Playing the Piano
The piano is one of the simplest instruments your dog can learn to play. This impressive trick can be taught if your dog would do anything for treats.
The piano is the toughest music instrument out there that your dog will struggle to destroy. Your dog can bite the strings off the guitar, can trash its way out of a drum… but a piano is hard to break down.
A standard sized piano will suit larger dogs. Due to their height, they are able to reach higher places. You can start off with using a toy piano in the centre of the room.
When your dog touches the piano in the middle of the room, give him a click or a verbal praise. Your dog can touch the piano with any part of its body. So long as your dog touches the piano, offer a reward.
Soon, your dog realises that touching the piano is a good thing. Next you want to observe his action of touching the piano using his paws. Whenever he touches the piano using his paws, give him a treat.
Slowly, you want him to touch the keyboard using his paws only. Restrict the treat offer to this action. Be strict about it. Do not offer the treat if he does not touch the keyboard with his paws.
Soon, your dog will be able to “play” the piano to please you. Remember to add in a verbal command to get him to start playing the piano.
Peek A Boo Dog Trick
This trick makes your dog much more human like. When its performed, it creates the impression that your dog is REALLY playing with you peek a boo!
One common way to teach this trick to your dog is to have his paw in your hand (provided he already knows the paw command). Then place his paw over his eyes. Say “Boo” and give him a treat.
Do this action repeatedly until your dog understands the action.
If your dog does not know the paw command, another way is to use a post it note and stick a small piece on his nose. Once his paw tries to remove the post it note and touches his nose, say “boo” and give him a treat.
Keep doing this until he understands the cause and reward.
This trick might take a bit of time to master. So be patient. Remember to be consistent in your command and use the same word all the time.
Back Up Trick
Walking backwards is one fo the toughest tricks to learn. It seems easy but its not in the nature of dogs to retreat due to their curious nature. Unless they are shocked or surprised, backing up takes some getting used to for most dogs.
Learning how to back up is can prevent accidents from happening. Perhaps you saw your dog steps away from danger and your command alerted your dog to stay away.
Backing up also help to develop your dog’s coordination skills and footwork.
Start the training from the Stay position, then take a few steps backwards and say “Back”. Then you walk towards your dog and say the same command. At this point, your dog will naturally back up as your advance towards him. If not, you move towards your dog and gently push him back using your legs.
Use a treat to help you if your dog does not do the back up automatically. Place the treat over and behind his head. Reward him if he steps back. But if he does a turn around, do not reward him with the treat
If turning around always seem the preferred action of your dog, try placing your dog between two tall structures placed close together. A good method is teaching this back up trick between two parked cars. The space should prevent your down from turning around.
After sometime, your dog will get the message to back up
Opening and Closing Door Trick
Opening and closing doors are impressive acts for a dog. This trick will wow many of your friends and visitors.
But make sure your dog is not able to use this to plan his own escape.
The best way to open a door (if it opens by pulling and NOT pushing) is to use a rope attached to the door knob or handle. Lay the rope on the floor and encourage your dog to touch the rope.
Once it shows interest and touches the rope, reward a treat. Repeat this and expect more from your dog. After sometime, only give your dog the treat when it tugs on the rope, which is an essential action to open the door.
Progress to fully opening the door once your dog knows how to tug the rope. Remember to time your verbal command of “open’ to the tugging of the rope to open the door. Once the door is open, you can place a post it note on the door. When your dog touches it, give him a treat.
Slowly, progress to observing your dog closing the door completely by pushing against the post it note. Eventually, your dog should know that it is not about the post it note, but the action of closing the door that earns the treat and praise.
Fetching Drinks From Fridge
Fetching drinks from the fridge is one of the coolest tricks your dog can do. Prefereably, your dog should learn how to close the door first before learning this cool trick.
Beware of teaching your big dogs this tricks and your dog might turn your fridge into a mess while not around.
This trick requires self control and instructions must be understood by the dog not to eat the food in the fridge.
*Please be warned if your dog knows how to open the fridge door, do not put things like grapes in the fridge.
How to teach your dog to open the fridge door:
The principle is very much like how to open a normal door. Tie a rope to the door of your fridge. When you observe that your dog touches the rope, reward your dog with a treat.
