Tricks and Treats

They can't read, so they need other ways to keep busy
They can’t read, so they need other ways to keep busy

To keep our dogs busy and healthy, we don’t only have to make sure they get enough physical activities like a stimulating walk or swim. Like the body, the mind has needs too and needs to be used. Preventing boredom is of the essence. Most of you will probably have some (funny) anecdote showing that boredom leads to trouble, in dogs and humans alike.

One way to keep a dog’s mind occupied is to teach him of her tricks. Most people know about the basic tricks and commands such as sit, heel, down. These are things every dog should know to operate and be safe in our society. However, dogs are capable of learning much more than that. They might even pick up a few tricks on their own, whether you want them to or not.

To teach your dogs new tricks, you don’t need much: a list of tricks, patience, perseverance and lots of treats. However, if you don’t really know where to start and the internet is no help, you don’t have to do this on your own. There are dog schools and trainers who will gladly help you and that offer more advanced classes that go beyond basic obedience. Though, make sure you transport your pooch safely in the car, with a crate or pet barrier, when you go to these classes.

dog treats
Lots and lots of treats

You can find a lot of dog tricks online. Here’s a list of some tricks I liked:

Fun ones:

  • walking backwards
  • barking on command
  • slalom
  • jumping
  • crawling
  • a classic: play dead

Useful ones:

  • difference between left and right
  • opening and closing doors
  • picking up toys
  • switching the light on and off
  • Leave it, for refusing strange food and other non-edible things
  • baring their teeth, useful for brushing those pearly whites
  • find my keys

Does your dog know any fun or unusual tricks? Is there a something you would like him to know? Let me know in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “Tricks and Treats

  1. The only trick Sam can do is to lick his chops on cue for a treat. He’ll do one side and I’ll tell him “do the other side” to which he complies. Then I’ll tell him to “do it again” and sure enough, he’ll do it again on the other side! Patients and nurses love it. I’m just blow away this dimwit actually learned to respond! He is either very dumb or very stubborn with most things. 😉

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  2. My critters will wait in the car until I tell them to jump out (usually once I’ve unhooked everyone from their harnesses) and then into house on command which is really handy if we’re staying in a hotel or tent. Piper can sing (growl) and speak (bark). I’m trying to think of other things for Jack and Leo. We are working on left and right but definitely a work in progress.

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