Bow (or stretch)

Description
As you may have already noticed, when your dog gets up for a good nap he usually stretches his front legs ending up in a bowing position: what you will learn here is to train your dog to "bow" at your command.

How to do it
Start with your dog standing on his four legs: say 'Bow' and push gently on the forward part of his back (close to the neck) while holding a hand under his rear legs. The result will be that he will lower his head and front part while leaving standing his rear part - thus "bowing".

Tips & Tricks
If you have the habit of "fighting" (always with tenderness!!) with your dog, you can teach him to bow before the fight will start: this way you will both look like two karate masters ready to wrestle!

Fetch - Stop'n'go!

To have your dog fetch a stick or a ball is quite fun: but to have your dog wait for your signal to go fetch the stick - now THAT is something!

Description
You will teach your dog to stay when you throw the ball or the stick, and to not move untill you tell him to "Go fetch!"

How to do it
It is really important that your dog knows how to stay and to fetch before you can teach him this trick (and he has to enjoy fetching things quite a lot).
Anyhow, make your dog stay, and then throw the stick - quite close to you and to your dog. Keep praising him while he doesn't move: your dog will be pointing at the stick but will stay, waiting for your order: after a few seconds say "Go!" - with a quite strong voice - and your dog will run to get the stick - give him a treat when he comes back to you.
If he runs after the stick as soon as you throw it, just say "No", go get the stick - and repeat (don't forget to always pratice stay, it's a great and very useful exercise!

Focus!

It is really important that you are able to get the attention of your puppy when you need it: you'll be more effective when teaching him tricks and you'll also have a tool to "distract" your dog from doing things you don't want him to do.

How to do it
Start sitting or kneeling, in front of your puppy. Hide your hands (so he won't be distracted looking at them) and say 'Focus' (or say your dog's name): as soon as he looks at you in your eyes start praising him (always keep eye contact) and after a few seconds give him a treat. If he looks somewhere else, just call him again and start over.
Try to lengthen the time while he's focused on you, but remember that after a few seconds (it depends, but if he stays focused for 10-15 seconds he's a really good dog!) you have to let him go...

Fetch - part 1


The 'fetch' trick is probably one of the most played with dogs and puppies: all parks around the world are full of people who throw a stick, a ball, a Frisbee - and of dogs who bring them back to their owners. Wanna learn how to do it? Read on! :-)

Description
Quite simply, you throw a toy or a stick and your dog runs to get it and brings it back to you.

How to do it
It's really easy to have your dog run after something you throw (this is called "predatory instinct": chase anything that's running away from you): the tough part is to have him bring it back to you.
Let's do it this way: start with your puppy right by you, and throw a toy (a tennis ball, for example) in the room where you are. Your puppy will immediately follow it and grab it. As soon as he has it in his mouth, call you puppy back to you, showing him a treat. Praise him if he moves towards you (even a few inches!) but give him the treat only when he comes where you are and leaves the toy (possibly in your hand).
If he drops the toy or he goes another way, just go grab the toy where he left it and start over.

Stay!

This trick is a really really useful one: you can use it, for example, to make your dog stay while you are hiding stuff (like a toy to fetch) - and if your dog masters it you will be able to leave your dog out of a shop, say 'Stay' and - when you came out - find him in the same position you left him.

Description
When you say 'Stay' your dog will stay in the spot you placed him, either sitting or laying down.

How to do it
Hold a treat in front of your dog and make him sit. Then say 'Stay' and, while holding your hand open in front of him, walk away a few steps - always facing him and always saying 'Good Boy' (if he doesn't move). Start with just a few steps and make the stay always longer (try also to go to ther rooms or behind corners). Give him the treat when you go back to him.

Tips & Tricks
You can have your dog sit when he is staying, but you can also make him stay when he is in the 'Lay' position.

Speak

Description
Your dog will "speak" (obviously in his own language - barking) when you will ask him to do so.

How to do it
This is not a difficult trick: the important thing is the timing! As soon as your dog starts barking at something (if you have a toy that he always barks at use that one) say 'Speak' and give him a treat. After a while he will start barking as soon as you say 'Speak'.

Tips & Tricks
Don't forget to teach your dog to 'Shut Up': we'll teach soon how to do it!

Stand


Description
Your puppy will be standing on his tail, maybe even moving a few steps - just like a human would do!

How to do it
Starting from the 'Sit' position, hold a treat right in front of the nose of your dog, then say 'Stand!' and move it above him so that he will have to stand in order to reach it. As soon as he stands say 'Good boy' and, when he sits back, give him the treat. While he is standing you can move - just a few steps - holding the treat - cheer him a lot if he follows you "walking".

Tips & Tricks
When you hold the treat above your dog and when he is standing move your fingers: this way he will recognize that movement as the visual signal 'Stand'. Otherwise he will stand every time you hold something above him - and this is not always nice...

Roll over


It is important that your dog knows the 'Lay' position in order to easily teach this trick.

Description
At you command, the dog will roll over his back (you can teach him to do this even more than once)

How to do it
Starting from the 'Lay' position, say 'Roll Over' and "roll" gently your dog (grab his legs and pull him, or push him from one side so that he makes a complete roll). After he has completed the roll, make him sit, cheer him and give him the treat.

Tips & Tricks
This trick is a quite hard one: your dog will have to lay with his belly up, and not many dogs like this position (it means "I surrender completely to you"...). So if your dog doesn't like to roll over, don't insist too much: there are plenty of other tricks you can teach him! :-)

Crawl


Description
Teach your puppy to crawl - that is, move forward from the 'Lay' position. You can use this trick to let him crawl under a chair, for example, or - as shown in the picture - under a vertical bar.

How to do it
Starting from the 'Lay' position, say 'Crawl', hold a treat in front of your dog's nose and move it a few inches away from him: if he stands up just say 'No, CRAWL!', and start over (make him 'Lay' again). Praise him a lot and give him the treat as soon as he crawls, even a few inches.

Lay Down


This is a nice and useful trick, that will also be the start of a few other ones (like 'Play dead', 'Roll over' or 'Crawl')

Description
Your puppy will be laying down, with his front pawns stretching ahead of him

How to do it
There are various ways to do this: the one we like to most is this one. Have your dog sit, say 'Lay' and then "pass" a cookie in front of his mouth, going all the way down to the ground with your hand: the puppy will naturally follow the hand (and the cookie...) and he will end up laying down. Give him the treat only when he stretches his forearms in front of him - and praise him a lot.

Tips & Tricks
After a while just say 'Lay' and point with your finger to the ground - your dog will lay at your feet!