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  1. #1

    Bear Lover Can an old dog be taught new tricks?

    Have you ever seen a well-trained dog and thought, "I wish my dog could do tricks like that"?

    It is probably the dream of most dog owners to be able to teach their pet to do some of the things they see other dogs do, but there is one thing they must remember first before they start teaching things. The dog must have at least some basic obedience. There's not much chance of teaching him to do tricks if he's a bad dog in the first place.

    Basic commands such as sitting, sitting, lying, lying, heel etc. must be known to your dog before training begins, as this will make your life easier later on. Once these have been mastered, you can start building on them and your dog will soon surprise your friends with the following three simple tips.


    To start teaching this trick, it is best to have your dog sit in a corner of the room, with your back to the wall and stand in front of him. The walls will support your dog and give him the assurance that he will not fall if he raises his front legs off the ground.

    Take a few small pieces of food and hold them above your dog while encouraging him to grab them. Every time he takes the food, praise him and repeat the operation by slowly encouraging him to go higher each time.

    While encouraging the dog to catch the food, you must make sure that it keeps its hips on the ground. This is achieved by moving the food slightly over his head, which causes the dog to push his weight back on his hips and teach him to maintain his balance.

    Once the begging trick is mastered in the corner of the room, you can gradually start moving away from the wall and practice the trick where the dog has no back support. You should expect the dog to seem to be going back in his learning, but this is to be expected until he can perfect it just by using his own body weight.

    Shaking hands

    There are two parts to this thing that your dog needs to learn. A verbal and a non-verbal part that work together to give the dog a signal that you want him to do the trick.

    First of all, the dog must start in a sitting position. Give her a single verbal watchword like "shake", while reaching out with her right hand until she is only a few centimetres from your dog's right paw. Your outstretched hand is the non-verbal tail.

    At first, your dog will probably sit still, not knowing what to do, so with your left hand, gently push or push his right leg forward until it rests in your right hand. When he did that, praise him so he knows he did what you wanted him to do.

    Practice this trick several times; congratulate after each successful result and gradually reduce the amount of instruction with your left hand until only verbal and non-verbal cues are needed.

    Shake your head: "No".

    Before you can start teaching your dog this trick, you will need to find something that will make him shake his head naturally. Some things that can help are blowing gently on the ear, tickling the ear with a feather or even slightly attaching a paper clip to the ear - remembering that you shouldn't cause the dog any pain.

    Once you have found the method that makes him shake his head, you will then have to decide which verbal and non-verbal tail you want to use. A single word such as "head" with a shrug is just one idea among many.

    Again, your dog should start in a sitting position when he learns this trick for the first time. As with the handshake, use both tails together, as well as the stick (tickling ear, etc.) to stimulate your dog to shake his head. Once he has done so, reward him, even if it's only a small movement.

    It is best to learn this trick in short sessions with momentary breaks in between, so do not try to repeat the exercise more than five times in a single session, otherwise the dog will become confused and will not learn.

    Gradually reduce the amount of encouragement so that you only need verbal and non-verbal cues. Once your dog has mastered the trick, he can learn it in both the standing and lying position.

    The essential thing in training dogs to do tricks is that the master learns that patience is a virtue and that the dog will learn in his own time. Do not scold the dog if he does not seem to be learning, it is always better to be patient and encourage him more.

  2. #2

    Re: Can an old dog be taught new tricks?

    Welcome to the forum. Before making any more posts, please go to the introductions section to say hello to members and tell them about any pets you may have and/or your interest in animals.

    Your post above, your first on this forum, appears to have been copied from this website: I had a feeling that the words were familiar, so I did a word-for-word search on Google and found it there.

    For copyright reasons, if the article is not your own you must state this fact and give the original source of the article. Please observe this carefully in future. Thank you.



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