The Best Dog Tricks We Taught Our Dogs

best-dog-tricksIn addition to your basic dog commands (like sit, lie down, come, and stay) and the standard pet tricks every dog knows (like fetch, heel, and roll over), we’ve managed to teach our dogs many more advanced dog tricks as well. (More on that in a minute.)

The basic commands are among the most important things that every dog should know. How many does your dog know? It’s also important that you understand what the words Yes and No mean to your dog.

Once you and your dog have those basic things down, then it’s time to move onto the fun dog tricks.

Following are some of the more advanced dog tricks that we’ve taught our dogs. Clicking on the links will take you to step-by-step instructions for each dog trick, along with photos taken during the training process.

 

Best Dog Tricks That Our Dog Destin Does:
destin-hamming-it-up-in-backyard.jpg

  • He can “pray” religiously (and he doesn’t get up from the “pray” position until we say “Amen”).
  • When he was a puppy, we taught Destin to “tell me” whenever he wanted something. Our hope was that he would bark to tell us when he had to go outside. It worked!
  • His #1 goal in life is to be helpful, so he doesn’t shy away from household chores. His favorites: “taking out the trash” and “getting the mail”.
    • When it’s time to “take out the trash (signaled by the fact that we’re changing the trash bag liner in the kitchen garbage pail), he knows that he gets to carry one item to the big garbage pail we keep in the garage. Then, sits waiting for me to put his leash on so he can simply walk the trash can to the curb with me and return immediately without dilly-dallying. (He hasn’t been taught to put things in the trash can yet.)
    • When it’s time to “get the mail“, he makes a mad dash for the mailbox at the curb… then he sits and waits patiently for Jim to hand him a piece of mail… then proudly trots back into the house to give me the day’s mail.
  • He can “shake” to knock the water off his fur before getting out of the bathtub or coming in the house when it’s raining, or after playing outside in the water hose. Since he’s such a water dog, this one really comes in handy!
  • In puppy training class, we taught Destin the meaning of “touch” (to tap our open palm lightly with his nose). This is supposed to be useful in teaching him to use his nose to nudge open a door on his own, to turn on a light, to signal us in an emergency, etc. Whether we’ll ever need such a command has yet to be determined, but he’s definitely got “touch” down!
  • He gives you his “toes” on command. This is actually the same as “high five”, “shake hands” or “give me your paw”. It’s a dog trick that comes in handy when wiping wet/muddy paws and trimming toenails.
  • He’s not a chewer, but whenever we’re not home, he’s bound & determined to let you know when you’ve left something within his reach! Whether it’s a candy wrapper, a piece of notebook paper, or a kleenex (his favorite)… he’ll drag it to the hallway so it’s the first thing we see when we arrive back home. Sometimes, this is useful… like when he brings us the remote control!
  • Whatever is in his mouth (a toy, a piece of food, or something he shouldn’t have in his mouth), Destin will “drop it” on command (…without too much drool, and no chew marks).
  • Always eager to please, Destin learned to patiently sit still with a treat on the tip of his nose as a young pup.

 

 

Best Dog Tricks That Our Dog Jersey Does:

Jersey - a pure-breed, male American Eskimo.

  • He’s been praying for years. (Of course, he became a Christian long before Destin did.)
  • He can oh-so-delicately crack peanut shells open just to get to the peanut inside.
  • Whenever we can’t find the remote to the TV, just say “where’s the TV?” to Jersey and he’ll search high and low for the remote control and ultimately bring it to you gripped softly in this mouth. Jersey taught Destin everything he knows about finding the remote control and bringing it to us on command.
  • He wouldn’t think of chewing on anything… not even a sock left lying on the floor. In fact, if he ever finds something lying around that he knows isn’t normally there, he’ll pick it up softly in his mouth and bring it right to you — as if to inform you that you’ve left this behind. (In fact, we’ve been quite lucky… None of our dogs has ever been inclined to chew on things left lying around.)
  • Oh, and talk about a clown with 4 paws! Jersey has always been adept at balancing a treat on his nose and then catching it on command.
  • And while we didn’t really teach Jersey how to do this, he just so happened to pick up on a fairly cute trick: baring his teeth.

