Remember the post where I said I was going to teach Maya some dog tricks from the book, “101 Dog Tricks”? I was finally able to set aside some time and teach Maya how to shake hands with either her left or right paw. I also taught her to spin circles. These tricks were super simple to teach her and took almost no time.
Maya already knew how to shake paws, but she didn’t know the difference between left and right. The book actually has you use one hand signal and two commands. The two commands are “shake” for left paw and “paw” for right paw. Despite the different commands, I think Maya figured it out by whichever hand I put out. If I put out my right hand, she gives her left paw, and vise versa.
Spin circles was a little more difficult, but not by much. The book actually teaches to spin either clockwise or counter-clockwise. I have only taught Maya clockwise. The command for clockwise is “around” but I say “turn around” instead. Maya actually learned it so well that I don’t have to say anything. I can actually just turn my hand in a circle and she does it.
How much time did I spend? Less than 5 minutes a day for about 15 days. I know my recent post about procrastinating was less than 15 days ago, but I have actually been working on these tricks for some time – just not every day in a row. The “shake” for example, was started when I first bought the book and did a review. However, I procrastinated and worked with Maya maybe once or twice a week – less often during the holidays. But after the holidays and after my procrastination post, I worked with her every day until she completely understood.
These tricks aren’t very useful in the everyday scheme of things, but they sure are cute. And just look at how much she enjoys it. Remember that teaching your dog tricks is a good way to help your dog learn that training can be fun. Teaching your dog tricks is also a good way to bond and establish a good relationship with your dog which will eventually lead to an all-around well-behaved dog.