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There are a few tricks I want to start to teach Ruby, and although I have ideas about how to do most of them, I wanted to see if/how you have taught them.

1. Crawling towards you on stomach

2. Catching (eg a treat or toy. I dont know if this is instinctual or teachable to be honest, other dogs I have had have done it automatically but Ruby always waits until whatever I have thrown has landed)

3. Closing a door (pushing or pulling it closed, ideas for either/both)

4. Opening a door that opens inwards (eg if it is a little ajar, how to use a nose or paw to pull it towards them until it is wide enough to go through)


I think that is it for now, although if I think of more I will add them.

Also any ideas you have had for cool tricks, whether you have taught them or if you also want ideas on how to do them :p
 

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If you're looking for other neat tricks, I suggest using the advanced search option, select "thread titles," and look up "Tricks of the Month." You can find some really neat tricks and instructions/videos on how to do them, as well as some home made videos from the people of Dog Forums :]

As for the ones you listed, I have only taught my puppy Crawl (still working on it).

To do it, I put him in a laying down position and then held a treat by his nose. As he progressed to snatch it, I dragged it along the floor while saying the world "crawl." While some dogs will naturally drag their bellies on the ground to get it, others won't and will try to stand up (like my puppy). So every time he stood up, I would say "ah-ah!" and put him back down into a laying position. Eventually, once the getting up stopped, he would paw at it and scootch a little closer, which I would reward him for by saying "crawl" and giving him the treat.

Every bit of progress he made, even if it seemed like nothing, I would give him the treat. As long as he understands that he's not supposed to get up, but stay laying down, he would be rewarded.

While he still needs more work on this, he's starting to crawl a few inches now, so he's making some progress.

I would also suggest YouTube. Just look up some of the tricks you mentioned on there, I'm sure there are some demonstrations.
 

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2. Catching (eg a treat or toy. I dont know if this is instinctual or teachable to be honest, other dogs I have had have done it automatically but Ruby always waits until whatever I have thrown has landed)
Marge just kinda.. got it.. after awhile. At first we'd throw the treat to her and she'd let it hit her in the face and then pick it up. After a while she learned that she could catch it if she throw it. I didn't, but you COULD put it on cue to prepare the dog that something's coming by saying "Catch!"
3. Closing a door (pushing or pulling it closed, ideas for either/both)
Haven't taught her how to close full sized doors but she LOVES closing cabinets and drawers. Teach touch first (hand targeting). Once they get that, teach them to target a post it (start with it in your palm so it's similar to a regular TOUCH and then move it elsewhere. Then stick it to the door you want closed and as soon as it shuts, click and treat!
 

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We have actually done all of these tricks in the "Tricks of the Month" this year, with the exception of catching a treat!

Here are the links to the threads on how to teach these tricks:

Crawling:
http://www.dogforums.com/3-dog-training-forum/38003-tricks-month-november-limp.html

Closing Doors:
http://www.dogforums.com/3-dog-training-forum/49186-tricks-month-april-speak.html

Opening Doors:
http://www.dogforums.com/3-dog-training-forum/51347-tricks-month-may-lick.html

As for catching treats, this one was pretty easy for Libby once she had enough "mouth-eye" coordination to do so! On the advice of a friend, we started to practice this trick using popcorn: it's a special treat, is light and fluffy so it "floats" a bit better than other treats, it's smelly, and it's big and obvious as it flies through the air.

To back up a bit, first we taught "Leave It" and had that good and solid first.

When that was accomplished, we pulled out the popcorn. We started first by simply offering a piece and offering it to Libby, just to get her interested and to see if she'd like it. Then, we started dropping the popcorn from just a short distance above her head. She loved it, so she went for it. Of course, she completely missed the first few, but that was ok.

As the game progressed, we started only letting her eat the popcorn if she caught it. If she missed, she had to "leave it" and that made her try harder to catch.

We progressed from just dropping it from above her head to small tosses, and now she can catch just about anything we throw. My parent's dog is amazing at this... Rusty can catch popcorn dropped from another room in the house, LOL!
 

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As far as opening a door inwards, you could try propping it open with a book or something, then call her from the other side. I'd try it open enough so that she can see you and almost get through with just her body. A little narrower so it moves as she goes through. Then as she gets that concept down start using narrower/fewer books so she has to work a little harder to get to you.

For crawling, try luring under an ottoman (your leg might also work, but won't force her on her belly as long). Narrow hallways/doorways are good to keep her from just going around.

ETA: Squeaker, THANKS! I've been dying to teach Gatsby to catch things (frisbees! gotta get one small enough that he can pick up first) and couldn't figure out how. Only letting him eat if he catches it seems like a great motivator. If only I'd checked this half an hour ago, we could have started tonight, but I just finished the last bag of popcorn.
 

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I taught Kuma to crawl pretty easily. I put him in a down position, held my hand just above his back so he couldn't pop up, and lured him forward with a treat. Didn't take long at all for him to get it, and it's one of his favorite tricks now. :)
 
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