1. Sit: The Basics of Obedience
Teaching your dog to sit on command is one of the foundational behaviors in dog training. Begin by holding a treat above their head and moving it slightly back, encouraging them to sit naturally. As soon as their bottom hits the ground, use the clicker to mark the behavior and immediately give them the treat. With repetition and consistency, your dog will quickly associate the clicker sound with the action of sitting and will respond to the command reliably.
2. Paw/Shake Hands: A Friendly Greeting
Shaking hands with your dog is not only adorable but also a great way to reinforce their socialization skills. To teach this trick, extend your hand towards your dog’s paw. As soon as their paw touches your hand, use the clicker and reward them with a treat. With practice, your dog will learn to offer their paw when you present your hand, making for a delightful and friendly interaction.
3. Lie Down: Relaxation on Command
Training your dog to lie down on command is particularly useful for calming them in various situations. Hold a treat close to their nose and gradually lower it towards the ground. As their body follows the treat, they’ll naturally lie down. Click as soon as they’re in the down position and reward them. With repetition, your dog will associate the clicker sound with lying down and will respond promptly to your command.
4. Spin: Adding Some Playfulness
Teaching your dog to spin is a fun trick that adds playfulness to your training routine. Hold a treat near their nose and lead them in a circular motion. As they complete the spin, use the clicker and reward them. Over time, you can introduce a hand signal or a verbal cue to prompt the spin, making it an entertaining and impressive trick to showcase.
5. Leave It: Essential Self-Control
“Leave it” is a crucial command for your dog’s safety and self-control. Start by placing a treat in your closed hand and presenting it to your dog. When they show interest, close your hand and say, “leave it.” Wait for them to divert their attention, even for a moment, and use the clicker to mark the behavior. Reward them with a different treat from your other hand. Gradually increase the duration before rewarding, helping your dog learn self-control.