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Teach your dog tricks

How to Teach Your Dog Tricks

Teach your dog tricksDo you want to teach your dog tricks? I believe the best way to train your dog is using positive reinforcement and rewards. Rewarding good behavior will benefit you and your dog, and it will help you to build trust with your dog.

A training session will give you one on one time with your dog which will help build your relationship with each other. Keep training sessions short, only five to fifteen minutes depending on your dog’s attention span.

Training Tips

If you lose your patience during a training session, STOP immediately. You can’t hide your frustration from your dog. Your dog can sense that you are upset and will associate training with you being upset.

Give your dog a treat the moment they perform the action you are wanting. The timing of giving the treat is very important so your dog will understand which action you are wanting. Only give the treat and praise when your dog follows your command.

Be patient with your dog. You will probably have to repeat the commands and actions many times before your dog understands what you want from them.

When using treats while training, show your dog that you are placing the treat inside your closed hand. Use small treats when training your dog. You don’t want your dog to fill up on treats.

Teach Your Dog Tricks


Say “Sit” and place a treat inside your closed hand in front of your dog’s nose and raise your hand up. As you raise your hand up, your dog’s head will follow your hand up.

As your dog’s head is following your hand up with the treat, your dog will lower it’s rear end. As soon as your dog is in a sitting position, give the treat along with praise.

If your dog tends to stand up instead of sitting down, gently nudge their rear end down to a sitting position. Give your dog the treat as soon as they sit.


teach your dog to lay downStart by having your dog “Sit”. Once your dog sits, say “Down” and place a treat in front of your dog’s nose, and take the treat down to the floor or ground in front of your dog.

Your dog will follow the treat to the floor or ground. Give the treat when your dog lays down. If you dog stands, start over from a sitting position and saying “Down”.

If your dog goes down with their front legs and not the back legs, gently nudge their rear end down and give a treat along with praise.

Roll Over

First, tell your dog “Down”. When your dog lays down, then tell them to “Roll Over” while you gently roll your dog over. Once your dog rolls over, give them a treat and praise them.

Soon your dog will learn what you want from them and they will be rolling over on command.


Tell your dog to “Sit”. Hold your hand up with your palm towards your dog’s face and tell your dog “Stay”. Back up two steps. If your dog follows you, start all over and repeat from the sitting position.

When you can back up two steps and your dog stays, go to your dog and give them a treat and lots of praise. Try it again but back up a few more steps each time your dog obeys.

If you are training inside, when your dog has learned to stay, go into another room and return to give your dog a treat.


Using commands, have your dog sit and tell them to stay. Move a few steps away and tell your dog to “Come” while reaching your hands out towards your dog.

When your dog comes to you, give them a treat and praise. Each time your dog obeys, go further away and say “Come” to your dog.

If your dog will not come to you when you say “Come”, place a collar and leash on your dog. Repeat the command and actions to get your dog to come to you. Gently pull on the leash to show your dog that you want them to come to you.


teach your dog to fetchDogs love to chase things by nature. Begin with your dog beside you and show them a ball, toy, or stick. Next throw it and say “Fetch”. Your dog will run to get it by nature unless they are distracted.

When your dog picks it up, tell them to “Come” so they will bring it back to you. Have a small treat ready to give your dog and give them praise for fetching.

Start with short distances working your way up to longer distances. Playing fetch is a great way for your dog to release energy.

Praise Instead of Treats

If you don’t want to give your dog treats for every action during training sessions, you can use praise. Giving your dog praise will show them that you are happy with their actions.

Dogs naturally want to please their owners. Teaching your dog commands and tricks will give them a chance to please you and you will be happy that your dog listens and reacts to your commands.

Dog Training Classes

If you are not comfortable training your dog by yourself, look for a local dog or puppy training class. Ask friends and family for a referral or talk to your veterinarian. Training classes will show you how to teach your dog. If your dog needs specialized training, you can have a one on one class.

Do you teach your dog tricks? What have you trained your dog or puppy to do? Feel free to leave a comment below and share your story. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.






  1. Good tips! I just got a German Shephard will these work on puppies?

    • Alice

      July 21, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      Yes, they will. It is best to start training puppies early, as soon as you get them. Make the training sessions short because your puppy will have a short attention span, but you can have several training sessions each day. It is very important to socialize your puppy very early also. Good luck with your puppy!

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