Your Dog’s Favorite Trick(s)


Welcome to June’s edition of the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop hosted by Cascadian Nomads, Dachshund Nola and myself. This month, we’re discussing our favorite trick.

Mr. N’s favorites are probably either “high five” or “dance.” They’re his default if he is confused or mugging for a treat. He has also been offering “shame” a lot lately because that was the last thing we worked on so he assumes that’s what I want.

As for my favorite… it’s probably whichever one I’m working on at the time! Right now, we’re working on unrolling a yoga mat and retrieving.

The latter is frustrating me terribly because Mr. N is not a natural mouther. He will paw at the object in question or nose it but won’t offer any mouthing behavior. So we’re working on it with tiny baby steps. We’re on day three of working on it and he’s progressed from refusing to put his mouth anywhere near the stick to bringing it to me from four feet away.

Mr. N seems incredulous that I just want him to bring back the stick. He’s like what if I hold the stick in my mouth and try to wave at the same time? Or if I hold the stick and cover my eyes? Oh fine. Have the stupid stick! And he’ll fling the stick at me.

Yoga mat rolling is going rather smoothly. Initially, he wanted to roll it up rather than unroll it but it’s going in the right direction now. I think later on, I might try to have him unroll the mat then roll it back up.

This video is from our first session.

What’s your favorite trick? Does it differ from your dog’s favorite? 
Next month, we’re sharing our training triumphs, successes, ribbons, titles on July 7th but as always all posts about positive-based training are welcome. 




64 Responses

  1. Cascadian Nomads Bethany

    June 2, 2014 8:03 am

    That's unrolling the yoga mat the hard way! Very nice. Wilhelm absolutely loved beginning obedience and I think he'd enjoy doing more but he will not put anything in his mouth that doesn't squeak or cannot be shaken dead. We even tried covering the dumbbell in peanut butter! I tried to explain to him that there are jumps involved but it doesn't matter. Some dogs just aren't meant to fetch. My trainer told me Tynan wouldn't fetch for long because he was too smart and plain old fetch is boring for super brainiac dogs. 🙂

  2. SlimDoggy

    June 2, 2014 1:37 pm

    Jack's not great at tricks. I've been trying to work on shake, but he tends to just lay down. With Maggie, I'm luck if she just pays attention – with a fearful dog like her there's only so much that you can do.

  3. Jackie Bouchard

    June 2, 2014 6:12 pm

    Wow, that yoga-mat unrolling is impressive! Rita is not great at tricks either. (Okay… truthfully I'm not great at training her to do the tricks…) But she does a good "shake" and will then also offer the "other paw." We've been working on "roll over" but she's not keen! She's not super food motivated, so that doesn't help!

  4. Snoopy@snoopysdogblog

    June 3, 2014 2:27 am

    Mr N, you're so clever dude! I don't do anything nearly as clever as your yoga mat trick! Mum's teaching me to do high 5, and I've been working myself on a new trick, I've worked out how to get in and out by making the magnetic door screen open up, we've only had it a few months and I'm treating it like a doggie door! Mum as yet hasn't caught me do it, she's just caught me on the other side than I was previously and the door is open, I'm still working on how I shut it behind me! Tee Hee

    I hope you're having a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

  5. Marquie J.

    June 3, 2014 6:38 pm

    Bahaha, the fetch thing made me laugh out loud. Petal thinks fetch is too boring. She'd rather play Keep Away or Tag. 😉 Love the yoga mat trick, so cute! Mr. N is so smart.

  6. The Daily Pip

    August 26, 2016 11:03 am

    LOL! I would love to teach Ruby to roll up my yoga matt after I use it because I always forget and then my cats scratch it up. Mr. N needs to come over and teach Ruby some tricks.

  7. Montecristo Travels

    August 26, 2016 5:54 pm

    Biggest challenge … what to do when your dog is absolutely not at all not even a little food driven. LOL I have managed to train little Montecristo using praise, hugs etc. but it has its limits. Maybe we will try again this winter as a way to fight cabin fever.

  8. Rugby James

    August 27, 2016 2:45 am

    This was really cute!! And what I loved the most was YOU!! Your enthusiasm was wonderful, and I loved the happy sound in your voice timed with your clicker! I wanted to unroll that yoga mat for a treat!! 😀

  9. Jana Rade

    August 27, 2016 3:49 pm

    The trick both I and Cookie love the most is the play bow. I was so excited when I managed to put that on cue. And I think she loves how excited that makes me.

  10. Tonya Wilhelm

    August 28, 2016 12:46 am

    Darn, no video on my phone. I'll have to check later. I trained service dogs at the beginning of my career, so lots of retrieving. Don't hesitate to try another object. I liked the pool things in the kid dr partment. They look like a stick except it's fabric with a soft but firm filling. Found at our dollar store. Keep up the good work.

  11. Tonya Wilhelm

    August 28, 2016 12:48 am

    The video isn't showing on my phone. I trained service dogs in the beginning of my career, lots of retrieving. Don't hesitate to try another object. 🙂 Good luck

  12. Talent Hounds

    August 28, 2016 3:07 pm

    Such a cutie and talented. Great video. Kilo likes shake a paw and will not return anything happily. He loves unrolling the yoga mat from the other side because I hide treats in it when I roll it up. No luck rolling it back up. How did you teach shame?

  13. theOKdogblog

    August 28, 2016 8:21 pm

    Mr N is so cute!! I wish I could get my big pups to "dance" but they know they are not suppose to jump….and i just cant get them past that and dance on their back legs (which they are not very strong in) which is why i think teaching them to "unroll" a mat like you are Mr. N i think that would be a great workout for the back legs!! So smart!

  14. Kia

    August 29, 2016 2:07 am

    Yay for Mr. N! I want to teach Simba some more tricks soon. I think my fav that he knows is when he gives the kids a five.

  15. FiveSibesMom

    August 29, 2016 2:43 am

    Bravo, Mr.N! Unrolling a yoga mat is so wonderful! May I borrow you?! My FiveSibes favorite trick… Gibson's was saying "I love you" and "Give me Gibbie kiss," Harley and Wolf is giving paw, Chloe and Bandit is "sit!" I love this post!

  16. Dash Kitten

    August 29, 2016 3:22 am

    Mr N is a talented dog. Maybe he's a bit like our mom – she is a slow learner BUT she never ever forgets ANYTHING she learns. Maybe he could come for a holiday to NZ and roll up beach towels 🙂 He's such a star!!!

  17. Daily Dog Tag

    August 29, 2016 5:44 pm

    Mr. N is so cute and so eager to please! I love watching him! How much time a day do you spend training? I know it is a wonderful bonding experience for both of you.

    • Tenacious Little Terrier

      August 29, 2016 6:20 pm

      Walks usually have a good amount of training sprinkled in as he's reactive to dogs and we live in dog nirvana. We probably spend maybe ten minutes a day or so rehearsing old tricks throughout the day (while waiting for dinner etc) and I train new things at least several times a week for about five minutes at a time.

  18. Galatea

    August 29, 2016 6:00 pm

    Gosh, I felt like I was reading about Finn! He's at pretty much the same stage & enthusiasm for each of the trick you mention… Except Dance, he only knows the dinner dance!

  19. Lindsay Pevny

    August 31, 2016 2:06 am

    I didn't realize such a small dog could work the yoga mat, great job!

    Matilda does her curtsey a lot now, and loves to retrieve her toys – I just turned her retrieve into "put it away" so now she helps clean up!


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