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Do you like to work all the time with no chance to just have fun? Of course not! Neither does your dog. Teaching him a trick can be fun for you. What is fun for you will soon become fun for your dog. In this activity you'll have the opportunity to teach a new trick to your dog while you practice developing patience.

Dog project skill:
Teaching your dog new tricks.
Life skill: Developing patience.
Show what you know: Teach a dog a fun new skill!

The easiest trick to teach your dog is something he already can do like catching food is his mouth or playing soccer or wagging his tail. What trick would you like to teach your dog?

Facts and tips for dog tricks
Keep all tricks short and to the point. Accompany successful attempts with praise and treats. Don't repeat the trick until the dog becomes bored. Quit while you and your dog are still wanting more.

Shake hands
Start in a quiet room with your dog sitting. Say "Paw" while gently pressing his should muscle until he lifts his leg. Put his paw in your hand. Shake it gently and then give your dog a treat and/or praise.

Try both legs. He probably prefers one or the other. After determining his favorite paw, use only that paw to shake. You may be able to teach him to shake with the other paw as he perfects the trick.

Roll over
Use a treat to coax your dog to roll over. Sometimes using "Sit," "Down," "Roll Over" will speed the process after just a few practice attempts and a lot of praise.

Dead dog

Many dogs pick up this trick quickly. The command is "Dead Dog." Instead of rolling over, the dog only goes to its back with his feet straight up and holds this position until you command "Back to Life." Once again treats and praise are the keys.

Digging deeper....
1. Write a short story about how you taught a dog tricks.
2. Teach a neighbor's dog a trick.

Acknowledgment: Written by Debbie Hackman, taken from Canine Connection, 4-H Cooperative Curriculum System, Revised 1999.

Last Updated 15-Jul-10

Can't find something?  Contact 4hyouth@missouri.edu (please include your county) or 573-882-9359

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