Join Date: May 2009
Location: Menlo Park, SF Bay Area
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Tricks are a great way to bond with your pup and keep them alert and engaged. In addition to some that you listed above, we did "aw shucks", "peekaboo", "left" and "right" turns. Phoebe loves to do peekaboo more than almost anything else. It starts out as a "come" command but she circles behind, and pokes her head through my legs. She gets the treat for peeking out. Shucks was surprisingly easy to train using a clicker and postit notes. Start by sticking the postit to your dog's face, and click/treat when they swipe at it with a paw. Then substitute the word command for the postit note. We have been pretty sloppy and haven't modeled the trick to have her get the treat only when she does a nice slow swipe of her face, so she mostly just sort of gives a wave at her face and expects a treat. Teach left and right turns by having your dog follow a treat, then switch to more and more subtle hand/finger commands, and finally just the words left and right. Nowadays, Phoebe knows her left from her right just as well as I do (which is to say, not perfect).
Juliette and Phoebe