Up next in How to Teach Your Dog Tricks (44 videos)
You already know you have the smartest dog in the world. Let others see how clever he is by teaching him how to get a beer, open a door, jump over a bar, wave goodbye, say a prayer, and wipe his feet. Then teach him how to take a well-deserved bow -- dog trainer Andrea Arden demonstrates how to teach all these tricks and more in these videos.
What makes a good dog trick? A good dog trick is any trick that you and your dog have fun learning together. A good dog trick is also something that entertains your friends and your family and a trick that helps your dog to improve their overall behavior especially outside of the home. A dog like River, a little chihuahua, who has a tendency possibly to be a little bit fearful around new environments probably is going to feel that much better when meeting new people and in new environments when she's practicing the behavior she's learned at home and she's had fun doing. Some of the best dog tricks are those tricks that help your dog to feel more comfortable and relaxed in environments outside the home. So, for example, teaching your dog to take a bow is a great trick for most dogs because the play bow is a gesture of play. And teaching your dog to do so on request is a great way to help them stretch, and calm and relax themselves when they're in potentially stressful situations. Some other really cute tricks are teaching your dog to wave or to sit up on their hind legs and stick them up. Those are tricks that, again, help your dog to stretch and relax which is a natural posture when a dog is soliciting play from other dogs. If you're looking for a trick that's going to impress your friends you might want to teach your dog to jump over objects whether it be your leg, or even more impressively, jumping through a hoop. You can make sure that you choose a hoop that's appropriately sized for your dog. So, for example, with River we went to a kids play store and got her a little tiny hoop. If you have a bigger dog you can go and get a typical hula hoop for your dog. One of the most important things to consider when teaching your dog tricks is not only to use an approach to training that's about having fun with your dog but also making sure that you're choosing tricks that your dog can physically master. Don't expect a little dog like River, for example, to do something that's too physical that might put her in harm's way. Make sure that you choose tricks that are going to be fun and safe for your dog and also have the benefit of delighting you, your family, and your friends.