Whether it’s the New Year or the middle of July, any time is a great time to teach your dog a new trick. Dogs young and old can always benefit from learning something new, as it adds to the richness of their life and the joy of your life as well. Below are four fun and valuable tricks to teach your dog this year!
Open & Close the Door
A useful and unusual trick to teach your dog is to open and close a door. It is a trick that service dogs know and can help your dog become very serviceable when you or a guest needs a helping paw.
To open the door, your dog can begin by learning to tug on a rag tied around a door handle. When it is used to that, introduce the “open the door” command and teach your dog to also push the door open. Reward with praise and treats.
To close the door, one can put a sticky note on a door at your dog’s height and teach it to nose it. After a while, remove the sticky note and teach your dog to close the door by nosing it at the “close the door” command. Always remember to praise!
Lights On & Off
Another helpful trick that adds to your pet’s prowess is to turn the lights on and off. One can go about teaching this trick by starting off with having your dog paw a sticky note or aim for a treat near the light switch. Transfer to the light switch and add the cue “get the lights!”
Fetch is the quintessential game trick for any dog. It all starts with learning how to “hold,” which turns into your dog learning to hold a toy at farther and farther distances and bringing it to you. Later, you can introduce the phrases “fetch” and “go get it.” Don’t forget to vary the types of toys you use to play the game.
Hide & Seek
Playing hide and seek with your dog is one of the most fun activities you can enjoy together. To seek, let your pet see where you hide and call it by name while an assistant with your dog tells it to “find.” To hide, gradually show your dog how to move into a hidden location from you and introduce the command “hide” or signal by turning around and counting to ten. Enjoy!
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