Jessica L.

What do you do on a lazy afternoon with no plans? Well, if you’re like most people, you are probably bored and sitting on your phone. However, you’re not the only one with nothing to do. Your four-legged canine is also at a loss for something to do. So why don’t you try to teach your dog some cool tricks to impress the rest of your family? There are many tricks you can teach your dog besides the normal sit and down. 

1. Pretty - Pretty is a trick that is often seen in dog shows where a dog sits on its hind legs. You should start with your dog in a sitting position. Make sure that its hind legs are both facing forward so that he/she doesn’t lose their balance and fall. Take a treat in your hand and show your dog that it is there. Take the hand with the treat in it and slowly move it to above your dog’s head. This will cause the dog to sit back on its hind legs in order to keep the treat in sight. Repeat this process until your dog is able to hold the pose for about 5 seconds without losing balance. Make sure to reward your dog each time they successfully do the trick. 

2. Pow - This trick is basically the same position the dog would be in if it was getting a belly rub. There are 2 ways you could teach this trick. The first way works best if your dog is still a young puppy. Basically, when young dogs first learn that they lay down on their back they get belly rubs, you can teach them a hand signal that they will begin to associate with the position. The hand signal that goes with this trick is usually a gun shape, hence the name ‘pow.’ The second way to teach your dog this trick begins with your dog laying down. Once they are laying down, you can show them the gun signal and then lightly poke their side with it. (Please don’t hurt your dog while doing this. Only poke them enough for it to cause very minor discomfort.) This should cause your dog to roll over to their back. Reward them once they get in that position. 

3. Fly - This trick is basically making your dog jump in the air. (Make sure you don’t accidentally teach your dog to jump on you because many people would not like their dog to jump on them.) The hand signal used to show ‘fly’ is usually clapping. For this trick you would need your dog to start in a sitting position. Take a treat in your hand and hold it high above your dog’s head. Use your other hand to ‘clap’ the hand with a treat. (The sound might not be loud enough to resemble a regular clap, but the motion still looks the same.) Your dog should then jump for the treat. However, you should hold it high enough to be out of their reach. Once they land, then you should reward them with the treat. 

4. Crawl - This trick is pretty self explanatory. Although it seems simple, it can be one of the longest to teach because you have to start very small and work your way up. The dog should start in a laying down position (not on their side). Take a treat and place it a few inches in front of your dog. It should be far enough that the dog can’t reach it but close enough that your dog shouldn’t have to stand up to get it. The signal used for this trick is tapping to the sides of the treat, like a short drumroll. If the dog starts to stand up, immediately remove the treat and place it behind your back. Repeat this until your dog is successfully able to ‘crawl.’ When the dog ‘crawls’ then reward them with a treat. Keep making the distances longer as your dog gets better at the trick. Eventually, your dog should be able to crawl longer distances with no problems. 

5. Doggy Burpees - Doggy Burpees is a combination of two tricks. The dog starts in ‘down’ and then, straight from there, it goes to ‘fly.’ This creates a move that resembles regular burpees that humans do. This is an easy trick for dogs to learn and it’s humorous to watch. When dogs have a lot of energy late at night, this is a great way to tire them out quickly. Make sure to give them a big treat afterwards as a reward. 

Now that you have taught your dog some new tricks, you can show them off to your friends and family. However, make sure to keep doing these tricks with them so that they remember them. Many dogs will forget tricks over time if they don’t keep up with it. Just like you tend to forget everything you’ve learned over the summer. So remember, practice makes perfect. 

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