Posts Tagged ‘dog trick’

Pierson Speaks

May 4, 2013

What is the easiest dog trick to teach to an Australian Shepherd mix? ‘Speak!’ Why? Because Aussies are already yappers. It was just a matter of finding things that triggered Pierson’s barking and saying the command to speak just before the trigger. Since it was too difficult to get someone to walk by my house or make a noise outside in order to get Pierson to bark, I found another trigger. Pierson also barks when he is happy. Meal time is one example. Another is when I blow in his face during playtime.

I discovered this while I was playing with Maya. In order to keep Pierson from interfering, because he can be a jealous bully when I play with Maya, I would blow in his face to keep him away. Pierson took the face blowing as part of the game. He got so excited about this game that he started barking.

So after playing with Maya, I decided to see if I could purposely provoke him to bark bu blowing in his face. After just a couple of tries, it worked. I’d say ‘speak’, then blow in his face. If he barked, he got lots of praise. I must have done this five times before I decided to just say the command without blowing in his face. To my delight, it worked!

I did three sessions of this, each less than 5 minutes long. By the third session, I was only saying the command. No face blowing. I did another short training session the next day to refresh his memory. Now, a week or so later, he confidently knows the command and is more than happy to bark. The real dog trick will be to get him to stop. ;)

This is a blog hop! For more great pet blogs, click the link below.

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Wordless Wednesday – Synchronized Spinning

January 30, 2013

Both Maya & Pierson know the turnaround and spin commands (one is spin clockwise and the other is spin counter-clockwise). It is a useless dog trick but a cute one. What sort of cute tricks does your dog do?

Maya does the spin dog trick.

Maya does the spin dog trick.

Pierson does the spin dog trick.

Pierson does the spin dog trick.

Can I get them to do the spin dog trick at the same time?

Can I get them to do the spin dog trick at the same time?

Yay! Maya & Pierson have mastered synchronized spinning!

Yay! Maya & Pierson have mastered synchronized spinning!

For some reason, it is easier to get them to do the spin trick clockwise rather than counter-clockwise. For other great pet photos, visit the Wordless Wednesday blog hop below.

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Teaching My Dogs the Rollover Dog Trick

October 3, 2012

Usually Wednesday is reserved for Wordless Wednesday. But I couldn’t help but to share my dog Pierson’s new trick. If you’re not interested in reading today, just check out this cute video of my dogs showing off. :)

Sephi knew how to do the rollover dog trick but I never taught it to Maya. But when Pierson came along with his great need to learn new things, I started teaching them both to rollover. I started on Saturday, Sept 8th. Pierson had it down by the 11th. Maya was doing okay but not like Pierson. Here is how I did it.

The Command, The Motion, and The Bribe
Both Maya and Pierson already know how to play dead so rollover was a two-step process. I gave them the down command. Then I gave the hand signal for play dead. However, instead of saying ‘play dead’ I said ‘rollover’. I had a treat in hand and led them around to do the rollover. As soon as they were all the way around, I told them they were good dogs and gave them the treat. I did this one-dog-at-a-time, of course. While I had one dog sit and stay, I went to the other dog and worked on the rollover trick.

Training Sessions
When I first started on Saturday, I spent about 2 minutes with each dog. I managed to get them each to do two successful rollovers, then stopped. Always end training on a positive note. I didn’t keep training until they got bored. And if I had two successful tries, I didn’t want to keep going and give them the opportunity to not do the trick.

Sunday, we did a 2 minute session for each dog in the morning and again in the afternoon. Same for Monday and Tuesday. Two short training sessions twice a day is all it takes. Don’t try to cram in longer training times. You can spend 5-10 minutes at the most depending on your dog’s enthusiasm and success. If your dog loses interest or is not performing the trick right, have him do something he does know well then stop on a positive note.

Some Dogs Just Won’t Do It
Pierson had the trick down by Tuesday. That is just four days! He is such a smart boy and certainly makes it seem easy to teach the rollover dog trick. I can’t promise it will be that easy for you and your dog. Every dog is different and some dogs just don’t feel comfortable doing the rollover trick. I do the trick outside because the ground is softer than my hardwood floors and so doesn’t hurt their back. Some dogs, like Maya, may take longer because the rollover is not a natural motion like sitting is. And some dogs won’t do it because perhaps they feel that exposing their belly makes them vulnerable.

If you want to teach your dog the rollover dog trick, take note of his behavior regarding the trick. Is he enthusiastic about it or is he reluctant? If he is reluctant, you may want to work on the issue of why he is before you teach this trick. Training should be fun for both you and your dog. You don’t want to force him to do something he is not comfortable doing.


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