The Trick to Dog Tricks
To some people, Dog obedience can be divided into two different forms; behavioral and recreational. The first is a form of dog training designed to instill in the dog, the behaviors necessary to live in a civilized society, and to that end, if necessary, remove bad behavioral patterns and replace them with more desirable ones. One example of this is leash training a puppy. The sole purpose of the latter is simply designed for entertainment by exhibiting certain skills.
There are a number of people who don’t advocate the use of recreational training, as they believe that all the fuss simply turns the dog into a clown for the sake of pleasing your own whim. However, it can always be done in a loving way that does end up being beneficial for both you and the dog.
Dogs are lively animals that will supply themselves and their owner with hours of pleasure, just for being what they are.
If Dog tricks help you to increase the level of happiness and bonding between you and your dog, than by all means go for it and try them out. Believe me, Buddy will be just as happy getting a click and treat for doing a sit/stay as for doing a sit-up. (See my post on clicker training, on this site.)
The first step to teaching your dog tricks is to have a solid basis of the basic commands (come, sit, stay, down, heel). These building blocks will enable you to incorporate new trick behaviors into what the dog already knows.
For example, a rollover would first require the dog to lie down, then roll to one side and stay like this before moving onto the other side. It’ll take some time until the dog is able to completely rollover, but this kind of step by step approach (slicing behaviors into simple to achieve steps) is always the easiest way to achieve success.
Teaching your pet new dog tricks does take time, especially some of the more complex behaviors, like handstands or limping on three legs. Some of the complex routines as seen on TV or in movies are incredible to watch.
The internet abounds with all sorts of examples of trick work, along with the explanations as to how to train them.
Try using your own imagination to discover new and inventive tricks or routines to show off his talents.
Finally, just let me say this (and I speak from years of experience here), there are dogs who just love the limelight and live to perform, and are thoroughly delighted by the sound of applause. So if yours is one of those, get out your clicker and bait bag and get to work. Show biz may be in his blood.
Joyful dogs are always easy to tell apart from others. The state of a dog, is a reflection of its owner.