Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tricks Tricks

Once your puppy has learned all the essential, basic life-saving commands (like "sit-stay", "come when called," etc.), it's really important to keep practicing what they know so they don't get rusty. You can even expand on what they already know by learning new commands (tricks!) Tricks might seem to be purely frivolous in nature, but the process of learning keeps your dog's mind agile, your interaction bond strong, and the oohs and awes from spectators give a well-deserved boost to your dog's self confidence (and maybe yours, too!)

A great idea is to start by choosing a trick that your specific dog might be naturally inclined towards. Got a dog who's super pawsy (clues: paws to get your attention, plays soccer by himself)?... teach him to shake or give you five. Is your dog super floppy (almost always in the down position, turns on his side for a tummy scratch)?... try teaching "roll over." Have a circusy dog (who naturally reaches up on tip-toes)?... maybe go for "stand tall" or "dance." When it comes to tricks training, just pay close attention to your dog's natural abilities and quirks and you'll be sure to start off on the right foot (um, paw...)

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