The Trick to Successful Tricks

The trick to teaching tricks is sequencing. Sequencing means breaking down what you want to teach your dog into components small enough for the dog to master, which lead up to the final product. For example, if you want to teach your dog to shake hands, also known as High Five, start by taking Buddy's paw in your hand with the command you want to use and then praise and reward him. Next, offer your palm, and so on.

When you decide on the kind of tricks to teach Buddy, keep in mind his Personality Profile (see Chapter 5). Tricks like High Five or Roll Over are easiest with dogs low in fight behaviors and not so easy with those high in fight behaviors. A dog high in fight behaviors wouldn't stoop so low — it's beneath his dignity.

Tricks learned quickly by dogs low in fight behaviors include

Tricks learned quickly by dogs high in prey behaviors are

^ Find Mine, such as keys, wallet, or whatever (dog must know how to retrieve)

^ Jump through Arms or Hoop

Tricks learned quickly by dogs high in pack behaviors include

^ Don't Cross This Line or Stay until I Tell You ^ You Have Food on Your Nose

When you see Buddy do something that could turn into a trick, such as Sit Up and Beg, reward it and work on getting him to do it on command.

High Five

The object is to teach Buddy to raise one front paw as high as he can on command. This exercise has four sequences.

Your goal for Sequence 1 is to introduce your dog to the concept of the exercise: Shake hands.

Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

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