If you love your new puppy like I am sure you do, you will probably want to spend a little time each and every single day teaching them something new. Some days you may just want to shower them with love and affection and let them continue to get cozy in their new home.
Below are some popular tricks that you should start teaching your pup right from the start:
Bow (or stretch): Description – As you may have already noticed, when your dog gets up for a good nap he usually stretches his front legs ending up in a bowing position: what you will learn here is to train your dog to “bow” at your command.
How to do it – Start with your dog standing on his four legs: say ‘Bow’ and push gently on the forward part of his back (close to the neck) while holding a hand under his rear legs. The result will be that he will lower his head and front part while leaving standing his rear part – thus “bowing”.
Fetch, Stop’n’go!: Description – You will teach your dog to stay when you throw the ball or the stick, and to not move untill you tell him to “Go fetch!”
How to do it – It is really important that your dog knows how to stay and to fetch before you can teach him this trick (and he has to enjoy fetching things quite a lot). Anyhow, make your dog stay, and then throw the stick – quite close to you and to your dog. Keep praising him while he doesn’t move: your dog will be pointing at the stick but will stay, waiting for your order: after a few seconds say “Go!” – with a quite strong voice – and your dog will run to get the stick – give him a treat when he comes back to you. If he runs after the stick as soon as you throw it, just say “No”, go get the stick, and repeat (don’t forget to always pratice stay, it’s a great and very useful exercise!
Stay: Description – When you say ‘Stay’ your dog will stay in the spot you placed him, either sitting or laying down.
How to do it – Hold a treat in front of your dog and make him sit. Then say ‘Stay’ and, while holding your hand open in front of him, walk away a few steps – always facing him and always saying ‘Good Boy’ (if he doesn’t move). Start with just a few steps and make the stay always longer (try also to go to ther rooms or behind corners). Give him the treat when you go back to him.
Speak: Description – Your dog will “speak” (obviously in his own language – barking) when you will ask him to do so.
How to do it – This is not a difficult trick: the important thing is the timing! As soon as your dog starts barking at something (if you have a toy that he always barks at use that one) say ‘Speak’ and give him a treat. After a while he will start barking as soon as you say ‘Speak’.
Stand: Description – Your puppy will be standing on his tail, maybe even moving a few steps – just like a human would do!
How to do it – Starting from the ‘Sit’ position, hold a treat right in front of the nose of your dog, then say ‘Stand!’ and move it above him so that he will have to stand in order to reach it. As soon as he stands say ‘Good boy’ and, when he sits back, give him the treat. While he is standing you can move – just a few steps – holding the treat – cheer him a lot if he follows you “walking”.
Roll over: Description – At you command, the dog will roll over his back (you can teach him to do this even more than once)
How to do it – Starting from the ‘Lay’ position, say ‘Roll Over’ and “roll” gently your dog (grab his legs and pull him, or push him from one side so that he makes a complete roll). After he has completed the roll, make him sit, cheer him and give him the treat.
Crawl: Description – Teach your puppy to crawl – that is, move forward from the ‘Lay’ position. You can use this trick to let him crawl under a chair, for example, or – as shown in the picture – under a vertical bar.
How to do it – Starting from the ‘Lay’ position, say ‘Crawl’, hold a treat in front of your dog’s nose and move it a few inches away from him: if he stands up just say ‘No, CRAWL!’, and start over (make him ‘Lay’ again). Praise him a lot and give him the treat as soon as he crawls, even a few inches.
Lay Down: Description – Your puppy will be laying down, with his front pawns stretching ahead of him.
How to do it – There are various ways to do this: the one we like to most is this one. Have your dog sit, say ‘Lay’ and then “pass” a cookie in front of his mouth, going all the way down to the ground with your hand: the puppy will naturally follow the hand (and the cookie…) and he will end up laying down. Give him the treat only when he stretches his forearms in front of him – and praise him a lot.
I feel that Get Down or Down should have been on this list as it is one of the first tricks a new puppy should learn. What else do you feel should be on this list?