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Magic tricks(17 Posts)
It looks like we will be bringing our puppy home in a couple of weeks and we are so excited. We want to get training right from day one.
What are the absolutely invaluable 'tricks' you taught your dog?
Obviously there's sit/lie down etc.
But then i'm just reading about magic mat which sounds incredibly useful!
Is there anything you taught your dog that's been helpful?
Or anything you didn't train your dog that you wished you had?
We use a few hand signals as well as verbal ones. Instant focus ime!!
Also 'wait', 'here' and 'kiss'!!
Ddog is an absolute buggar but very well trained!
Recall was the most important thing I taught my dog. Following that sit, stay and generally settling at home.
Most of his other 'tricks' were taught as an adult. The most valuable one being touch (where he touches my hand with his nose) as that gets him to actually have contact with you which again is useful if you need to grab him for anything urgent.
Recall is definitely the most important.
And a command to get them to "settle" is good too!
"Touch" has been the single most important thing we taught our dog - we reinforced it over and over, and it's so ingrained in her now that she can be way off in the distance chasing an exciting scent, that if we call "Touch" she comes tearing right back to us, practically skidding to a halt to perfectly touch her nose to my palm.
We also whistle trained her, so we have two solid methods of recall - I really recommend the book Total Recall by Pippa Mattinson.
Other useful things have been "stay", "wait" and "heel". These are really worth doing as it makes walks a joy knowing you have a well controlled dog who will move out of the way of cyclists, reliably walk by your heel if you see nervous dogs or children, etc.
More fun things have been teaching her her toy's names and getting her to select them, teaching her spin round, to ring a bell to go out for a wee, doing her scent training hunting for treats round the house, to stick up her paws if we hold out a pretend gun and then lie on her side when we say "Bang". We also taught her some Harry Potter spells, e.g. if we say "Wingardium Leviosa" she'll hover her paw in the air, or "Accio, ball" she fetches her ball.
There are loads of things you can do - it's so much fun and my dog LOVES training
Some of the more useful things have been things like:
- stand (not just sit and lie down)
- 'still' which involves him staying in the current body position and allowing me to move limbs etc and then keeping them where I put them
- muzzle: teaching him to volunteer his nose into a muzzle and be ok with me doing it up
- excuse me: moving away from wherever he is because it's in my way - thank you: give me whatever you have in your mouth
- "Ear" = I am going to look in your ear so don't be alrmed when I do and just hold still
- "Eye" = I'm going to look in your eye
- "Teeth" = I am going to look at your teeth
- "Foot" = I am going to look at one of your feet
Our other ddogs know what 'have a wee' means and can to order!!
Wee wee, (some people use "busy" as the command as it's less embarrassing to say ).
Really useful when we're going in a car trip to get the dog to wee on command before we leave.
I have somehow managed to teach one of my dogs to be perfect. I have now idea how as she really doesn't like being told what to do and rarely follows commands (terrier) yet still manages to always do the right thing. I love her so much but she is a tad..dull!
My other dog is a joy to train (also a terrier) she listens and responds to me even when I'm not talking to her. She loves learning new tricks and has a whole arsenal of them up her sleeve. She is somehow also the naughtiest dog I can imagine and amazingly good fun to have around.
Having said that the best things I have taught my dogs is recall and also to settle on a mat in cafes and bars. I'm not bothered if they lie or sit (they don't like sitting) but I do need them to settle quickly and quietly when there are a lot of people around. I reinforce this skill all the time and it pays off all the time.
@XoandRogelio Harry potter spells have blown my mind!
Why didn't I think of that?!
I think I may be forced to concentrate on ensuring they aren't pooing all round the house first, but Harry potter spells are SO high on my agenda now!
I was going to train 'here' but hadn't considered 'touch' so that'll be on the list now.
My worry with a verbal queue for the touching is if they then are annoyed if that doesn't come. Or do you find they are more relaxed in general about touching? Eg a child or guest that may touch the ears of a puppy who may not like it, but tolerates it with the command, will cause more upset if puppy is used to always recieving that command? How do you find that?
