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How cool would it be if you could just tell your dog, “Hey, please turn on the light.” And the dog will go and just do it. There aren’t just tricks like giving paws or sitting down that dogs can be taught. There are no limits to creativity and even small household chores can be turned into dog tricks. You can find out everything about trickdogging in this article.

What is trick dogging?

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Trickdogging is not an official sport. It’s much more about the bond between man and dog, which should be positively strengthened by learning tricks and exercises together. As a dog owner, you can let your imagination run wild here, because there are hundreds of tricks that dogs can learn. Be it ashamed, face death, tap-dance or arithmetic – dogs can really learn a lot of great things that are useful, funny or impressive. Of course, you always have to take your physical abilities into account, but most of the tricks are very suitable for every breed.

How does a trick dog work?

Trickdogging means nothing more than teaching the dog tricks. You can find your own way of doing this. However, a pointer/target stick and a clicker are often used in training. The pointer is used to show the dog to touch certain things. The clicker is used for positive reinforcement. At the beginning, you give the dog a treat for every good reaction, and before that, you click once with the clicker. This teaches the dog that a click means “well done”. Once the dog has conditioned itself to the sound, you can skip the treat and only click if the dog performs a trick correctly or partially correct. By clicking, you can show him without delay that he has done something right. It’s a very clear way of training that has been proven to be very effective.

What is trick dogging?

Trickdogging means teaching dogs tricks. Any tricks from obedience, help to funny tricks can be learned.

What does trick dogging do to dogs?

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Physical exertion

Of course, trick dogging isn’t as physically demanding as playing Frisbee, agility, or a long hike. Of course, there are tricks that also require certain physical abilities, but most do not involve athletic talent. Thus, the daily walk should not be neglected under any circumstances. However, you can combine it with trick dogging and think up tricks in nature or simply do a little training at your favorite spot along the way.

Mental workload

Dogs are actually not sufficiently utilized by going for daily walks. They are intelligent animals who also like to use their heads. Some dogs become so bored with not being challenged that they nibble on things and play tricks on others, driving their owners crazy. But all this is not because the dog is cheeky. Rather, it’s an attempt to keep yourself busy, otherwise you won’t really be busy. Trickdogging can then be the perfect activity, because it involves a lot of mental work. Showing, understanding and repeating tricks demands a lot from the dogs and so the otherwise so excited four-legged friend may fall into bed immediately tired after a trick dogging unit.

Due to the sometimes great mental effort, it can also quickly happen that a dog is overwhelmed. You have to pay special attention to the reactions and behavior of the dog. If he is constantly confused and the tricks just don’t work, the dog will quickly become frustrated and stop enjoying the training. Even people will then no longer be satisfied. But that doesn’t mean that you have to give up everything immediately, but much more that you should take a break and maybe go back a few steps, learn simpler tricks or just bring out the dog’s favorite games first. Human and dog heads need to be well rested to focus well. The trick dog unit should be the highlight of the day and the key to motivation and success is variety, fun and not being overwhelmed.

When do you start trick dogging?

You should start trick dogging at a young age. Since tricks can also be obedience and discipline in everyday life, everyone does it a little bit in dog training.

Which dog breeds are suitable for trick dogging?

The extremely intelligent Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are particularly talented. There are many extremely intelligent and always motivated dog breeds, but these are the prime examples. Nonetheless, any dog can learn tricks. It doesn’t depend on the breed as every dog loves to get attention and love from their owner and to be exercised mentally as well as physically. So if you have a pug, chihuahua or dachshund, it doesn’t detract from the matter, every dog needs consistent training, no matter what blood it has. The only thing to note is that if the dog has just been laying on the sofa and going for a walk for the past few years, it is likely to have more difficulty concentrating and focusing on people.

What basic commands does the dog need to know?

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Basically, the dog should first learn the commands that are helpful for him and his owner in everyday life. The most important command is probably “stay”. Whether the dog can sit or lie down on command is usually not an advantage in everyday life. The dog should stop on the street and not run away when it runs free. A solid bond, filled with love and respect, is the best foundation for trickdogging. All other tricks are ultimately learned in the process. It is also important that the dog can concentrate on the person and is willing to cooperate. An undisturbed environment is always helpful. The training sessions should not be too long either, because the concentration span is often very short at the beginning.

Which dogs are suitable for trick dogging?

Any breed of dog is suitable for trick dogging. However, younger dogs learn faster than older dogs that have never been mentally stimulated.

What do I have to fulfill as a dog owner?

As a dog owner you should have experience in teaching dogs. If you’ve never worked with a dog before, you won’t know how to react in certain situations, you won’t be able to interpret the behavior and you won’t recognize when the dog is exhausted or simply unmotivated. Proper training can be learned at a dog school. So it’s a good idea to get advice and training from experienced dog owners and trainers, because no one can and can know everything from the start. So the trick that we humans have to learn first is to teach the art to the dogs in an understandable way and to motivate them to learn.

Tips to get you started: This is how your dog learns tricks dogging

Which rewards are good?

Start with beginner exercises. Overwhelm is deadly when it comes to successful training. So start by doing little tricks and celebrate every little success with your dog. The dog should have the feeling that he is the greatest dog in the world for you and so he will soon read your every wish from your eyes. A good relationship Having fun while training is the greatest motivation of all and over time you will also be able to learn new tricks together. However, don’t expect to be a pro in just a few months. Mental training is no different than strength training and requires constant training that is well thought out, clearly structured and varied.

Of course, treats are also beneficial during training. You can of course give your dog a treat when he has done something well, but you have to be careful that it doesn’t become too much. Dogs can also become overweight. Therefore, pay close attention to how many calories you feed your dog during training and try to use low-calorie, healthy snacks if possible or, by conditioning to the clicker, you will soon no longer have to use treats at all.

What are the best tricks in trick dogging?

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Everyone can let their creativity run free here. The most well-known tricks, however, are stepping, playing dead, giving a paw or jumping through the arm bow.

Tricks & exercises in trickdogging

For beginners

Giving your paw: You can teach your dog to give your paw by holding a treat in your hand and presenting it to the dog in your closed fist. He will try to get at the treat and want to touch your hand with his paw. As soon as he does that, you can reward him with a click. Do this until you can pick up the treat in your other hand, and then eventually let the treat go away entirely. Finally, you can show your whole palm. Also, don’t forget to say the command right from the start as soon as the dog makes the right movement.

Male: If your dog can already sit this makes the perfect base for the male. To encourage your dog to lift its front paws, hold the target stick or a treat over its head. He will try to reach it and thus get into the desired position. Reward each touch with the target stick or treat so the dog learns it’s good to stand up there.

For advanced

Jump through the arms: You start by letting the dog jump over your outstretched arm. To do this, hold your arm at ground level and bring it closer to the dog. Gradually bend your lower arm into an arch and later also add your upper arm until you have an arch. You can always take the arch through which your dog should jump a little higher.

Arithmetic: While your dog can’t actually learn arithmetic, you can teach him to do the math. To do this, your dog must learn to bark at an inconspicuous signal. You give him an arithmetic problem and he should bark as many times as the result.

Conclusion: Is my dog suitable for trick dogging?

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In principle, every dog is suitable for trick dogging. There are certain breeds like Border Collies and Aussies that have a particular talent for this, but in general, it doesn’t take any special skills to learn tricks. Only older dogs that have not been mentally stimulated all their lives have a hard time suddenly concentrating so intensely on people. Here you have to expect a long learning curve and less extraordinary tricks.

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