Dogs provide us with hours of entertainment, a shoulder to cry on and endless love and affection. No matter how bad your day was, coming home to a jumping, licking excited ball of fur will lift your mood and make you forget your troubles instantly.
All dogs love to please their owners, and teaching your dog tricks is a great way to let him win your praise and affection. To keep your dog safe and mentally stimulated, it is essential to teach him basic commands such as sit, stay and heel.
If you wish to take his training further, the following tricks will test his mental and physical abilities to the limit.
1. High five
Start by commanding your dog to sit, and reward him with a treat. Next, hold a treat in front of him but slightly out of reach.
Repeat the command “high five” whilst gently tapping one of his feet. Most dogs will raise their foot to paw at the treat in your other hand.
As he raises his foot, catch it with your free hand. As soon as you make contact, give your dog the treat and lots of praise.
Keep repeating these steps until your dog raises his foot automatically every time you give the command. If your dog needs a little encouragement to lift his foot off the ground, gently tap the inside of his knee with your finger until he bends his leg.
As soon as his paw is off the ground, gently tickle the bottom of his foot to encourage him to raise it higher. Continue to say the command slowly and firmly as you repeat the steps.
Some dogs will eventually be able to perform this trick without you having to give the command. Simply commanding your dog to sit and then raising your hand in front of him will be enough to get him to give you a high five.