If Youre Happy and You Know It

Sometimes the best tricks are the ones that your dog does spontaneously. Work with friends and family to come up with fun phrases to elicit natural responses.

1 IF YOU'RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT WAG YOUR TAIL! Said in a fun, happy tone, this is a surefire winner.

2 SAD PUPPY! When your dog lays a sleepy head on the floor or on your lap, it is quite endearing.

3 PUSH IT! When your dog noses an object or a toy, you can quickly expand it to a rolling game of ball, or even to closing an open cupboard.

Note: If you say appropriate commands as your dog naturally does different activities, he'll make the association between the word and the action, and you'll be able to direct him to repeat them anytime.

The easiest way to introduce this trick is simply to catch your dog in the act of stretching and say BOW. For a snappy signal, you can bow to your dog as he's stretching out. After five to ten stretch-BOW sequences, practice this routine to tie it all together:

1. Take your dog into a nondistracting environment. Bring irresistible treats.

2. Instruct STAND, holding your hand or finger under his belly.

3. Now lower the treat from your dog's nose to the ground as though you were luring him into a down position.

4. As your dog lowers himself onto his elbows say BOW and treat and praise him!

5. After several repetitions you'll notice his enthusiasm. Slowly remove your hand from his belly.

6. Next, stand in front of him and do a BOW-gesture as you move your hand to the floor with a treat.

7. Phase off the treats intermittently within two weeks.

Now be creative—think of all the phrases that will be complimented by your dog's new gesture. By teaching a signal with the word you'll soon be able to prompt the reaction with a flicker of your hand while you say phrases, such as the following:

• "I am sooo tired..." (the bowing motion looks like a tired stretch too)

Add more phrases to the list and teach your dog the response by signaling a bow.

^fl

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Many dogs also bow down when they are excited or playful into what is known as a play bow. Practice monkey see, monkey do. Get down on your hands and knees and lean forward on your elbows. Excite your dog with a toy or by moving around in a mock play bow position until he gets excited, too. Say BOW if he copies your posture.

Dogs love to do this action whether you're asking them to or not. It provides a perfect opportunity for a belly-to-floor scratch and a good stretch.

O Sit on the floor with your knees bent to form a tunnel. (You can also practice under objects like chairs and tables.)

2 Instruct DOWN in front of your knees.

3 With a treat, lure your dog under your legs as you say CRAWL.

4 Praise and give him a treat, adjusting your legs so that he can't stand underneath them.

5 Once your dog is catching on and crawling with delight, lure him forward on an open floor.

6 Hold your hand just above his shoulder blades and push on his pressure point if he attempts to stand.

7 Gradually introduce distance, praising and rewarding all cooperation.

This trick is an age-old favorite—for both dogs and people. Many dogs are "paw-expressive," pawing you for attention as naturally as they wag their tails. If your dog fits this description, you only need to pair the word with the behavior for your dog to make the association. If not, you can teach it easily.

1 Take your dog aside, holding a treat in your left hand. Instruct him to SIT.

2 With your right hand, tap his wrist joint gently.

3 When he lifts his paw, slide your hand underneath and say PAW as you give him the treat.

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