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10 Super Impressive Tricks Any Dog Can Learn

Written by: Dina Fantegrossi
Dina Fantegrossi is the Assistant Editor and Head Writer for HomeLife Media. Before her career in writing, Dina was a veterinary technician for more than 15 years.Read more
| Published on April 1, 2020


The sit, stay, and come commands will help keep your dog safe from harm, but have you ever dreamed of a more exciting challenge? Teaching new tricks is an excellent way to exercise your dog’s body and mind, as well as strengthen the bond you share.

The stunts in this post are sure to impress your friends and promote a happy, well-rounded pup!

*If your dog is a senior or has any medical conditions, be sure to consult your vet before training.

How To Prepare Your Dog For A Training Session

  1. First and foremost, be sure to exercise your dog before a training session. The younger the pup, the more physical activity they will need to focus. However, you don’t want to wear them out completely, so opt for a brisk walk over a vigorous run.
  2. Keep training sessions short to avoid boredom and frustration. Five to ten minutes is best for dogs that are new to training.
  3. Be patient with your dog. Learning new things takes time and lots of practice.
  4. Schedule training two to three hours before mealtimes to prevent hunger-related distractions.
  5. Use tiny pieces of high-reward treats. Your dog doesn’t care about treat size as long as they taste good, and there are lots of them.
  6. Above all else, have FUN!

Once your pooch is calm and focused, you can begin working on your new trick. The following American Kennel Club training videos are led by some of the finest Knowledge-Assessed Professional Certified Dog Trainers (CPDT-KA) in the country.

1. Kiss

While many dogs are more than happy to cover you in slobbery kisses, there is a more civilized way to get a smooch from your pooch. The dog and trainer duo in this video demonstrates how to train your pup to give a polite peck on the cheek. Be sure you have plenty of peanut butter on hand!

2. Bow

The bow command is an excellent trick for beginners because many dogs strike this pose naturally during play. The trainer displays a highly desirable treat and encourages the dog to follow it as she pushes it between her paws. To do so, the dog must crouch forward into the bow position.

3. Fetch & Give

Most dogs have already mastered the retrieving part of Fetch & Give. However, the game isn’t enjoyable if the dog won’t return the toy or refuses to give it back to you. So how do you convince your dog to give up the prize? Offer them something even better!

4. High Five

Everyone loves a high-fiving dog, and this trick is relatively easy to teach using your dog’s body posture and weight distribution.

5. Roll Over

Teaching your dog to roll over is a slightly more advanced trick because it involves several consecutive steps. The key is to master each one before moving on to the next. Remember to be patient and use those treats to your advantage.

6. Play Dead

Playing dead looks easy (after all, it’s just a dog laying still), but it takes a good deal of concentration. Mastering the roll over exercise above is definitely recommended before attempting this trick. Like several other stunts on this list, teaching a dog to play dead involves “luring” with high-reward treats.

7. Sit Pretty

This is a great trick for small breed dogs like Poodles, Shih-Tzus and Yorkies. In fact, many of these dogs learn to sit up on their haunches without a single training session. They usually do it when they are begging for food!

8. Carry A Bucket Or Basket

How adorable is it when dogs carry their own Easter baskets and Halloween pails?? Once they have the basics down, you may even get them to help with the groceries.

9. Spin

Depending on how eager your dog is for a treat, teaching them to spin is relatively easy. It involves getting them to lock on to the reward in your hand, then slowly follow it in a tight circle.

10. Jump Through A Hoop

This trick is a real showpiece that will have onlookers applauding your (and your dog’s) genius-level skills. To achieve the big effect, you’ll first have to acclimate your dog to the hoop by getting them to sit inside it as it lays flat. From there, the hoop is stood on end, and the dog is lured through the center with a treat. Finally, you will gradually raise the hoop off the ground an inch at a time, so the dog must eventually jump through it. It’s definitely more complicated than the other tricks, but the results are worth it!

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