Tricks & Training

How To Teach Your Dog To Balance A Treat On Their Nose (All Of My Dogs Can Do This Trick!)

Can your dog do this… Balance dog treats on their nose?

See how to teach your dog to balance a treat on their nose!

Deanna asked:

Hey, do you know how to do the trick ‘treat on nose’ if so tell me?!

Here's how to teach your dog to balance a treat on his nose.

Yes. We’ve actually taught each of our dogs to do this fun trick.

Here’s how we do it…

Before You Start

My dog is always eager to please. So the 'balance a treat on your nose' trick was easy for him to learn!

Like most dog tricks, the younger your dog is when you start teaching this trick, the better.

Nevertheless, a dog of any age can learn this trick after just a few lessons.

Some people teach their dogs to do this while the dog is seated. Others find it easier to get the dog to cooperate when the dog is lying down. Either way works okay, but we’ve had better luck when our dog is sitting.

How To Teach Dog To Balance Treat On Nose

My nephew putting a treat on my dog's nose, trying to get him to balance the treat on his nose.

These are the 5 steps we use each time we teach a dog to balance a treat on their nose:

#1 Have your dog in the “sit” or “lie down” position, and make sure that his attention is fully on you.

#2 Place a very small piece of your dog’s favorite dog treat on the middle (flat part) of his nose.

#3 – IMMEDIATELY say, “OK!” and let him get the treat. Then, IMMEDIATELY give lots of praise… a crazy amount of praise is required here!

TIP: Why do this IMMEDIATELY?… Because to your dog, it will feel weird to have something sitting on top of his nose, so he’ll ignore whatever you say and get the treat anyway. Saying “OK!” shows that’s exactly what you wanted to happen, and he was following your orders! And the overly enthusiastic praise shows your dog he did the right thing.

#4 Afterwards, give your dog a separate treat — as a reward for getting the treat from his nose, on command.

#5 Do steps 1 thru 4 over and over again, several times in a row. The most important thing: Each time you do it, increase the amount of time between when you put the treat on your dog’s nose and when you say “OK!”.

TIP: The tricky part is being able to tell the millisecond before your dog will just get it on his own — out of irritation if nothing else. The longer you can increase the time before saying “OK!”, the more your dog is “getting it”.

My dog licking his lips after catching the treat from his nose.

This is a trick for dogs with quick reflexes. The more often a dog performs this trick, the better they get at literally “catching” the treat as it falls from their head into their mouth!

3 Tips For Teaching Your Dog To Balance A Treat On Its Nose

  1. Your dog’s own attention span will determine how many times in a row you try this in one sitting. For some dogs, it will only take a couple of times before they realize what you’re asking and what they’re doing. Other dogs may tire of this “game” — in which case, you should stop the training and come back to it several hours later.
  2. The most important thing is to keep practicing steps 1 thru 4 two or three times a day — for several days in a row.
  3. Never reprimand or act discouraged when/if your dog does it “wrong”. Every little itty bitty ounce of improvement is worth a billion times more praise and enthusiasm each time.

It worked for us!

See Other Dogs Balancing Treats On Their Noses

Following are a few videos showing the balance treat on nose dog trick in action.

In most of these videos, the dogs are balancing a dog treat on their nose and then catching it on command:

This video includes detailed instructions from a dog trainer showing how to get your dog to balance a treat on their nose:

Here’s another video showing how it’s done, with some tips for teaching your dog this trick:

And finally, this dog does it better than any I’ve ever seen:

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Teach your dog how to balance a treat on their nose... and catch it in their mouth!