Learned Tricks


Status: completed
Training: Holding a small treat, command the dog to lay down. Once in the down position, hold the treat about a foot in front of the dog with your hand on the ground, and command "crawl." If the dog gets up, correct the dog with a gentle "No," place the treat behind your back, and put the dog back in position. Most dogs will understand fairly quickly that they will not get the treat if they get off the ground. If the dog makes any movement forward while still on the ground, reward them with a treat. If the dog is having trouble, put them on the ground and command them to "come." Once the dog learns that they must "come" while still on the ground, you can transfer to using the command crawl. Practice trick until the dog knows exactly what to do.
Time: Reggie learned this trick in 2 minutes.

Play Dead

Status: completed
Training: Holding a small treat, command the dog to lay down. Using your hand as a visual guide, flatten your hand and place it palm-up. While saying the verbal command "Play Dead," flip your hand into a palm-down position. The dog will almost certainly not understand what you want, so you must guide them to doing the correct behavior. While using your voice and right hand to command the trick, use your left hand to gently pull on the collar, trying to bring the dog to lie on his side. If your dog rolls all the way over, praise the dog with a high pitched "Close! Try again!" but do not give the dog the treat. Repeat the gentle pulling on the collar with the verbal and visual commands until the dog lies on his side for even one second. Once the dog stops moving while on his side, give him the treat. With more practice, you should be able to remove your hand from the collar and the dog should stay lying on his side. It may take several weeks for the dog to learn to do the trick with only the verbal and visual commands (ie without your hand guiding his collar). Keep consistent with your tone of voice, the words you use, and your hand signal. Before long your dog should learn "play dead."
Time: Reggie learned the gist of the trick within 5-7 minutes, but he still needs work with doing it on command (without my hand guiding his collar)


Status: completed
Training: Kneel down so that you are level with the dog's face. Have him sit in front of you and put your face down in front of his. Pointing to your nose, say "Can I have a kiss?" Most dogs' natural reaction is to kiss you anyways because you're right in front of him. If he kisses you, give him a treat. If he doesn't, keep making the same gesture until he at least touches his nose to your nose. Any contact on his part should be rewarded. If your dog is not a "licker" then you can change the trick to "Eskimo Kiss" so that he only has to touch his nose with yours, and not actually lick. After the dog learns to kiss you on the nose, you can start teaching him to kiss you on the cheek or hand.
Time: Reggie learned the trick in 2 minutes originally because he loves to lick, but he still needs work always reacting on command.

Go Say Hello

Status: completed
Training: Hold your dog on the ground in a sitting position, and have him watch as you hand a treat to a friend across the room. Say, "Go say hello" and point to the friend with your hand, who is holding an outstretched hand with a treat. Then let go of the collar, and allow the dog to walk towards the friend. When the dog reaches the friend, say "good boy" and allow the friend to reward him. The have the friend sit down the dog and use the command in reference to you. Go back and forth until the dog understands. Eventually take away the outstretched hand so that the dog must go say hello without the visual draw. Make sure that the friend never calls the dog over, because that would be working on a different command. Practice until the dog will go see anyone you point to.
Time: Reggie took about 10 minutes to learn this trick. He still will not go say hello if he cannot see the treat in the person's hand. We will keep working on it so that he will go see whoever I tell him to.