Teaching your new puppy tricks takes patience and a little know how, but it’s well worth the effort, and your dog will be happier and healthier. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
This is a very popular trick, and an important skill for your new pup to learn. Sit is often the starting point for other tricks like “stay” and “high five” (below). Start by making your puppy aware of a small treat in your hand. Say the word “sit” clearly and then physically hold your pups back side down in a sitting position. Give your puppy the treat and some praise. Repeat this multiple times so that the pattern becomes clear. When you think your dog is ready, say “sit” and then wait. Pause for a bit, and give your dog a chance to respond. If he does not sit, say “Sit” again, and remind by holding his backside down in the sitting position. Eventually, your puppy will learn the command. Don’t give up, this takes time and patience!
Give Five (High Five) or Shake
Start by having your dog sit (above). Gently raise your dog’s paw off of the ground with your hand. Then praise, say “high five” and reward. He’ll soon anticipate what you want and start lifting it for himself. If you notice that your dog tends to lift one paw or the other without being prompted you can take advantage of this by saying “high five” and reward. You can repeat this until your pup realizes that lifting a paw is tied to receiving a treat.
When your dog has mastered this, you will need to get a little sneaky. Now you will only offer a reward (treat and praise) when your pup lifts the paw a little higher in the air. You can say “Good” in an enthusiastic voice reinforce your dogs understanding.
Last but not least, hold your hand out as you say “High five” or “Shake”. Only reward when your dog performs correctly.
These simple tricks will get you started, but there are lots of great things for your new puppy to learn. Good luck in your training!