Excuse me is a great one
@BarkandCheese I've heard people yell 'evacuate!' before were trying to think of less weird and less embaressing ones stills. And also things we don't say around the house anyway to kids etc my fear is DC saying 'wee wee' and pup going wherever they are that may be unlikely though
I don't use it for all touching.
There was the normal "get comfortbabe with being stroked and petted" work we did but proper checkups of those areas is something else and I find Battendog much more comfortable if he knows what's coming so he can brace himself.
e.g. I suddenly reach for his eyes and gently prise the eyelids apart while getting my face all close and stary, as you might do if checking for something in his eye, then he finds this disconcerting and would try and back away. If I say "eye" and gesture towards the eye I am about to check, he sits patiently while I check it or remove gunk etc and waits for his reward (which might be food or praise or play).
I don't say it when we're sat cuddling in front of the telly and I want to stroke his ear, I just go ahead and do so. If he looks like he'd rather I didn't, I usually stop.
However, he has a long standing ear infection and being able to check inside his ears several times a day was essential. I used the cue so he was clear what I was going to do, could have some say in it and would (most likely) choose to endure it.
There's some great videos online (Chiraq Patel's bucket game) which is a very different method but is still aiming for the dog to be a willing participant in maintainance rather than forced to put up with it.
It works for us and I continue to reinforce the principle now.
(All that said, the guests we have that pet him are all doggy type people that he knows and I don't really let strangers or children do so because he veers towards the nervous side of strange people handling him without first giving him chance to get to know them a little bit).
The most important and simple things to teach any new dog are:-
focus on you - reward any eye contact, or being in the magic circle close to you
Response to their name. So easy to teach.
If you have those to sorted everything else falls into place, recall , heel work, settle, hand touch, sit, stay or any trick training etc
Honestly, put all your effort into recall, sit, 'look at me', leave it and settle. As well as walking nicely on a loose lead next to you and house training (I do teach them to ring puppy bells on the door to help this) that is going to keep you busy for the next 6 months at least - and will need reinforcing forever. Checking teeth, eyes, feet should be a daily thing along with putting nail clippers to their nail.
Once you have trained the dog to do all those things to voice, hand signal (and whistle for recall), then look for other things to do. Being able to send them to a mat, drop to a lie at distance and touch are useful starters
Total Recall is absolutely excellent. I start my puppies on recall from day 1 round the house and it really works
The commands ive used the most include
Close - use for loose lead training and now when off the lead too
Bed - we usually send him here at dinner time so we can have our tea in peace.
Paws up - been really useful for when we want him to jump up, into car etc
Give - great for when he has something he shouldn't
Leave - this one is still a bit hit or miss! Depends what he's got hold of
We are working on 'stop' which is like an emergency stop. He is finding this one tricky. I can see where this one might be of great use though so are persevering.
We have also taught him scent work which is great for getting his trains ticking.
You can teach loads of fun tricks but realistically the ones you need with a puppy are:
Name/focus on me
Leave it: very important to start with this when working with food rewards
Recall, recall, recall: a dog without recall is a big inconvenience.
Don’t jump up: annoying for visitors and people who don’t love dogs/muddy dogs
Walk on lead without pulling : necessary but very time consuming
To get a reliable response to all of these, I.e. dog does them everywhere on one command, takes quite a bit of time.
'Stop' and 'close' are also worth teaching. Stop just means stop where you are and wait until I release you (a recall or 'okay') and close means stay within about 20 feet of me.
Stop is useful if for example your dog is the other side of a cycle track and coming towards you, but there is a bike coming. I use close to keep tabs on her when there is a lot of game scent around and I don't want her bogging off, or if there are dogs/cattle/children I want her to avoid, but not close enough to need her at heel or on a lead.
Plus all the usual ones - recall, sit, stay etc. We are currently revising recall as she had taken to often ignoring the first whistle.
These are great! Hopefully I'm a good teacher!
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