To teach your dog tricks, even simple ones, you’ll need some small reward treats, to be in a quiet suitable location, and to keep the training sessions to 10 – 15 minutes or your dog will get bored. Remember to give him lots of praise and a reward treat when he gets something right, but don’t get him too excited or he’ll lose concentration.

To get your dog to give you his paw, first get him to sit, then take his paw in your hand as you say the word ‘paw,’ give the dog a treat, repeat, after a few times, don’t take his paw so quickly, say the word, count to one, then take it, you should notice he is bringing his paw up as you say the word, if he isn’t, go back to saying it at the same time, do it a Most dogs will happily pick this up after two or three sessions.

The high five is a progression of an earlier trick, in this case the paw trick, as is the case with many tricks. Raise your hand somewhat higher than you would for the paw trick while holding a reward in your fingers. Your dog will believe you want to do the paw trick and reach for the reward with his paw like we taught him earlier; as he reaches up, you say “high five” and give him the treat. Once your dog has mastered the paw trick, this one should be rather simple to teach, and after a few sessions, he should be able to execute it without using his voice.

Before you start this one, I’d just like to ask you to be a bit cautious and not hold the hoop too high, as you don’t want your dog to get hurt when performing the trick. Sit your dog on one side of a hoola hoop, get his attention on your hand on the other side of the hoop, take a treat in your hand, and release him from the sit; if he tries to go around or under the hoop, start over; your dog wants the treat and will soon learn that going around or under it does not get it, so he will start going through it; when he does, say hoopla and give him the treat. On the command of hoopla, he’ll be jumping through the hoop in no time. When I first started doing this trick, I had a medium-sized dog (a Labrador), so I started with the hoop 6 inches off the ground and gradually raised it to waist height. If you have a smaller dog, you may want to start with the hoop touching the ground so the dog can simply go through it, and then gradually raise it as he gets used to the trick.


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