You can teach an old dog new tricks! All you need is some patience, a little luck, a clicker and bag of Bruno’s favourite doggy biscuits. If you’ve got the basics right, anything is ‘pawsible’. Bruno might even surprise you by fetching a cold one from the fridge to thank you for teaching him some human skills. *Nudge nudge, wink wink*
We’ve put together a guide with five easy dog training tricks that Bruno can learn in just one day, especially for you! Dog training is fun, just ask the ladies from The Bachelor South Africa; all of whom took the leash in a dog training obstacle course in episode 5.
5 Easy dog tricks to try today!
Trick #1- Unleash the clicker
This one’s not very exciting, but you should build a strong foundation before attempting the other awesome dog training tricks on this list. You need to introduce Bruno to his training ‘pawtner’, The Clicker. A clicker is a small, handheld device that uses a unique sound, a click, in the place of words for positive-reinforcement training.
Step 1: Buy a dog clicker from a store like Pet Heaven. It won’t cost a paw and a leg!
Step 2: Introduce Bruno to his new training ‘pawtner’. Click and feed your barking buddy a healthy treat.
Step 3: Repeat about thirty times (click-treat-repeat). This teaches your dog to associate the click with a treat. Just remember that Bruno can’t spoil his healthy diet with 30 doggy biscuits. He needs to stay in shape for the lovely ladies. That’s why you need to feed him small bites of healthy treats like this one: Pumpkin Peanut Butter treats. Yum yum!
Step 4: To maintain this click-treat connection it is important to follow the rule: Never click without giving a treat and never treat without clicking. Kapish?
Trick #2- Sit on command
You can teach your dog to sit by saying his/her name followed by the word “sit”. It sounds like a boring trick, but your dog’s human admirers will dig it.
Step 1: When your pooch eventually takes a break from chasing tail and puts his bum on the floor, you can begin training. Click and feed your dog a tasty munchie while he sits.
Step 2: Repeat the click and treat routine 5 times.
Step 3: Make your dog stand up (try throwing a frisbee or stick) and then say “sit” followed by a click and a treat.
Step 4: Repeat the get-up, sit, click and treat routine until Bruno sits on your command.
Step 5: Say “sit”. If he sits, click and give him a tasty treat. If he does not, return to step 4 and try again.
Trick #3- Gimme five
Nothing’s cooler than saying “gimme five” and catching a palm full of paw! This move is also useful if you have a dog that tends to paw at you—redirect those bad manners into something you can be proud of.
Step 1: Have your dog sit in front of you or stand in front of him while he takes a seat.
Step 2: Wait and test your patience. When he lifts his paw click, treat and repeat 5 times.
Step 3: Wait for him to offer to lift his paw (no matter how slight). Click and treat.
Step 4: Say the word “paw” each time he lifts his paw. Click and treat.
Step 5: Modify the trick by rewarding only higher lifts. You can encourage him to lift his paw by tickling the hollow behind his paw. Hopefully, that won’t tickle too much.
Trick #4- Take it
Okay, so now that your dog knows some of the basics of dog training, let’s teach him something impressive and super handy. This will bring your pooch one step closer to serving you a delicious beverage or snack in your hand. That’s one small step for a dog, one giant leap for mankind.
Here’s how you can train your dog to pick up objects:
Step 1: Get one of your dog’s favourite chew toys. Throw it somewhere or let it make a squeaky sound to grab your pup’s attention. Once your dog grabs it with his mouth, click and offer a treat.
Step 2: Repeat this several times. When he starts picking up the toy without hesitation, start using the command “take it” when you click and treat.
Step 3: After a few times, see if your doggy picks things up on your command. “Bruno, take it!”
Step 4: See how many objects he’ll pick up! Point to anything that’s laying around, even your smelly gym socks. Click and treat. Point to a shoe and say “take it”! But be sure, you don’t plan on wearing them again.
Trick #5- Jump for joy
This dog training trick will make your furry friend jump for joy. Bruno will learn how to jump straight up in the air to grab something tasty or a chew toy to play with. This trick is PAWsome, but make sure that your dog doesn’t get hurt during this stunt. Puppies shouldn’t jump or train too hard!
Step 1: Hold your touch stick high in the air so that he has to jump up to touch it. As soon as his legs come off the ground click and treat.
Step 2: Keep doing this until he jumps at your command.
Step 3: Gradually stop using the touch stick and use your command instead. Click and treat whenever he does this. Praise your dog for a trick well done. “Aw…who’s a good boy? Bruno’s a good boy!”
If the above dog tricks take more than a week, don’t fret. Your dog might just be having a bad week. They also have their ups and downs, you know. Let sleeping dogs lie for a while, then try again!
Let us know how your dog training experience goes by sending us a message on Facebook or Instagram. You’re welcome to brag about your dog’s sweet skills and to send us images or videos of your professional pooch😊
You’ve got this!