I've had several clients go cross eyed at me when I'd give them the homework of teaching their dog a trick. After all, what does 'giving paw' have to do with top obedience or protection training? Plenty.
What if your life revolved around work, more work, eat dinner, potty, sleep and more work? Everyone whether human or animal needs a break, we all need to do something fun. I have yet to meet a dog who didn't love to perform some action, that didn't have to be exact, and get rewarded for doing it. After doing obedience command, after obedience command a trick is a perfect release for all that work.
There's more than just adding in fun to your dog's life by teaching them tricks. You are developing your dog's mind and body. Most obedience commands are harnessing movements and actions that dogs naturally do. How challenging is it for your dog to lay down? You might be challenging your dog by asking hem to hold that down for a length of time, but they already lay down. But do they commonly kick out a front paw? Or hide their eyes, spin in circles, jump through your arms, stand on their hind legs? Tricks make your dog think outside of the box and use different muscles they don't use daily.
Training a dog tricks require the owner to get on the floor, face to face with their dog. The owner has to act more openly then usual, they have to act silly, and give praise when they might not normally give praise. These interactions with your dog deepen the bond between the owner and the dog. The dog receives tons of attention and play time, and you the owner get to relax and have fun with your canine friend.
Tricks also re-enforce commands the dog already knows and encourages the dog to respond quicker and more happily to their normal obedience commands. Also tricks are a great way to finally get the kids involved in your pet's training.
Tonight spend 10 minutes teaching your dog a new trick, there's millions of reasons why you should, and you can get your whole family in on the act. Stay tuned to our blog in next few weeks as we post some great tricks to get you going!