We all love our four-legged friends, but sometimes they can be quite a challenge, especially when they misbehave. But no dog is ever too old to learn new tricks. So, here are a couple of neat commands that'll physically and mentally stimulate your best friend while you two spend some quality time together.
Reward Good Behavior
Use treats, hugs, and a ton of praise to reward your pooch’s good behavior. Positive reinforcement is the best way to get your dog to stay on track. But make sure to never reward bad behavior by mistake, (like snatching food from the table) or they’ll keep doing it.
Teach Them Their Name
Teaching your dog to recognize his own name when you call him is the oldest trick in the book. When they look up at you, give them a treat or click the clicker. Repeat this exercise 4 times. Say their name as they look at you and repeat 7 more times. Eventually, they’ll associate themselves with the name you’ve given them.
Get Them to Stop Jumping Up
Dogs tend to jump up when they greet someone. If this bothers you, don’t reward or reprimand them. Try ignoring them, instead. Turn your back on them until they’ve settled down. Once they stop, give them positive reinforcement. This trains them not to jump up to greet you or any visitors.
Discourage Them From Biting
If your dog likes to bite you or nip on you, don’t get mad. Try pretending like you’re in a lot of pain. This will make them stop. If it doesn’t work, trade whatever body part he or she is biting on with a chew toy. This swap trick also works if your dog starts biting on furniture or shoes.
Get Them to High Five
Reach out like you’re going to initiate the shake command, but hold your palm out. When your dog hits your palm, give them the “high five” command. Then praise and treat your four-legged friend. Remember, the goal is to get the dog to raise its paw and hit your open palm.
Teach Them to Kiss
Put a small treat on your cheek and give the “kiss” command. It’s the easiest trick to teach your pooch. You’ll be able to command your dog to give you a big, wet smooch before you know it. By learning how to kiss on cue, this technique will also prevent any unwanted licking.
Train Them to Back Up
Train a dog to take back a couple of steps when you give them the “back up” command. All you need is a lot of patience and some treats to reinforce the behavior when they obey. Stand in front of your dog and take a step toward him. Don't forget to tell him to "back up" as you're doing this. If your dog takes a step back as you approach, give him a treat. If he didn't understand the command or he sits down or moves to the side, make sure to place pillows and chairs into a narrow chute so he's got no other option than to move backward.
Get Them to Beg
Reinforce the “beg” command by hanging a treat over your dog’s head. This will teach them to sit on their hind legs with their paws up every time they hear that command. They'll look so adorable when they beg for a treat!
Train Them to Sit
Capture your dog's attention first. Show him you've got a treat in your hands. Then, move the treat from your doggo's nose all the way to the back of his head. He'll slowly follow it with his eyes and nose, which will make him place his bottom on the floor. As soon as his rear-end touches the floor, say “sit” and reward them. Then repeat this over and over. Reward them when they sit down again.
Teach Them the Down Command
Put a treat in your closed fist. Then hold your hand up to your pooch’s snout. When they sniff it, move your hand to the floor so they’ll follow. Then slide your hand on the floor in front of them to get their bodies to follow their head. Once they’re in the down position, say “down” and give them a treat.
Train Them to Leave It
Place a treat in both hands. Then show them the enclosed fist with the treat inside and say, “leave it.” Let them try to get the treat and ignore the behavior. Once they stop trying, give them the treat from your other hand. Keep doing this until your dog moves away from the first fist every time you issue the “leave it” command.
Get Them to Stand
Get your dog to lie down. Once they stand up, use a clicker and click it or say “stand” and then offer them a treat. Do this over and over until they learn that they need to stand up to get their treat. This may take a while since standing is natural to dogs, but they’ll get it eventually.
Teach Them to Spin
Put a treat in your hand and show it to your dog. Place the treat near their nose and get the dog to turn in a full circle. When they face you again, give them the treat. Do this 5 times. Repeat the spinning motion 10 times without the treat in your hand. Then feed them a treat for each successful turn. Make sure to add a cue word like “spin” for a clockwise turn and “whirl” for counterclockwise depending on the hand signal you use.
Get Them to Ring the Bell
Tie a jingle bell on a yarn and suspend it from the doorknob. When you take the dog outside, touch the bell to make it ring. They will associate the ringing with the door opening. After a few days, point to the bell. Your dog will slap the bell with their paw, which is a sign you need to open the door so they can go potty.
Teach Them the Balancing Trick
Get your dog to balance a treat on their nose by getting them to sit. Then grab a treat and place it on your dog’s nose and say “leave it”. Then say, “Okay,” to signal to your pooch that it’s okay to eat it. It might take a few tries, but it’s an awesome trick to impress your family and friends.
Train Them to Crawl
Get your dog to lie down. Then drag a treat on the floor in front of them to encourage them to crawl. Keep the treat low on the ground. At this point, your pup should be trying to crawl on the ground to get it. This might seem odd to your dog at first, but eventually they’ll figure it out. Once your pup starts crawling, say the word “crawl” while you drag the treat away. Then reward them with the treat.
Get Them to Take Something
Put your dog’s favorite toy on the ground. Wait for them to pick it up with their mouth. As they pick it up, use the command “take” and give them a treat. You can also point to an object and say “take it,” and if they obey, you give them another treat.
Teach Them to Bring an Object
Give a toy or object to your dog and use the command "take." This will teach them that this is the item you want them to fetch for you. Then, set the object on the ground. Encourage your dog to come towards you with the toy or object you pointed to. If they bring it to you, then reward them with a treat. Do this repeatedly. Eventually, you’ll get them to bring you the remote or your slippers.
Teach Them to Go Potty
The "go potty" or "park" command is designed to teach your pooch where they need to do their business when they go outside. Find a specific spot in the backyard to make clean-up easier. Wait for them to finish doing their business. Pay no attention to them and once they're done, give them a treat. Keep bringing your dog to the same spot and maintain a potty schedule so they get used to going when they hear that command.
Teach Them to Come When Called
Tell your dog to come by using his or her name. When they do, use positive reinforcement. Make sure to repeat this when they’re busy doing something. This will reinforce your status as the alpha in your home.
Train Them to Leap
Have your dog stay while you put a stick on the ground. Cross over to the other side and call their name. When the dog crosses the stick, offer them a treat. Then start adding height to the stick by placing some books underneath. Once it’s high enough to jump over, say “leap” and when they do as they’re told, give them a treat.
Teach Them to Jump Over People
Have someone kneel on their hands and knees while you hold a stick over them. Then have your dog jump over the stick. If they do, treat them. If they don’t, then try getting the person to lie down on the ground. Eventually, your dog will jump over the human without the stick. But don’t forget to offer them a treat.
Get Them to Speak
Dogs don’t speak with words, but they do bark. So next time they bark when the mail carrier walks to your door or when the doorbell rings, say “speak” and then treat. After doing this several times, he’ll obey and bark on command.
Get Them to Hush
Turn your attention towards your dog when they start barking. When they stop, give them a treat. Do this every time and add the “hush” command when you offer them a treat. You can even add a hand signal that they’ll associate with the command so they stop barking.
Teach Them to Open Doors
Tie a cloth around a door. Then tell them to tug it. Wait until they tug the door completely open. Add the “open” command and give them a treat. Eventually, your dog will be able to open the door every time you bark (no pun intended) the command.