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Dog tricks

Dog tricks

Dog tricks 650 366 K9-DogHealth.com

As well as being a lot of fun, teaching different dog tricks is also very good for the dog-owner relationship. And there are plenty of compliments to be won while practising at the dog run!

Touching the pointer

Dog tricks

Dog tricks

Prepare a pile of reward treats and hold the stick at the level of the dog’s nose. If we’re lucky, it will touch it first – then we ‘catch’ the movement, click and reward. From then on, we reward only the actual touch. If he doesn’t show too much interest, we can try to lead him on: we smear the end of the stick with cheese or cold cuts, so he’ll sniff it – that is, touch it with his nose, then click and reward.

But you can also build up the exercise gradually. At first it’s enough to look at the stick, click immediately and give him a piece of cheese. If you get a little closer on the next try, you get an extra reward and high praise. Over time, he will understand that the reward is somehow related to the stick and will touch it once. Time to hit the jackpot!

Touching the pointer (video)

Shot dog

This trick imitates the classic shot dog.

The dog is in a sitting position facing us. We put our gun shaping hand on it and say “Boom” or whatever is sympathetic. When we say the command word, we grab the dog’s front two legs and roll him onto his back, hold the motion, then reward.

The lying position is also a good starting position, simply roll the dog on its back, hold the movement and reward.
When playing “dead” don’t say much, wait until he holds the movement for a few seconds, because if you praise him he will wag, and let’s face it, a wagging “dead” dog is not very authentic.

Shot dog (video)

The dog goes backwards

The dog is basically unaware that it has a “back”.

So teaching him how to move his front and rear body parts separately can be the basis for many more tricks.

This trick will help you do that, but it can also be a spectacular element of dogdancing on its own!

  • We prepare a suitable object. First try to get the dog to step on it with one, then two front legs. Using a clicker helps us to time the reinforcement precisely.
  • With the reward wall in hand, we try to lead the dog to make one and then more and more movements with his hind legs.
  • At first we reward frequently, then we expect more and more, even more turns.

The dog goes backwards (video)


The dog can spin around its own axis, even while walking. It can also spin around its owner or a prop – stick, umbrella, etc. – clockwise or counterclockwise. The direction of rotation must, of course, be distinguished by our chosen sound signal.

Teaching circular movements is relatively simple: the dog is led by the “nose” along the desired path. Mostly with a reward bait close to the body, and more with a pointing stick away from the owner. You can also use what you have learned in dog school, e.g. repeatedly doing the “back face” will result in the owner rotating left around his own axis and the dog rotating right around his axis.

Not only can the dog step forward, but if it can already back in a straight line, it can be taught to reverse around the owner. To do this, it is a good idea to position the dog in the middle of a cordon, e.g. a chair. In this way you can prevent the dog from straying off the circuit. Of course, you will again need a new command word for the lap.

Rotations trick (video)

Standing on hind legs

We teach it in the same way as for pitting, but now do not put the dog in front of a wall, as our goal here is to keep its balance without leaning on it. The reward snack or target is raised above his head, prompting him to stand up. The sitting and standing position should be associated with different sound signals. If this exercise is remarkably easy for the dog, he can quickly learn to walk in this pose.

Standing on hind legs (video)

Paw in hand (High-five)

This is a trick that many dogs train themselves to do from puppyhood, especially if the owner is visibly happy to stretch out their paws or smiles at the “potty slap” and turns a blind eye to the bigger or smaller messes.

Dog tricks

Teaching him is not too difficult. You crouch down in front of the dog, with a visible bite in your left hand, but you can also use a clicker. Place your right palm in front of his left paw and give the command “Paw paw”. At first we reward a one-inch leg raise, but later we make the requirements more demanding: we only reward you if you really put your paw in your hand or if you raise your paw particularly high.

Once he has produced a perfect paw with one leg, we teach him to do the same with the other – in our other palm and, of course, to a different command. (The top list of imaginative distinctive calls for us is the recently heard “Paw-paw”.) The dog will probably offer the more experienced paw first, but for now we ignore this. Sooner or later he will start to stomp and lift his other leg. Immediately click-reward. If he won’t give the other paw on his own, we can help him a little with our hands.

Paw in hand (video)


Alternate-leg high-fiving can be developed further. We stand up from a squat and perform the exercise by lifting our legs. As an initial aid, you can place the back of your hand palm up on your knee. The hand signals are gradually abandoned later. A very spectacular trick has come into our possession, which is the ability of dog and owner to lift the leg simultaneously to the beat of the music.

Another trick can be established by clicking-rewarding the dog for raising his leg exceptionally high, and then increasing the time the leg is held up. The end product: dog and master standing side by side holding out their same side legs forward – in a style reminiscent of canoeing.


Paw crossed

A dog lying on the ground with its front legs crossed over each other.

  • Dog tricks

    Dog tricks

    Teach your dog to touch an object with his paw. You can do this, for example, by placing a reward treat under the object and clicking when he tries to move it with his paw.