 

 

Best Dog Tricks That Our Dog Tenor Does:

tenor-tall-and-proud.jpg

  • One of the best things that Tenor grasped earlier, and far better than the other 2 dogs is not pulling on the leash when we’re walking.
  • None of our dogs have ever been chewers (thank goodness!), but Tenor was the one that showed some early tendencies toward chewing. All it took was a couple of “NO!” sessions with him surrounded by some of our favorite things: shoes, socks, hair combs, kleenex, etc.
  • Tenor has probably been our easiest dog to teach fun new tricks to (and in the least amount of training sessions). One of the sweetest is his ability to sing on cue. Can your dog sing?
  • But wait, there’s more… He can spell words, too!
  • Tenor’s newest trick, and his all-time favorite is to “be shy” on command. It’s like he’s playing peek-a-boo.
  • Since he’s such a lover who likes to cuddle, he will kiss on command and give hugs on command several times a day.

 

See how we taught our dogs most of these tricks.

You can also teach your dog hand signals. That way, a simple hand sign results in an immediate behavior from your dog.

 

Dog Tricks We Wish We Had Taught Our Dogs

Destin: To lick his lips to clean up his drool after a lengthy slurp from the water bowl. His flappy lips resemble those of a Saint Bernard… and they hold a lot of water! (UPDATE: We eventually taught our youngest dog, Tenor to lick his lips on command to prevent drool from being spewed all over the house!)

Jersey: To tone down that yippy bark. (UPDATE: We found the right combination of tips and taught Tenor to stop barking at strangers.)

Destin and Jersey: To only get on the bed when WE want you on the bed. They’ve done great to remain off all the other furniture in the house, but not our bed. And despite its King size, there’s just not enough room! (UPDATE: We finally achieved this! Now our dogs rest their chins on the mattress and wait until we say “okay” before they jump up on the bed.)

Destin: To quit playing with the toilet paper. (UPDATE: We found a simple solution to stop dogs from unrolling the toilet paper.)

Destin, Jersey and Tenor: To pick up anything off the floor, on command. (To date, we’ve only done this with a couple of specific items. I would like to reproduce this trick to apply to many more items.)

Jersey, Destin and Tenor: To stop shedding! Vacuuming the carpet every day doesn’t work… especially now that we have three long-haired dogs. (UPDATE: Here are some tips for dealing with dog shedding, including the Pledge Fabric Sweeper.)

 

How smart is your dog? Try these 7 tests for dogs. They’re quick & easy… and fun!

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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  • Anonymous

    I’m glad to find this site. My dog is a border collie mix, and it doesn’t take him long to learn new tricks, I just need more ideas for tricks to teach him. One fun trick/game that we play is my niece will hide somewhere and I will say “find Maura” and the dog will run around searching for her until he finds her. Turn around in a circle, was another trick that was really easy for him to learn. He’s still working on the treat on the nose, and only catches it sometimes.

  • Anonymous

    I taught my dog to crawl by running my hand with a treat on the ground in front of him (when he’s laying down) very slowly to start and saying “crawl” repeatedly.

  • blue heeler momma

    hey! if you want to teach your dog to crawl i know a way thats fast and easy… my dog learned it in five minutes and we were only playing around. at first they wont crawl too far but they will eventually…since your dog already knows how to lay down, and how to stay…have your dog lay down and stay, and then walk about five or so feet away and sit on the floor facing him/her then tap the floor (to a dog this usually means come) but at the same time, make sure to remind him/her to “Stay down!” they will get the hang of it quickly, especially if you have their favorite treat, and its always an impressive one.

  • http://twitter.com/Ketutar Ketutar Jensen

    The “best” dog trick you taught your dog was to “pray (religiously)”… meaning, dog laying on its belly with head between paws. And you wish you taught your dog “stop shedding”.
    Geesh.

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    Dogs are the best helper for old age people