Welcome!

Here you'll find all the tricks on how to teach your dog to do tricks. This site covers the basics on getting started, such as getting your pet to sit and stay on command. Tricks of the Trade gets its information from professional dog trainers, training books and everyday pet owners like yourself who have found their own way of training their furry bundles of joy. You'll be able to find simple instructions as well as pictures and helpful videos.

Getting Started

When starting to teach your dog tricks, the only training he really needs to know is his name. A dog can learn at any age, but like babies, puppies have brains like sponges. Therefore, the younger they are the easier it will be to teach them.

It is important that you use different, distinct commands or signals for each trick. That way, it's easier for your pet to tell them apart.

When training your dog to do anything, you will be more successful with continuous, positive reinforcement, such as a small treat, kibble, attention or even a toy. But always keep in mind, timing is everything. You should reward your dog at the same time as he completes the trick or right after. Behavior that gets rewarded gets repeated.

Always train a dog to do a behavior you do want him to do. If he is jumping on you, rather than kneeing and pushing him to get off, turn your body away from him. When he stops jumping and stays down, reward him for the good behavior. He will eventually understand that it is more advenatgeous for him to stay down then to jump on you.

Remember:

Successful trainers are not dominating ones. Getting mean and raising your voice with each command does not increase the chances of the dog performing the trick. Tricks take time for both you and your dog to learn. So be patient, because in the end you both will be rewarded.

The Basics

Professional Dog Trainer Melanie Phillpot, of Eager Pup in Gainesville, FLa., and puppy Taner demonstrate above the basics you and your dog should go over before moving on to any tricks.

First, you must help your dog learn his name. When starting out, all you want him to do is look at you. Get his attention with a hand cue first, and let him know you have the treats. When he looks at you with the hand gesture, use a positive reinforcement word like "Yes!" or "Good boy!" and immediately reward him with some goodies.

When he looks at you with the hand gesture, use a positive reinforcement word like "Yes!" or "Good boy!" and immediately reward him with some goodies.

Helpful Hint:

It's always better to just use a hand gesture first with new tricks. Starting off with both the hand movement and the word or phrase can become too much for dogs to process all at once.