Posts Tagged ‘101 dog tricks’

Maya’s New Trick from “101 Dog Tricks” – Teach Your Dog How to Play Dead

February 8, 2011

Maya now knows how to play dead.  It was super easy to teach her.  It took about 5 minutes a day for less than 15 days.  It was really difficult at first so I stopped the moment I got her to do it at least once.  But after the 10th day, she caught on pretty well.  We perfected it on the days after and now she does it almost every time.

The book, “101 Dog Tricks” by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy, say that the prerequisite for learning this trick is stay and rollover.  Maya knows stay, but not rollover.  It’s actually difficult to teach her rollover since we have mostly hardwood floors and it hurts her back.  Perhaps we will try it in the spring.  Despite not having the rollover trick down, Maya learned play dead easily because she loves tummy rubs.  In fact, I did not use treats as her reward for doing this trick.  A tummy rub was the perfect reward for her on this one.

To teach your dog how to play dead, you can use a the finger point like a gun as your hand signal and the queue “bang!”.  I used “play dead” as my queue, but you can use “bang!” or even “boo!”.  I also used a different hand signal.

Start by putting your dog in the down position.  Then kneel in front of him, hold a treat to the side of his head, and move it towards his opposite shoulder.  You can help him a little but don’t push him.  Once he is on his back, give him the treat, tell him what a good dog he is, and rub his tummy.  Once he gets this down, do it standing and hold off on the treat and tell him to stay.  Make his stay until you give the release command, “okay!”, then give him his treat.

Maya is not quite to this point yet.  I may not take it to this level as I love to give her the tummy rubs.  Sephi knows this trick already.  She won’t go on her back, but she will stay until I give the release command.  Taylor this trick to you and your dog’s preference.  And learn more fun tricks from “101 Dog Tricks” by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy.

Dog Training Can Be Fun – Just Look at Maya

January 9, 2011

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.

“101 Dog Tricks” Challenge – Ongoing Review of Book by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy

November 27, 2010

101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog

This book, “101 Dog Tricks” by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy, cannot be effectively reviewed until I try teaching my dogs some of these tricks.  So I am starting with my younger dog, Maya.  Why am I starting with the younger dog?  Not because Sephi is too old (no dog is too old).  And not because Sephi is less motivated to learn than Maya.  But because Maya has some behavior issues and the best way to improve upon these behavior issues is to build a closer bond and to better develop communication.  Training, any kind of training, makes a better-behaved dog.  The book, “101 Dog Tricks”, states this and I know it from experience.

So this is my challenge.  I am going to start with a trick that Maya doesn’t know and work with her a little bit each day.  When she has learned that trick well enough for me to record on camera, I will post the video here.  I will also post the day I started with the trick, how often I worked with her on it, and how many days (or weeks) it took her to learn it.

But first, let me give you a review on the first part of the book:

The Introduction of “101 Dog Tricks” goes over the proper training methods.  Firstly and most importantly, remember that any dog training endeavor takes guidance, consistency, and motivation (or as per our 4/19/2010 blog post,, time, patience, positive reinforcement, and consistency).  The proper training methods which the book explains includes how to find what motivates your dog, how to help your dog be successful, how to keep training fun, the benefits of using both verbal cues and hand signals, and using luring to teach versus using force or manipulation.  Although this section of the book is very short, it is informative and very easy to understand.

Chapter One of “101 Dog Tricks” goes over the basic commands like sit, down, stay, and come.  Since Maya already knows these, we won’t blog about them.  Look for other blog posts on how to teach your dog these commands.

Remember, this is not a chore.  I will only do this for as long as Maya and I are having fun.  Also, I won’t teach Maya all 101 tricks.  She may not be inclined to do some of the tricks and I may not want to teach her some of them.  Speak, for example, is not one I want her to learn.  Sit Pretty may be a trick that is uncomfortable for her to do.

Other things I may not try simply because I don’t have access to the proper equipment (such as an obstacle course).  And one more thing – I will not teach the tricks in the order of the book.  I will probably start with the easiest and the ones which I think will be the most fun.

Although Maya knows how to shake already, I am going to start with teaching her to shake with either the left or right paw.  Other fun tricks we may try include Carry my Purse, Tidy Up Your Toys, Act Ashamed, Turn Off the Light, Soccer, Hoop Jump, Jump Rope, Crawl, and more!