I have a seven year old boy lab, he's very smart, and very obedient. I've been looking for some fun new tricks to teach him, and I wanted to know you guys' recommendations. He already knows sit, lay down, crawl, lay on his side, and go to his room.
Just some I can think of off the top of my head:
Shake or give a paw (right and left paw can be taught as well)
Lay on back
Dance (usually a spin on hind legs)
Spin and twirl (one for clockwise other for counter clockwise)
Take it and Drop it/Give it
Fetch and Go Find "(a specific object)"
Speak and Quiet
Touch (target your hand or other object with his nose)
Weave (walk a figure eight between your legs)
Teach all cues with hand signals... or even with head movements or eye gestures.
Teach Bang! for lay on his side, also!
Sit Pretty: Sit position with front legs up... then re-teach with Stick'em up... then Bang!
Teach Shake Left and Shake Right
Teach Turn Right and Turn Left
Teach Speak, then One bark, Two barks, three barks
Teach some of the cues using flash cards.
Record your voice on an iPad or iPhone, and use that as a cue.
Waving is cute, too. If he knows high five, put him in a sit stay and gradually move further and further backwards when you give your high five cue. He'll end up doing the high five at the empty air between you and you can reinforce that and put it on its own cue. If he doesn't know high five, teach it first.
Thanks for the advice everyone! Jessie is mostly blind, so hand cues don't work so well.
I have another question, how could I teach him speak? He almost never barks, so it's hard to train him to do it on command.
I hope someone can suggest an easier way than I used! I stood in the kitchen and barked at my dog for about a half hour using a "speak" hand gesture when she finally barked back at me. I rewarded her and praised her, then barked & gestured at her again. The second time she barked after a few seconds, so more treats and praise. She had it cold then. I don't see a reason you couldn't bark - "Speak!" - bark - "Speak!" to avoid using hand gestures.
Get him all riled up with a toy, and then don't let him have the toy, and of course tell him speak. He may bark in frustration, if you're lucky If he does, reward of course. But this is another one of those tricks where some dogs go overboard, and think any time they bark they get rewarded, so you'll have to teach him it's only okay when you ask for it Speak can go on to be many fun tricks, like teaching your dog to count
I suggest Not opening the potential Pandora's box of teaching your dog to speak if he doesn't bark. When I ask my dog to speak... I can get him to Quiet... but I can't stop him from continuing to "ask" for another treat..... So, I usually save Speaking tricks for the end of our demonstrations.
BTW, my retriever knows lots of behaviors, but he doesn't retrieve outside of the backyard, and he doesn't roll-over...so I never forced him to obey those cues.
I agree, if your dog can't see, hand cues won't work However, if he can see shadows and light, he might see motion....