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Behavior Modification

(a.k.a. How to Teach Your Dog Tricks)

Newest tricks at the bottom!

Sit:

Ah, the simplest of commands. Most people take it for granted. I usually do, but I remember teaching Lexi this trick. First, grab a treat. Lexi will do anything for a treat. Next, get on your dog's right side and hold their color with your left hand and place your elbow on their rump. Hold the treat with your right hand and follow in an upwards motion over your dogs head. This will cause them to look up. At the same time gently press on their rump with your left elbow. When the sit, give them lots of praise! Good dog!
Lexi sometimes doesn't like to sit on command. The cure? Either a treat or a swift tug on her leash. Remember, your dog can be your best friend, but you are always the owner.

Down (Lie Down):

This command should be given while the dog is already sitting. Now, pass a treat by their nose going down to the ground. They will follow with their nose. Then move the treat. Following the motion should force the dog into a laying position. Lots of praise!

Shake:

Lexi learned this command very quickly. Now, I can just hold my hand in front of her and she will shake. I can even say "Gimmie some skin" or "Gimmie five" or some stupid thing and she will shake.
To teach this, have the dog sitting and say the command "Shake." Then grab their paw. Give a treat and lots of praise! Repeat. I don't know what else to say!

Bang! (Play dead):

I can say "Bang!" while making my hand in the shape of a gun and Lexi will play dead. This is a crowd pleaser! =)
This trick took a long time for Lexi to learn, so if you're having problems, be patient!
While your favorite mutt is lying down give the command of your choice ("Bang" is mine) and circle a treat from one side of their body over to the other and out. Hopefully they will fall onto their side. This is good for now! Treat, praise, etc. If that doesn't work, try gently pushing them onto their side. Make sure you repeat, "Good 'Bang'!"

Wait:

This started by placing a treat on the floor and telling her to "wait" to get it. After a few seconds I would release her with "Ok!" and she would get the treat. Then I started placing the treat on her nose. I had to hold her snout down because she would lean to a side or back and it would fall off! Now I can leave a treat and other various objects (like my glasses) on her nose!

Paper:

What a great trick to teach your dog for times when it's cold or raining outside! Yes, my dog will run to the end of the driveway and pick up the paper and bring it back to me. At first we just got her to identify "paper" by saying "paper" and pointing to it. If her nose touched the paper, she would get a treat. From there she had to mouth the paper, and then bring it a small distance. The distance slowly grew until I could stand at the door and she would bring it all the way. 'Course, sometimes she wants to bring it in and chew on it...

High Five:

This is just a variation of "Shake". Lexi knows the position of the hand and what to do more than the actual command. I can just put my hand in the air and she'll give me a high five.

More to come...(hopefully)

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