Dogs are naturally inquisitive, and Patterdale Terriers are one of the most intelligent breeds. They pick things up very quickly and seem to have no problems forming association. Teaching new tricks to your dog is not only good fun, but it is also great mental stimulation. Remember to keep training sessions short. Puppies learn best in 5 minute burst, whereas older dogs should be no longer than 10 minutes or you risk losing their concentration.
10 Cool Dog Tricks that are Easy for your Pooch to Learn!
For the following tricks, you will need a training clicker, rewards such as dogs treats or chicken and of course, your dog!
To start, hold a treat in a closed hand and let your dog investigate. As soon as his nose touches your fist, click and reward. Keep repeating this until your dog is doing the action every time you ask. Now introduce a cue word and continue to click and reward when your dog touches your fist. He should now understand, and you can get him to touch other objects by pointing and giving your cue word.
This is one of my favourite dog tricks. Begin with a treat between your thumb and fore finger and your dog in a standing position. Holding the treat in front of your dog’s face, move your hand to guide them in a circle. As soon as they are back facing you, click and reward. Remember, dogs are directional, so stick to either a left or right turn. Trying to teach both at once will just confuse your dog. Now he has the action, use the same hand as a guide, but give him the treats from your other hand. The hand you use to guide him round will now become a signal. Begin to move your hand further away from your dog’s face. He should still follow the action. If your dog is doing the spin every time successfully, you can introduce your cue word. Give the cue, then the hand signal and finally click and reward. It may take a little patience, but by the end, you will be able to give your cue word without a hand signal.
If your dog already knows the ‘down’ command, teaching this trick will be much easier. Start with your dog in a down position. With a treat, guide your hand slowly from his nose towards his shoulder. He should follow it, causing him to end lying on his side. Now with a second treat, repeat this movement, guiding his head toward his shoulder again. He should start to shift his weight so that he is on his back. Click and reward, then use a third treat to continue the movement. His body weight should force him to fully roll over. This time, click but put the treat slightly away so he has to bring himself into a normal down position with his feet under his body. Now you can repeat the process a little faster, so it become a single fluid movement. Once he is doing it consistently, start introducing your cue word.
Dogs are capable of understanding hundreds of words! So why not teach him the names of his toys? If he knows ‘touch’, this will be an easy trick to learn. Hold the object you want him to learn in your hand and give the touch command. Click and reward when he touches the object, not your hand. Then say the name of the object just before he touches it, then click and reward. So, you would give your ‘touch’ command, then say ‘ball’ and click when his nose touches the ball. Repeat this a few times. Now leave out the ‘touch’ cue. Simply say the name of the object and click and reward when he touches it. This one takes a lot of repetition, but once he cracks it with one toy, teaching him the names of others will be much easier.
Hold a treat in your hand and wait until your dog lifts his paw towards your fist. This may take a little time but be patient. As soon as he lifts his paw, click and reward. Repeat this a few times, then start giving your cue word when offers the action. As always, follow with a click and reward. After a few repetitions, try giving the command. Your dog should offer you his paw. You can continue this training by holding out an open hand and giving your cue word. When your dog touches your hand with his paw, click and reward.
Stand facing your dog and take a small step toward him. His natural reaction will be to take a step backward. Click and reward when he does this. Begin to take multiple steps toward him and only click and treat when he takes a few steps back rather than just one. Repeat a few times and go back to taking just one step toward him. He should still take a few steps back. Now you can give your cue word before stepping forward. Repeat until you can give the cue word without stepping forward.
Starts a game of rough housing with your dog. When he gives you a play bow, click and reward. Keep doing this each time he gets into a bow position. Now you can start giving a cue word as he does the action. After enough repetition, you should be able to give the cue word and your dog will offer you a bow.
Ask your dog to lie down. Slowly move your hand away a small amount while giving the ‘touch’ command. If he crawls a little, click and reward. Do not be disheartened if he gets up. Simply go back and ask for a lie down again. He will soon learn that you do not want him to get up. As you repeat the action, start moving your hand further and further away, increasing the distance he has to crawl. Remember to click and treat every time. Once he is doing a good crawl, you can introduce your cue word.
This method is similar to touch. Have a lure like a piece of tape on the end of your finger and offer it toward your dog. When he touches his nose to it, click and reward. After a few tries, start moving your hand further away so he has to move toward it to touch. Now introduce your cue word and repeat a few more time. Once he is doing the action on command, put the tape on your cheek. Turn your face toward him and give your cue word. After a few successful attempts you should be able to give the cue word without the tape.
Beg (Sit Pretty!)
Start with a sit, hold a treat in front your dog’s nose and slowly move it up above his head. Your dog should follow it, which will cause him to lift his front paws off the ground. As soon as he does this, click and reward. Repeat a few times, then start giving the cue word before moving your hand. After a few more repetitions you should be able to remove your hand movement and just give the cue word.
So, there you have it, 10 cool dog tricks that your Patterdale will have lots of fun learning and you can show them off at the dog park! Remember, training is only fun for as long as your dog is interested, so stick to short sessions.
If your dog is food motivated, why not consider cooking him up some Liver Cake for dogs. It’s easy to make and is excellent for training as they love the smell!
You might also like to read about Puppy Clicker Training.
Originally published at https://patterdaleterriers.co.uk on June 16, 2020.