  • Only click when the dog touches the object with his right paw.
  • Put the object on the ground and click when it touches the object with its paw. Then you can start to attach the command word.
  • Change the object to smaller and smaller.
  • Finally, take the object away. If the dog doesn’t seem to know the task yet, take a step back.


The exercise performed is most reminiscent of a dog’s posture calling for play (chest on the ground, buttocks and tail raised). At its simplest, it requires only that the dog be able to lie down on command. When lying down, one hand is placed under the belly to prevent the dog from putting his whole body on the ground. When the dog is in the desired position, we give the command of your choice (e.g. “Bow”) and reward him. The time spent in the desired pose is gradually increased. When it is no longer necessary to use hands to assist, you can straighten up and step away from the dog. If the dog tends to assume this posture on its own during play, you can “catch” it with a clicker.

Bow video.

Dog tricks – Eight

The figure of eight is an effective and interesting trick in itself.

It involves the dog alternating between the legs of the owner standing spread-eagled. It can also be taught in the simplest way, by leading the dog on an exciting reward held in the hand. However, this solution has the disadvantage that you have to bend very low, especially with small dogs. It is therefore advisable to take out the pointing stick.

In the starting position, the dog faces the owner. The stick – which he must touch with his nose – is then passed between the legs and guided around the right leg, roughly to where he started – he can touch it here and then click and reward. Then we do the same with our left leg. At first, reinforce each leg bypass with a clicker and a bite, later you can do a full eight, or even several in a row. When the dog is purposefully walking around our legs, we can introduce the command word to use. In addition to (or instead of) the vocal cue, you can also give the dog a body cue by alternating our centre of gravity with the leg he needs to avoid.


Sideways, sideways movement

Of all the possible ways for a dog to move, at least as far as walking on all fours is concerned, the lateral movement takes the most time to learn. This is the most difficult to do really well.

Proficiency in the “right alignment” exercise, which can be learned in dog school, is both an advantage and a disadvantage: it is similar to what we now expect our dog to do, but the dog cannot sit down, even if it wants to.

In the starting position, the dog stands with the left leg in the “heel” position. Use the right hand to make the front of the body move (using a reward wall, ball, pointer) and the left hand to help the back towards you (you can also use the support stick described above, applying slight pressure). It is very important that the whole body of the dog starts to move to the right at the same time when the command is given. At first, just one or two lunges and you are rewarded. Do not rush, because speed is at the expense of quality: you can only increase the level of demand by taking small steps, more patiently than any other movement you have learned so far.

Facing the dog

When you have reached the point where you can walk several metres sideways, you can try – gradually – to face the dog. It is very likely that he will back off in the front position, so to avoid any possibility of making a mistake, use some kind of cordon (wall, fence, etc.) for the first steps.

If you want to teach left lateral, there are two ways to do it. One way is to interpret what has been said so far in a mirror image, so we start from a right “heel” position to the left. The other way is to keep the left heel as the starting position, but not to pull the dog towards you, but to try to push it gently – of course, to a different sound signal because of the opposite direction.

First, we stand in front of our favourite wall or fence. The left foot is still in front, the right crosses behind and, when the command is given, we apply gentle pressure on the dog’s shoulder and tail – knee and calf – at the same time.

When he has moved a few centimetres to the side, the click, the reward, the happiness! When you have reached the point where the dog can move sideways without assistance, just on the sound of a beep, you can slowly turn to face him. In fact, with your hands behind your back and something tempting, you can even try to do it from behind – initially with your head to the side, blinking at the dog. Try to avoid eye contact later on, as it inhibits an elegant posture.


Shame on you!

The idea of the exercise is that the lying dog tries to cover its eyes and nose with its front paws.

The easiest way to teach this trick is to put a hair band or a piece of tape on the lying dog’s cheekbone. When the dog tries to remove it, he rubs it with his paws and covers his nose. At this point, the dog is told “Shame on you!” and rewarded. Using a clicker, we can refine the trick further, for example, by teaching the dog to put his chin on the ground during the exercise, or to keep his paws on his nose, etc.


Dog Tricks – Slalom

Position the dog on your left side and step forward with your right foot. With the stick in your right hand, put it between your legs and guide your dog over to the right side – if it makes it over, it deserves a click and a reward. Then step forward with the left hand (the stick has been transferred to the left hand) and lead him over to the other side. As with the figure of eight, this exercise is worth rewarding each step initially, followed by a back and forth phase, but of course there comes a time when you can move steadily in a slalom.

For a flawless and elegant slalom, there are two things to watch out for. The first is to step slightly cross-legged in front of the other foot, as opposed to the normal street gait – this makes it easier for the dog. The other is to keep your centre of gravity at the back as much as possible while walking – this will keep your posture straight and avoid a bear-like, stumbling stride.

Of course, you can teach the slalom not only in the “traditional” forward gait: the owner can step sideways across, backwards and the dog can come facing him or also pushing or even crawling between the legs. The principle of teaching is the same in all cases.


Whatever sport or lifestyle program you do with your dog, it’s a good idea to use supplements to help alleviate the increased physical strain.
Check out our Hip & Joint support products.


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