Teaching tricks to your dog can be great fun. They can be purely for fun, such as weaving in and out of your legs, or can serve a useful purpose, such as fetching named items for you or closing the door.
Some people feel that teaching tricks is demeaning to the dog. This depends on what is taught and how. Dogs love learning and they love being appreciated, so tricks can be a good way of doing this.
Whatever you decide to teach your dog, it is still of benefit. The more you successfully teach your dog, the more you learn about each other. Often, teaching tricks is easy and fun. We give huge rewards as we are so pleased that our dog has learned. If we approach the conventional teaching in the same way, results may come more quickly Therefore, think of teaching your dog to walk on a loose lead as just being another trick, and it often becomes much easier.
As you and your dog learn more from each other, you can teach tricks that are useful and help your dog to be a useful member of the family such as bringing you the television remote control, How to teach dog to roll over fetching you his bowl at feeding time, collecting the post or the newspaper, or closing the door. The list is endless and is only restricted by your imagination.
With any trick, split it into small segments and teach each one at a time. If it is a complicated sequence, start with the last element and teach this first. Then add the previous element to the beginning and build up from there. This process is known as reverse chaining. It helps the dog to learn as he always ends with the familiar part. Shaping is also important. Instead of waiting for the whole result before rewarding your dog, you reward him for getting nearer and nearer to your goal. Each time, you need to ask him for a little more. The same processes still apply for teaching each element. Find a way that your dog wants to do it and reward him for this. Clickers can be extremely useful here as you can reward your dog at the right moment, even if he is some distance from you, for example, when jumping.