Repeat this a few times. Soon your dog will gain confidence in touching and tugging the rope. As your dog get more involved in tugging the rope, shower more praises along the way.
When your dog eventually tugs the rope and opens the fridge door, say your command and provide the treat. From then on, never reward the treat unless the fridge door is opened.
Do this till your dog obeys your verbal command without the treat.
After this step, put his favorite toy ball inside the fridge and encourage him to fetch it. Once he retrieves the toy, replace it with the object you want him to retrieve from the fridge every time.
Do not use aluminium cans or canned food. Use plastic bottles whenever possible.
Many dogs love balls. It is easier to teach this trick to dogs who loves to play balls. This cool trick will bring you lots of joy and fascination.
Select a ball size that is too big for your dog to pick up. Bring your dog to an open area such as a big field or the garden park.
If your dog naturally touches the ball and plays with it, then its fine. But if your dog does not approach the ball, encourage him to touch the ball. Everytime he touches the ball, offer him a treat.
Throw the ball away from you and encourage your dog to touch it. If he races after the ball and touches it, offer him a treat.
Do this several times. Once he gets the hang of it, encourage him to bring the ball back. Initially your dog might bring the ball back halfway, refrain from giving the treat till the ball is fully back in your hands.
When your dog dribbles the ball back to you, you will love going to the open park to play.
Leaping Over a Stick
This is one of the basic agility tricks your dog should master. Jumping over obstacles can be useful when walking your dog off leash. This reduces the dependability on you when you navigate through tougher terrain with your dog
Start off with placing two thick books apart. Place a stick on the books. Make sure you start with a low height. Ensure your dog is in the sit position. Move to the other side of the stick with and hold a treat in your hand. Encourage your dog to leap across.
As soon as your dog leaps across, say a command like “jump” and offer the treat.
Repeat this several times at this height.
Add more books to increase the height gradually.
Do not increase the height too drastically. Failure to clear the height will make your dog lose confidence in the training. Its hard to get your dog back into training if he has a phobia of the set up.
If your dog has a habit of going around the stick, block off accessible areas to you. Make sure the only way to get to his treat is to jump across.
Your dog might be using his paws to knock the stick. If he does, perhaps the stick is too high, restart with a lower height.
If you have professional equipment like a jumper bar, you can do the same as the video:
Jumping Through a Hoop
This is a popular circus tricks not only for dogs but lions and tigers. But we ain’t talking about giant cats today. Getting your dog to jump through hoops might be easier than you think. This trick can be easy to teach but it must start off correctly.
Introduce the hoop to your dog. Place the hoop on the floor. When your dog starts to touch it, offer a verbal praise and give a treat.
As humans, we assume that a hoop is harmless but to a dog, he can be suspicious of anything new.
Have someone hold the hoop upright (without any elevation) and hold a treat on the other side of the hoop. Lure your dog through the hoop. Once he goes through the hoop, say your command and offer the treat.
Do this many times before elevating the hoop to a low height and using the trick you taught, say “jump”. If he jumps through the hoop, give the treat.
Remember to say your command at the same time your dog jumps through the hoop.
Increase the height slowly till you can see your dog at full stretch and having fun while jumping through the hoop.
Jumping over People
This trick will have your family members and friends raising their hands and volunteering for it.
This trick is an advanced form of jumping over sticks and hoops. Due to the size of our human body, this trick is not suitable for toy breeds of dogs as it might be asking too much of them.
Ensure that your dog is able to clear about 25 inches off the ground before trying this trick.
First lay on the ground with your dog by your side. Offer a treat at the other side with your hand holding the treat. If your dog jumps over you towards the treat, give him the treat and a click.
If your dog tries to go around you to get the treat, remove the treat and start the training again.
Spinning In Circles
This is seriously a trick for showing off. Some may regard it as a useless routine but it can be fun to watch if coupled with dance moves and leaping demonstrations
Use a guide stick or holding a treat in your hand, guide your dog round in a circular motion. Once your dog follows the full turn, give the treat.
Keep doing this for a few times, giving the treat with each successful turn. Minimise the movement of your guide stick or hand movement with each passing turn.
Add your verbal command like “spin” as your dog follows your minimal hand movements. Slowly phase out your hand movements and use your verbal cues to initiate the trick.
To teach this trick well, there has to be minimal noise distractions around. A distracted dog will not be focused on learning this trick.