They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but what if there were several smart ways to teach your dog new tricks, no matter how old they are? It seems as though we could soon have the best-trained pooch on the block.
Choose a suitable environment
When it comes to teaching any dog a new trick, it’s all about choosing the right environment to get you started. Imagine having to focus on eating a salad while surrounded by chocolate cake? The chances are you’ll probably get a bit distracted. The same goes for your dog. Trying to train them in an area surrounded by new people, their favorite toys, or any other distractions could be asking for trouble. Instead, choosing somewhere they know already that is nice and quiet is one of the best keys to success.
Turn it into a game
Teaching your dog doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, turning it into a game can be the perfect way to ensure you’ll both enjoy your training session! Commands such as “come” can be turned into a giant game of tag, while others such as “shake” or “roll over” can soon be turned into a great bonding experience for the pair of you. The best bit? Your dog is more likely to remember their new trick thanks to all the fun they had learning the command. It’s a win-win situation.
Cue, action, reward
These are three words that many dog owners should remember when trying to teach their four-legged friend a new trick. The first, cue, is all about the word you want to use for your new trick. The next two, action and reward, go hand in hand with one another. As soon as your dog performs the action you want, you can be there with a reward to tell them how well-behaved they have been. This could be anything from their favorite toy to a treat, or even just plenty of love and cuddles from you.
Keep things short
Another important factor to think about when teaching your dog a new trick is to keep your sessions short and sweet. After all, they are likely to learn a lot more from five minutes of positive training than a whole day of not understanding what you are asking. Many owners like to slot in their training sessions whenever they get the chance, such as before cooking dinner or while watching the latest TV show. This way, there will always be plenty of time to practice the new move over and over again.
Our dogs can often give us a run for our money in the intelligence department, and thankfully, it seems as though there are now many smart ways we can teach our dogs new tricks, no matter how old they are. Whether they love food or just want your love as a reward, training your dog is sure to be one way to build a healthy relationship with your four-legged friend, and have some fun, too.