold your dogs snout and give the "stay" command. Put a cookie on top of his nose and keep saying, "stay". Let go. Dog must hold the cookie until you give the release command,"take it". Then he will catch the cookie in his mouth.  What a fun way to give treats.



For this one the signal will be you putting your hands around your nose and

mouth and say, "sneeze". Start out sitting in a chair with your dog in front of you sitting. Cup your hands around his muzzle, say sneeze and blow gently into his nostrils. Keep doing this until he either sniffles, sneezes or makes a close sound or action. Reward "good sneeze" and treat. Some dogs take a long time to learn this one.











Hide Your Eyes

This one is probably going to best learned in down position. Hold a treat in your hand, tell your dog to "cover your eyes". Lift his paw over his muzzle and reward. If you blow softly on his nose, he will most likely swipe at his face. When that happens, give a reward. You will have to repeat the command and movement over and over until your dog gets the idea what he has to do to get the treat.


Conclusion:  Remember that every dog is different and the time it takes for your dog to learn tricks will vary with his personality.  Repetition and it over and over and over until he gets it!!

But most of all.........HAVE FUN!!!






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