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Murphy has just enrolled in his second round of beginner obedience classes. We were unsatisfied with the course of the Petsmart training, so we're now in a class with a local trainer I met through volunteering with the humane society.

Anyhow. First class was last night, and she said she'd like us all to think of a little trick to work on with our dogs, then we'll have a little "show off" competition at the end. Doesn't have to be anything complicated. But something fun... Not necessarily functional. She gave the examples of an army crawl, or "bang you're dead," or putting a cookie on the dog's nose and having him flip it up to eat it.

Having never really raised a dog before, I don't have any good ideas of what my 4 month old dog will be capable of! I googled a little bit but it seems when you google "puppy tricks" people mention sit, leave it, down, etc... Hey, those aren't tricks, those are life skills!

I did see one where you teach your dog to flip a lightswitch on and off. That would be kind of funny. Just have to find a wall to practice on that can take the beating! Then there was the memorable youtube video in which a guy trained his dog to "show your penis!" (lol - but no...) Does anyone have other ideas for tricks that a puppy with a basic knowledge of obedience commands might be able to master in 6 weeks?
 

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bang is fun. hide (behind your legs like she's scared) is cute. spin is cute. beg (up on the back legs) is cute.

if you have the time and the talent with a clicker, there's really nothing you couldn't teach her, as long as she's motivated. just don't be too upset if she refuses to perform it at the competition. even competition obedience titled dogs will occasionally refuse to perform.
 

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I'm working on the "play dead" trick. Actually, its a "lay down and relax" command because I need Sasha to be willing to lay down calmly for an exam or grooming, but if I add the gun motion and "bang" to the training, then it will be a parlor trick that will impress visitors, too. I prefer our tricks to be practical. Maybe one day she'll be able to make me a pot of tea.
 

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How hard do you want to work?

I think it would be cute to ask your dog if he wants to go "night night" and have him dive into a sleeping bag and poke his head back out. It wouldn't be hard to shape. Start with the bag opened. Click and treat for getting on the bag. Then gradually raise a flap until the dog is getting under the flap, then start zipping it slowly.

I taught this one to my mutt. It took 3 days, but she was pretty training saavy and already knew "on your bed."
 

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I once saw this guy make an awesome trick where he pointed a finger at the dog and said "hands up!" as if he was robbing the dog. The dog would lift his hands (kinda like beg). Then he would go "Bang!" and shoot the dog and the dog would basically do bang! you're dead trick.
 

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"Spin" is a good trick for a young dog and a novice trickster. You can easily lure it to begin with, then quickly fade the lure into a very subtle hand or finger gesture. Puppies seem to respond well to this one.

Have you checked out any of the stuff from Kyra Sundance, just for ideas ? My impression is that they're "beginner friendly", so for the most part they're not overly complicated.

Slightly O/T, but while looking for a link I came across ...
http://domorewithyourdog.com/downloads/trickdogtitle.pdf
Kinda cool I suppose.
 

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You could do something like putting toys away, spin and play dead (like others mentioned), "pray" (you sit on the ground, and your dog puts both paws on your outstretched arm, then puts their head under your arm), I did a version of "pray" with just one paw and called it "shame" (looks like they are covering their face - super cute and EASY to teach), closing drawers/cabinets (if you have access to either where you train), weave through your legs.... There are tons of tricks out there LOL. Those are just some I've done with my guys :)
 

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Spin and play dead are usually pretty easy ones to start with.
 

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"Props" is super easy to teach,

Just close your fist like you're going to give him props, and then touch the fist to his nose, click and treat! Eventually when you say "props", he will bring his head forward and bump your fist with his nose.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the suggestions guys! We have plenty of time to teach and shape some new tricks. I haven't quite settled on what we'll teach but I'll bring some ideas to the trainer so she can suggest how to shape them.
 

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Brittany ruptured her ACL so now we are working on regaining strength in. I have taught her how to stand on an exercise ball (below) and am attempting to shape it to the point where she will balance on it with out me holding it. The bigger the dog the more impressive, Bello who weighs in at 45 pounds will stand on it too. And it takes a lot of energy out of them. Which is always nice. ;D These are dogs that never want to stop training, and they will zone out and quit trying. So if you do it, make sure the are short sessions. No longer than five minutes. My rule of thumb now is when I run out of treats in one hand, we move on.


You could teach him to blow bubbles in a bowl of water.

Or teach him to walk on top of your feet.

Those are just some example videos on how to do it. I'm trying to teach my dogs a trick a week this year, so I have been looking at a lot of tricks. Haha.
 

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My personal favourite so far has been "put it away"....putting toys away like Finkie_Mom mentioned. Not hard at all, and helps reinforce the "drop" command in a really fun way. I'm actually hoping to transfer it to laundry and the hamper (might give her something to do with dirty socks other than run away to chew them lol).
We've also taught "Right Paw" and "Left Paw", which was going great until my DH used HIS right and HIS left...lol, now Caeda is confused, but still gets it right about 70% and its a favourite for her to offer if she wants something.
 
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