BBS Training Tip #5: 4 Tricks Every Dog Should Know
Summer is a great opportunity to spend more time outdoors with your dog. It’s also a good time to make sure dog is up to par on a few basic but very important commands. Whether you’re headed to the beach or going for an afternoon stroll in the neighborhood, BestBullySticks wants to make sure you’ve got the right tools to have fun while keeping your dog safe.
Good Behavior and Safety
It may sound strange, but learning commands and tricks can help keep your dog safe. Teaching a dog new tricks helps them maintain focus on you. If you’re able to keep your dog’s attention, especially in a busy places like the beach, you’ll have no doubt about whether or not your dog will listen to you at a critical moment.
First things first — if you are going to use a clicker, you need to first train your dog to respond to the clicker. Luckily, this is a very simple task. Clicker training relies on the use of positive reinforcement and treats. Lots of treats! BestBullySticks recommends owners use low-calorie treats like our tasty US Made Lamb Lung Treats as a training aid.
- Step 1: Click and give your dog a treat
- Step 2: Repeat 15-30 times (This will build an association between click and reward)
- Step 3: Always follow through with a treat. Consistency is key for clicker training!
4 Essential Tricks
With the basics out of the way, we can focus on five key commands every dog should know. Any dog, old or young, can get a good handle on these tricks/commands with a bit of practice.
- Step 1: Wait until your dog sits on his/her own
- Step 2: Click, then offer a treat and praise and repeat a few times
- Step 3: Next time your dog sits, say “Sit!” at the same time
- Step 4: Offer a treat, and some praise
- Step 1: Get moderately close to your dog and give the command
- Step 2: When the dog comes to you and stops: click then offer a treat and praise
- Step 3: When your dog arrives, start placing your hand beneath his/her collar before giving a reward (If comfortable when held by the collar, you can be assured your dog won’t have any problem being leashed in busy environments)
- Step 1: Have your dog sit and reward him/her
- Step 2: Tell your dog to stay. Wait 10 seconds, then call your dog
- Step 3: Offer a treat only if your dog comes to you after you command
- Step 4: Repeat this command in multiple places until you’re confident your dog will stay put anywhere
- Step 1: Give your dog a toy to play with for a bit
- Step 2: Walk up to your dog and command him/her to drop the toy
- Step 3: Once you get the toy from your dog, click and offer praise
- Step 4: Throw the treat, call your dog, and repeat
Complex routines are merely a string of more simple tricks. Teaching your dog basic tricks like the ones above gives you a foundation to build on. Before you know it, your dog will be the center of attention!Just be sure and remain patient, firm and offer praise when due. If you lose your temper or show frustration, your dog won’t take your commands seriously.
This goes for offering treats as well. In order for clicker training to be effective, treats and praise should always be offered right after the desired action is completed. If you delay the reward too long or fail to deliver, your dog will become confused and lose interest altogether.
Always remember, training doesn’t happen overnight. Many frustrating training sessions are bound to occur but if you keep it up, it will pay off! Familiarize your dog with these important commands, they’re sure to come in handy.