Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but we think you could give it a good go with these simple step-by-step dog trick guides.

We all love the idea of having a well trained dog. After your puppy has some basic skills like sit and stay, why not try out some more advanced dog tricks. These tricks might take a little while to learn so you'll need a little patience, but it will all be worth it in the end! 

Tips for teaching your dog tricks

  1. Be patient.
  2. Use treats to help your dog learn.
  3. Praise your dog enthusiastically when they perform well.
  4. Keep sessions short (5-10 minutes), and frequent. 
  5. Don't get angry at your dog.

Trick 1: Teach your dog to high 5

  1. Begin with your dog in the sit position.
  2. Hold a treat up to them and say ‘high 5’ whilst touching one of their paws.
  3. They might paw at the treat in your hand. If your dog does this, gently pick the paw up and reward your dog enthusiastically with the treat. 
  4. Repeat these steps until your dog lifts its paw to your hand when you say they ‘high 5’ command. 
  5. When your dog masters one paw, try to repeat these steps with the other paw!  

Trick 2: Teach your dog to lie down

  1. Encourage your dog into a sitting position. 
  2. With a treat in your hand, move your hand from your dogs nose to the floor.
  3. Your dog should follow the treat into a lying down position. When it does, reward your dog with a treat and praise enthusiastically. 
  4. When your dog lies down easily, introduce the command ‘lie down’.
  5. Repeat this trick often and in different locations until your dog learns its new trick! 

Trick 3: Teach your dog to roll over

  1. Start learning this trick with your dog in the ‘down’ position. 
  2. Put a treat in your hand and move your hand slowly behind your dog’s neck. The goal is to get your dog to turn its head towards the treat without standing up. 
  3. As its head reaches back towards the treat, gently turn your dog over. 
  4. When your dog rolls over, give it the treat and praise them enthusiastically. 
  5. Repeat this process, saying ‘roll over’ when your dog rolls completely over. 
  6. Repeat until your dog rolls over with ease! 

Trick 4: Teach your dog to fetch

  1. When your dog has a toy in its month, hold your hand underneath it to encourage them to drop it.
  2. When you get the toy, give it back until your dog learns to drop it in your hand. 
  3. Next try throwing the toy. Begin by throwing it closer so it’s easier for your dog to learn the trick.
  4. After throwing the toy, hold out your palm and say fetch. Encourage your dog with a treat if you need to. 
  5. Try throwing the toy further, each time saying ‘fetch’ until they know to bring it back. 

Do you have any top tips for training your dog? Let us know in the comments! 

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