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Tricks and treats

Tricks and treats

Trick training dogs is becoming very popular, with dogs and owners alike!

When it comes to training, it is all tricks to dogs! They don’t understand the difference between an obedience exercise and a trick, as everything you train your dog to do is something he does because you’ve taught him to do it when you ask.

Teaching a dog tricks helps to build on the bond between you. It develops our training skills, and your dog’s ability to learn. And it boosts his confidence too.

If we’re honest, traditional obedience exercises can be a bit dull, whereas trick training is much more fun! Our dogs have huge brains. Many are working breeds hardwired to use their intelligence. Their capacity for learning is almost unlimited yet all too often owners don’t give them an outlet for this desire and ability to learn.

Every dog is different so the owner must really understand their individual dog and choose tricks that suit his or her abilities and preferences. Some like using their paws, others their noses, others their mouths. Discover what they are good at, and what they like doing, and have some fun!

Clicker training can be extremely useful as you’ll need to be precise and clear to the dog what you are rewarding. Whatever methods you use, however, should be reward-based and handsoff. Never push or pull your dog into positions or behaviours. A lot of so-called tricks form the basis of some dog sports like heelwork to music, agility, flyball, parkour, which can further enhance your training and give you both a new activity to enjoy together.


Shake hands — good canine manners, but it is also a good way to introduce people to your dog, especially if they are nervous about dogs.

Spins and twists — fun and easy to teach, these are a great way to raise your dog’s energy and get him working with you.

Play bow — a great trick to help your dog stretch his muscles, especially before strenuous activity. Retrieve items — having a dog who’ll bring things to you is handy around the house, and allows you to play retrieve games outdoors.

Close (or open) doors — saves on the heating bills!

‘Go to your bed’ — useful when someone comes to the door.

Play dead — being able to lie on his side will be invaluable when grooming or at the vet’s.

Put items in the bin — do I even have to say why this is useful? (Check the bin though as some dogs may make their own decisions about what should be put in there!)

Thanks to Your Dog for providing this feature. To help dog owners make the most of life with their pets, Your Dog has created a membership card with a huge collection of discounts and benefits. It offers hundreds of savings on dog-friendly breaks and dog-friendly restaurants and attractions across the UK. 

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