Once you and your pup have mastered the basic obedience commands, you can have even more fun by teaching him simple tricks.
Here are some tips:
- Positive reinforcement training is a popular method. To start, choose a code word (one not used in normal conversation), or use a clicker. Sit quietly with your dog and have some treats on hand. Each time you use the code word or clicker, feed a treat immediately afterward. After several times, your dog will associate the sound with goodies. Then give your dog a command he knows, such as “sit”. Once he sits, use the word or sound and reward him. To avoid overfeeding your dog later on, slowly phase out treats and replace them with a pat on the head or verbal praise. Remember to keep training sessions short so that you and your dog don’t get frustrated.
- A dog’s natural behavior will make some tricks easier to learn than others. For example, dogs that bark are more likely to learn “speak” and “whisper” commands quickly, whereas dogs who naturally raise their paws will take to “shake hands” and “wave” tricks. Many dogs will can learn to “fetch” almost anything-a ball, the newspaper, or even your slippers. Once they associate an item and a command with positive behavior and reward, their memory can truly be amazing!
At Pet Supermarket, we have everything you’ll need to train and have fun with your dog. We have a wide selection of training aids, leashes, treats, and training books, and our friendly associates are ready to assist you. Visit your local Pet Supermarket soon!