Life is busy! And sometimes we don’t have the time to get our dogs out, it is raining or we are stuck in quarantine…
Mental Stimulation makes your dog many more times more tired than physical stimulation. Meaning, dogs that are not used to training will get more tired doing tricks for 15 minutes than running for 15 minutes. Also, dogs build endurance and eventually will require more time doing physical activity to get tired.
1a. It is very important to pair your treats with the sound of the clicker. This association helps speed up training and makes it more efficient. By “pairing” the clicker sound with a treat your dog knows he is doing well and you can mark the right movements more precisely. It is easier for the dog to understand complex behaviors if you pair a clicker with treats and use it the right way.
1b. Take your dog to a place with no distractions. Start walking backwards, once your dog starts moving towards you click one time and give him a treat. It is very important that you click only one time and then reward.
Do this 4-5 times and end the session. Work on this 2-3 times a day
After 2 or 3 sessions make him do a trick that he knows already. When he does it click and reward. You can change up movements, tricks, or lure your dog with food anywhere you want. Wait for him to offer new behaviors. Once you have done this exercise for a few days you can start working on touch.
1c. Get a cardboard box and toss it on the floor. When your dog shows interest click and reward. Wait for him to perform a different action click and reward. Click only for new actions. There’s around 100 actions your dog can perform touching, mouthing, scratching and getting inside the box.
1. Clean up your toys
1. Spin and Turn
3a. Go to a quiet place with low distractions. Tease and call your dog to you with a treat in your hand. As soon as he reaches your hand take a step back, lure your dog to you and then guiding him with your hand spin him around. Click or mark the action verbally and then give him the treat. If your dog just goes half way reward him too and slowly build up to a full turn. Work on both sides simultaneously 5 times each per session. Usually dogs have a side that is easier. Working on both sides will add some extra challenge. Work on this for a few days doing short, successful sessions ending on a good note. Start adding a word after he is done with the spin or turn. (Spin can be right turn or left, it really doesn’t matter).
Slowly start luring with treats less and less until you are only moving your finger around and then start saying the word before your dog performs the action.
3b. When your dog is performing the action with only the movement of your finger you can try one time with prompts and then just try saying the command. Learning the actual word is very challenging for dogs. It takes my dog Ali months to learn words, so don’t be discouraged. This will be good for your dog in the long run. It will teach him to listen and you will have some extra work and things to do with him.
3c. Add distractions, change environments, and work from a distance. If you want to teach him double or triple spin or turn lure him for the second turn before treating and then reward.
1. Sit pretty, Handstand and Core strengthen exercises
1. Jump through a hoop
I love this trick! It makes dogs mentally and physically stimulated and it’s a great way to exercise your dog inside. Also, I use this to build confidence and for fear aggressive dogs. I do not recommend doing this trick with as puppy that is less than 12 months old. Jumps can be very hard on puppy’s hips and back legs.
5a. Hold the hoop between your legs facing your dog. With the hoop on the floor, lure your dog with a toy or treat to the other side. When he walks to the other side reward him. Go back and forth a few times. If he doesn’t go all the way to the other said bubble up, give encouragement and praise him. If he is scared of hoops just work on holding it next to him and reward him for not being scared or running away.
5b. Start bringing the hoop up little by little with successful attempts. If your pup hits his leg while jumping and he is scared of trying it again bring the hoop lower to the ground.
5c. When your dog is jumping back and forth at shoulder height you can start holding it with your arms and then build to only use your arms for your doggie to jump to the other side. See how high your dog can jump!