Still stuck at home? Running out of things to do with your dog (although let's be honest, snuggling is never boring!)? Need to channel that extra energy? Why not take some time to focus on obedience work and trick training with your pup? Working your dog’s mind in this way helps them stay active and engaged and will help build the bond that you already share.
We talked to a trainer, Tiffany, for some pointers on how to approach this with your dog. Whether you are just starting out or have already begun this journey with your dog, here are a few tips to help keep it fun, whether you are outdoors or indoors. Give some of these a try and let us know what works and which tricks your furry one masters!
Tips for Indoor Obedience Work and Tricks
The foundation for everything is obedience. Utilizing a clicker is one tool that can help teach your dog a multitude of commands and trick. There are many to choose from, but here are two that we like - from Petco and Chewy.
When you have your dog’s attention, say the command, and have a treat ready to help lure/shape the behavior that you want. As soon as the dog completes the desired behavior, immediately click and reward. *If you are struggling with this step, begin by leashing your dog indoors, and gently guide them with the leash, until they complete the desired behavior.
Consistency is key. Repetition, repetition, repetition. For example, if your dog breaks a “down,” have the patience to walk over and guide them back to the down position until they are released. This helps to shape the desired behavior for the long-term.
When you’re feeling pretty good about your obedience foundation, you may want to have some fun with trick training!
Here are some fun ones to try:
• High five
• Back up
• Speak (bark on command)
• Reverse heel
• Open sliding doors with nose
• Stand (sit back on haunches, with front legs in the air)
Guide your dog through the steps for the desired behavior through luring (can be leashed or unleashed, depending on the needs of your dog) and immediately reinforce with a treat and/or click, when the dog demonstrates the desired behavior. Patience is key! Good luck!