Easy to Teach Dog Tricks
How to Teach Your Dog “Sit”
Show your dog a tasty treat and let them taste it before slowly lifting it above their head. Most dogs will eventually lean backwards into a sitting position. As soon as they do sit, offer praise and give them the treat.
How to Teach Your Dog “Down”
With your dog already in a sit position, let them taste a treat again before slowly moving the treat down towards their chest and front paws. As soon as your pup bends down and lies on the floor, praise and reward!
How to Teach Your Dog “Paw”
Get your dog in a sitting position and show them you have a treat. Hold the treat in your hand close to your dog’s face and under their chin. Most dogs will try to paw at your hand to get to the treat. If your dog does this and touches your hand, give them the treat and praise.
How to Teach Your Dog “Catch”
Teach your dog the concept of catching by dropping treats in their mouth to start and slowly increasing the distance at which you are dropping or throwing. Practice makes perfect and your dog will never complain about that!
How to Teach Your Dog “Bang”
Use treats held low to the ground to encourage and reward your dog to drop and roll over on their side. At first, sit on the ground and use your legs as a support with your dog on their back between them. Give rewards for your dog staying on their back. Slowly adjust to decrease the amount of leg support you’re providing until your dog is able to stay on their back on their own.
How to Teach Your Dog “Focus”
Show your dog a treat and slowly lift it up towards your face while saying the word “”Focus.” As soon as your dog looks up at your face, give them the treat. As they improve, you can increase the amount of time you ask for eye contact. This trick is great for working on your pup’s attention skills and can help with impulse control!
If your dog eats kibble and could use some leash manners, take some of their breakfast or dinner with you on your morning or evening walk. Use the kibble as a reward for walking well on a leash, paying attention to you, and not giving into distractions like other dogs or walkers. You can also take regular dog treats with you instead, but be sure not to overfeed your pup with excessive treats!
Sitting for Grooming/Nail Trims
Make grooming and nail trims a positive at-home experience for your dog with food or treats as rewards. Keep your dog in a comfortable position and encourage them to remain calm with treats. Reward them for relaxing so they can be still while you’re trying to brush them or cut their nails and give more rewards as they let you handle them. Watch for any signs of stress and be patient with this process.
Use treats to help build your dog’s confidence and make little things less scary, such as items in your home like stairs, or objects they tend to avoid in fear. Offer treats when your dog is in the vicinity of the item and reward them for going closer, sniffing, or pawing. Keep up this process and, soon enough, they will associate this “scary” thing with something positive!
When you’re in the process of potty training your puppy or dog, make sure you always know where they are or confine them to a crate or behind a gate if you can’t watch them. Set a schedule for yourself to take your dog outside to go potty at frequent, regular intervals and reward them for going outside each time.
About the Creators
Aki Yamaguchi was born in Tokyo, Japan and is currently residing in Texas. She’s a photographer/videographer and a reward-based dog trainer. She was an active member in Search and Rescue and animal-assisted therapy programs with dogs Jazzy and Cooper. She now shares her training videos of her dogs BB and Phoebe on social media in hopes of motivating other dog parents to do more fun training with their pups.
Amber Oliver Aquart is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Studio Animal Trainer, Pet Lifestyle Expert and Influencer. Amber and her two talented rescue mutts, Tuckey and Oakley, have been featured on Animal Planet and in several films and productions. Amber created Pawsitive Development to help educate and inspire others to develop a better relationship with their dogs through positive relationship-based tips and techniques.