Stimulate, Entertain, and Train Your Dog With a Few Simple Tricks

If you’re concerned that your dog doesn’t get enough stimulation you might want to consider teaching him (or her) a few tricks. Not only does this increase interaction and stimulation, but it helps your dog stay sharp, and depending on the trick may help them stay safe when you’re out on a walk. At Raleigh Pet Sitters, we know that a smart, engaged pet is usually a happy one.

Four Tricks to Entertain and Keep Your Dog Safe

  1. Shake paws: Have your dog sit. Show him a treat, then move your hand in a fist toward the dog’s foot. Hold it a few inches from the ground. If your dog’s response is to lift his paw, reward with the treat. On the other hand, if the reaction is to stand, start over. If your dog bats at your hand, show them the treat and encourage while holding your other hand out flat to grab his paw while he snags the treat. Give a reward immediately, even if the dog only lifts a paw slightly.  This is progress. Add the command to shake when your dog regularly lifts a paw for a treat, and then slowly eliminate treats giving only occasionally as you see your pup knows the trick.
  2. Roll over: When teaching your pup to roll over, you’ll start with your dog on his or her belly. Start with a treat next to the nose, and then pull it away from the nose toward the dog’s shoulder. Your pup should move to track the treat and if so, move the treat to make them lay on their side to get it. When they have rolled, praise them and reward with the treat. Start using the command to “roll over” and continue giving the treat. Next, stop giving the treat and use the command only.
  3. Army crawl: The army crawl is both cute and useful. Once you have your dog in the “down” position, show a treat and drag it along the ground so that your dog is encouraged to move to get it. If the pup stands up, make them lie down and start the process again. Once your dog has mastered this one, use your finger to lure the dog, not treats, and reward your dog for each short army crawl. The third step is to continue using your finger to lure your pup, and add a verbal cue telling them to “crawl.”
  4. Walk backward: teaching your dog to walk backward or back up can keep your dog safe and lessen annoyance with your pet. No one likes it when their dog rushes at people as they enter. It can also help you keep your dog from getting into dangerous things outside. To train your pup to do this one, you’ll need a handful of treats, and to get your dog in a position where they’ll pay attention. Say “back up”, walk toward them, forcing your pup to walk backward, and reward with a treat when they do what you’ve asked. Continue to do this for short periods of time until you can say “back up” and the dog does this automatically.

At Raleigh Pet Sitters, we love helping you ensure your pet is cared for and walked when you’re unable to take the walks, or cuddle and play with your pet yourself.  We can make your life easier and less stressful. Our pet sitting services include exercise, play, and lots of attention for your furry friend.  

Contact us to schedule visits and give your dog something to bark about!