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Fun and easy tricks to teach your dog during lockdown

on November 19, 2020

Easy tricks to teach your dog during lockdown 

Home-schooling is for dogs too! 

As isolation and lockdown continues throughout the country, we are sure that every dog owner has spent the last month finding new ways to not only entertain their families, but their dogs too!  It’s been exhausting, we’ve frozen, hidden, made, bought new treats to try and keep them occupied but if you, like us, have found yourself running out of ideas we’re here to help. Home-schooling isn’t just for kids in-fact, these fun and easy tricks to teach your dog during lockdown are ideal to keep them entertained and are guaranteed to get them to the top of the canine class!

As always, we have enlisted our Vet Know-how team at our in-house Vet’s Klinic, and it seems the adage is wrong - and you really can teach an old (or any age) dog new tricks!! We hope that following these step-by-step guides to teaching your dog tricks is a great deal of fun and a wonderful learning experience for you both!

Organise your dog training home-school …

  1. Find somewhere quiet and where your dog won’t be distracted by other dogs, food or toys. 
    2. Plan your rewards - this could be a special toy or a healthy pet treat they really enjoy.
    3. Keep training sessions short and snappy - we recommend 10-15 minutes per session.

Vet Know-how tipVet’s Kitchen Little Stars Salmon dog treats  can easily be broken up into tiny ‘training-sized’ pieces, and what’s more they are free-from artificial nasties and include natural, active ingredients to help maintain healthy joints, heart, skin and coat.  

Easy Dog Trick 1 - The Spin  

Spinning can usually be taught relatively easily in just a few easy steps…

  1. Show your dog the reward to get their interest.
    2. Slowly move the reward around behind them, this must be slow enough for them to follow with their body and turn around.
    3. As your dog spins, clearly say the word you wish to associate with this command like ‘spin’.
    4. When your dog has managed to spin the entire way around, give them the reward.
    5. Repeat about 5-10 times - don’t forget to break up treats to make them last longer!
    6. Now it’s time to see if they’ve grasped it!  Hold the reward and ask them to ‘spin’ and wait and see whether they will do the action on their own. 
    7. If your dog spins on their own, make sure to say the command word again as they spin and give them lots of praise.
    8. If your dog doesn’t spin, continue encouraging them by asking them to follow the reward and try again on their own.

Vet Know-how tip: Dogs learn at different speeds and although some may pick up new tricks quickly others may need a little more help - repetition is the key to learning.

Easy Dog Trick 2 - The Bow  

Bowing is when dogs place their head down towards their feet again this is a simple trick that just takes a little practice.

  1. When your dog is standing, use your chosen reward and slowly move it to the floor right in front of their feet.
    2. Most dogs will keep their back end up and ‘bow’ down on their front legs to retrieve the reward. As your dog does this, use your command word ‘bow’ and let them have the treat.
    3. Do this several times so they get to know the word and the movement.
    4. Now try using the word alone and if your dog manages to do it make sure you give them plenty of praise and a treat.

Vet Know-how tip: The bow can be tricky to master so it might take quite a few encouraging goes before they nail it. Often dogs are inclined to lie down instead of just dipping their head.  To help stop this you can pop an arm under their stomach to help prevent them from sinking down the whole way.  Always be sure to praise them while they are in the correct position.

Easy Dog Trick 3 - The Rollover  

It’s a classic that dogs and owners love - such fun!  The rollover is a fun trick to learn…

  1. Treat in hand get your dog to lie down.
    2. Slowly swirl the treat over your pup’s head in circular motions whilst clearly saying ‘rollover’.
    3. Make sure you give them praise and a little treat when they manage to perform a rollover.
    4. Repeat several times or until they’ve got the knack.
    5. Now try with the voice command only and when they grasp the trick load on the fuss and cuddles!

Easy Dog Trick 4 - The Touch 

This is the gentlest trick for a loving dog…

  1. Sit in front of your dog with your chosen reward.
    2. Very gently hold up your hand, and touch it to their nose, say the command word ‘touch’.
    3. Practice this a few times over, then hold up your hand and ask your dog to /touch’.
    4. As soon as your dog moves to touch your hand with their nose, give them their reward and lots of praise!

Vet Know-how tip: Learning tricks is great mental stimulation for your dog, as well as helping to strengthen the bond between both of you. For maximum enjoyment involve the family but be sure to keep training sessions short, sweet and most importantly fun!

Check out our Vet’s Kitchen™ YouTube channel to see some of these easy dog tricks in action and don’t forget we love to see your videos so why not film your new trick and upload to social media and tag us in the post.