Teaching your dog new tricks might seem like an impossible task, but dogs are smarter than they’re given credit for.
Did you know that you can teach an old dog new tricks?
It all comes down to the foundation of your relationship with your dog. How do dog owners get their dogs to learn new tricks? And how do other dog owners train their dogs with success so quickly?
Here’s how to teach your dog new tricks. Grab your pen and paper. It’s time to take notes.
1. Strengthen the bond between you and your dog
Training your dog to do new tricks requires trust and connection. If your dog is newly adopted from a shelter, it will take some time to bond, especially if the shelter dog has a rough history.
2. Don’t pressure your dog beyond their limits.
If you notice your dog is experiencing signs of stress or resistance to the training, continuing with it won’t help. Patience is required. This ties into the building and strengthening of the bond between you and your dog.
3. Go for one trick to learn at a time.
Overloading your dog with new tricks to learn can be overwhelming and stressful. It can also lead to apprehension, weakening the bond between you and your dog instead of strengthening it.
4. Maintain consistency.
Training requires patience and time. To train your dog one day to learn a new trick and go days without practice is not the consistency that will stick. The trick won’t be learned this way. Set aside time daily to practice, even in small increments.
5. Use positive reinforcement to encourage your dog, not discipline.
This might be the most obvious, but don’t try to assert yourself as the dominant person in the room when training your dog. Use positive reinforcement–through treats and spoken encouragement–to train your dog new tricks.
“A recipe that has been proven to be successful is a mix of people, patience and reward training, also called positive reinforcement. This method uses dog treats as a means to steer the dog’s behavior and motivate him to learn new things.” - Tractive.com
Teaching Puppies New Tricks
Puppies have developing minds, so the tricks you’re excited about can be parked after the basics. Training your puppy on how to sit on command is a great starting point.
According to a Masterclass post on 12 Easy Tricks To Teach Your Dog, it is explained “The “sit” command is one of the easiest tricks your dog can learn and serves as the basis for many other simple tricks like “shake” and “stay.” To teach this trick, keep your foot on your dog’s leash, allowing them only a little room to move but not enough to jump up. Hold a treat above their head so that they move into the sit position naturally, then say “sit.” Repeat and reward until your dog understands the sit command.”
Teaching Senior Dogs New Tricks
When teaching old dogs new tricks, it should come from a place of wanting to bond with your dog solely. Tractive.com suggests, “Consider his needs as priority and know that, what dogs at a certain age need is love and care. Most importantly, don’t push your dog into doing certain tricks just for the sake of entertaining you or your friends. This training activity should be fun also for him and be an opportunity to bond.”
This is just a sampling of tips and informational posts we offer at Joyride Harness. You can find more content including tips and tricks and how-tos for caring for your dog on our blog at this section. Feel free to leave a comment with tips you’re looking for!