List of Dog Tricks To Teach Your Dog

Dogs provide us companionship and hours of joy. Teaching your dogs basic tricks can be entertaining and enriching for your dog. Be it fetching a ball or opening a door, these tricks will bring a smile on your face every time they are performed.

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Dogs love to please their owners. Coupled with their natural enthusiasm, it makes the learning process much easier. Some of these simple tricks can be really cool to watch. Some of these tricks can be easy and some difficult. But the best bit is the fun you will have while teaching your dog how to perform these tricks.

Besides basic training, this list of dog tricks will stretch your dog’s mental and physical abilities further.

As with ALL dog training, different trainers use different methods. I have attached some videos that shows how the particular skill is taught. The text explanation might not be the same as the video steps but they achieve the same result eventually.

So if you find difficulty following the text instructions, feel free to follow the video instructions which might suit your dog better.

High Five

This is one of the all time favourite among small children. Command your dog to sit, bring a treat in front of him but slightly further.

Your dog should stay in the sit position and reach out for the treat with his from paw. Once his paw touches the treat, say “High Five!” and give your dog the treat.

Continue and repeat these steps till your dog responds to your command of “high five” without the treat stimulation.

After some time, the raising of your hand to do the “high five” will be your dog’s cue to raise his paw too. For some dogs, the verbal command is not required after a few rounds of practice.

The Army Crawl

The army crawl resembles closely the military move of crawling forward while keeping the body close to the ground.

It is one of the fun dog tricks that can improve the physical fitness of your dog.

Dogs do the army crawl all the time. From sneaking under the sofa to pick up a ball or trying to nibble food crumbs off small corners, they already have ample practice.

So, what we need is for the dog to perform this trick on a verbal cue.

Start the training in the Down position. Hold in your hand his favorite treat between your fingers. Lure your dog towards the treat but not allowing it to take it off your hand.

Move the treat away from the dog slowly. Move in a straight line forward away from the dog. As your dog follows the treat with his nose and start crawling, say “Crawl”,praise your dog and reward his treat.

If your dog snatches or attempts to stand up, reset and start again from the Down position. Never reward your dog if its done wrongly.

Stretch the distance further each time you hold the treat in your hand. Let your dog crawl further and work harder to get the treat. Eventually, your dog will link “crawl” with this trick and the treat will not be necessary.

The Army Crawl is also a practical trick. While negotiating tough terrain during hiking or mountaineering, the army crawl can help your dog navigate pass difficult obstacles. There might be times he needs to crawl to his own safety.

Dancing For Dogs

Witnessing your dog dance is one of the most joyful experiences. But the dancing trick is suitable only for small dogs. Some big dogs might have problems sustaining their weight on their hind legs for long time.

Know what your dog can withstand before teaching this cool trick.

Start from the sitting position, offer a treat above your dog’s reach and watch him stretch upwards for the treat. Once your dog is in the “standing” position, move the treat round so that your dog will start following the treat with his front paws up.

Say the command “dance” as your dog starts following the treat on his hind legs. Move the treat round in circles behind your dog’s head for better effect.

Be mindful of the strength of your dog. Bigger dogs can be overwhelming when they stop their dance, because they might land on you! So, take precaution and know the limits of your dog in performing this simple and fun dance trick.

Smaller breeds such as maltese, toy poodles and Yorkshire Terriers are the best for the dance trick

The Dog Salute

Saluting is one of the cutest trick your dog can perform. Imagine your dog with his adorable face giving you a straight salute when you come back home.

Start with the Sit Position and hold a treat in your hand. Stick a small piece of post it note above your dog’s eye.

Your dog will raise its paw to remove it. Once your dog touches the post it note, say “salute!” and reward your dog with the treat.

Repeat this several times till your dog automatically performs the salute action without the post it note.

Some dogs are not comfortable with the post it note. An alternative method is to raise your dog’s paw over his head. Then say “Salute!” and offer the treat. This can take slightly longer to grasp than the post it note technique. But given time, your dog should be able to perform this fun little trick.

Skateboarding Trick For Dog

This is one of the coolest trick in the dog training world. When your dog has mastered this, add on a pair of shades to make him look really cool

It’s hard to put into words the step by step guide, so a video speaks a thousand steps:

Kiss You Trick

Most dogs will go crazy with you place your face near him. What is supposed to be a light kiss can start and end with a huge lick around of your face.

So the challenge to teach the kiss trick is to minimise the licking.

And this can be a challenge.

Hold a treat in your hand, offer your cheek to your dog and say “Kiss”. Once your dog touches your cheek with his nose, move away and give him the treat.

You got to move away fast. If the kiss progress to a licking session, do not reward the treat.

After some time, your dog will learn that doing too much is not going to make it for the “kiss” trick.

Repeat the steps many more times to develop consistency for this trick.

Note: If your dog is a large breed, be extra careful to perform the kiss trick on small children. What is meant to be a slight peck on the cheek can escalate to a head butt on the poor little kid.

You can spread this trick around by offering your family members the same treat and commanding your dog to kiss them. Provided they know how to move away once contact is made

The Dog Handstand

Note: This trick is suitable for small dogs only. If you decide to teach a big dog, then please make sure enough preparation work is done, if not it can result in serious injury to the front paws.

The Handstand trick will have your family members and friends clapping along as its being performed.

Some small dog breeds like maltese perform this trick when they pee because they do not want to come in contact with their urine. Its possible for bigger dogs to perform this trick provided he is not overweight.

The preparation for this trick can take several weeks. The preparation is geared towards building the front leg muscles to take the weight of the dog.

Start by having your dog stand in front of a all with its hind legs raised on a small book.

Once your dog get its hind legs on the book, say the command or click the clicker.

Slowly increase the thickness of the platform by having more books. Keep adding the books so that your dog gets comfortable with the pressure on his front legs.

As the platform gets higher, eventually place your dog’s hind legs against the wall.In this positing, hold a treat in front of him and encourage him to move towards the treat.

Do not expect an immediate success as this takes a lot of physical effort from your dog. Hold and balance your dog when necessary. As your dog develop stronger front leg muscles this trick can be performed with ease.

Fetch From Water

This trick is fun during the summer months. Our opinion is that its more suitable for bigger dogs, especially Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds. Because this involves the fetching of items from the sea, bigger dogs are able to withstand the sea waves.

Check out these dogs playing Fetch along a river

Dogs are natural swimmers. But it does not mean you should throw him in the sea in the first instance. Guide your dog and watch over him while he gets used to the water.

No dog should be allowed to fetch from water until he shows proficiency in swimming. We do not want to lose any dogs lives here.

Purchase a life jacket for your dog if in doubt.

This trick is much easier if your dog has first mastered the fetch command. You can start by standing on the dry land and throwing a ball not to far (for first attempt) near the water. Say the command and reward with a treat every time its returned by your dog. Throw the ball a further distance to increase his endurance.

Be careful not to stretch your dog’s endurance too much.

7 thoughts on “List of Dog Tricks To Teach Your Dog

  • November 29, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Love your site. I can’t believe it! I actually taught my dog to do the army crawl. lol. Never thought I could do that!

    • November 30, 2015 at 7:12 am

      Hi Candace, glad you found that out! Thanks for the comment

  • December 12, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    I have taught my dog a total of 12 tricks!! I am 17, and she has never went to a dog trainer! She knows sit,stay, lay down,rollover, army crawl,sit pretty, she can shake( right and left ), touch, high 5, spin, and agility


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