Friday, August 29, 2014

Why should you teach a dog some tricks?

Strictly speaking, a dog doesn't have to know tricks beyond basic obedience such as sit, stay, lie, and come. But, learning tricks is a great way to bond, learning makes the dog think, and training can alleviate boredom and associated problems.

Activating the dog's mind is a great thing. The more a dog learns the better he or she will learn, and this is a positive process that engages and stimulates the mind.

Besides the bonding process and activating the dog's mind, tricks are entertaining. Some people are afraid of dogs, and a dog that can sit down and wave is certainly less intimidating than one that pulls on the leash in its eagerness to go over and say hello. A trick like sitting down and waving can also solve certain problem behaviors such as jumping on people.

Some people are afraid of certain dog breeds, and a dog able to show off good behavior and some neat tricks can be a great breed ambassador.

Learn to take a bow

When bowing, the dog leans down with chest and elbows touching the ground, but the rear stays up. This is a cool trick that builds on natural dog behavior, and is fairly easy to learn.

Start with your dog standing up. This will be easier if he or she can stand on command.

Hold a treat at the tip of the dog's nose and move it down slowly while saying "take a bow." Hold it close to the dog's body and lure him down until the elbows are on the floor.

Hold the bow for a couple of seconds and use the treat to lure the dog back to standing.

As soon as the bow is complete, praise the dog and give the treat.

Practice several times a day, no more than a few minutes at a time, and before you know it, the command "take a bow" will make your dog bow.

If your dog has trouble doing the entire trick, split it up into smaller increments. Reward him or her for moving in the right direction. You'll get there with some patience.

Does your dog know any tricks? How did you train?


  1. Sounds easy. We might have to try this one.

    1. You would master this is no time! Compared to the nose work and other cool stuff you do, learning to bow is a piece of cake =)

  2. Yes, Sugar knows lots of tricks but we actually call it skills. Why? will share it on a future blog post. Golden Woofs

    1. Hi Golden Woofs! Sugar is a very skilled dog. I love seeing her balance acts. I look forward to reading the post. =)