I usually ask Mr. N to perform some tricks during spare moments while we’re out and about. Mr. N often does tricks for people on store counters, while we’re waiting in line, and in the middle of walks.
Generalizing (responding to cues in environments different from the one that it was learned in) can be hard for dogs so doing this exposes Mr. N to practicing his tricks in a variety of settings and among different distractions. Your dog may sit in the living room but not outdoors in a park with squirrels which is why we’re always practicing to build up fluency and improve on the three D’s (distractions, duration and distance).
The tricks we practice tend to be ones without props and those that can be done in tiny spaces while being mostly stationary. Due to Mr. N’s compact size, space is not a huge concern but for bigger dogs, you don’t want them knocking into things and people. Some of the tricks that we practice:
- High five/shake/fist bump variants
- Take a bow
- Cover your eyes
- Are you sad (down with head on the ground)?
- Cross your paws
- Lick your nose
I like to make sure the treats I am giving him are healthy so if I have to adjust his food intake due to a lot of training that day, he’s not filling up on junk. We only have so many calories a day to work with and raw food is not the easiest to use for training.
We like Sojos treats because they are single-ingredient protein treats, easy to stick in my purse and carry it around, and meet Mr. N’s exacting standards. He likes raw food and people food the best of course but these run a close second. And they fare much better in my purse for long periods. Like all freeze-dried treats, there tends to be some crumbling. I save the crumbs and toss them in with Mr. N’s regular food as a topper. They come in a number of different proteins too which is nice for dogs with allergies and for variety’s sake.
We are doing a giveaway for Sojos treats for two lucky winners. What sorts of tricks or behaviors will you be practicing with your dog?
This post was sponsored by Sojos. They are not responsible for the contents of this article. All opinions expressed are our own.