5 advanced tricks for your dog

Alex Olson

This article assumes that your dog is a seasoned pro at the basics, and out of pure boredom and lack of challenge has begged you, his owner, to find something worth his time.

Open the door please

Feel like your dog doesn’t do enough around the house? Is he getting lazy, and maybe a little chubby under that purty fur coat of his? Then put him to work by opening those pesky doors in your house.

Start off by tying a bandana, preferably one you don’t plan on wearing again, to the door knob of a door which is not completely shut. Tell him to tug on the cloth (if your stuck here just revert to how you play tug of war with toys) and reward him when the door opens slightly. Eventually say “open” when he pulls the door open entirely and he will get the idea. 

Why so serious?

If you have ever felt like scaring little kids off your lawn, or just inspecting your dog’s teeth without getting doggy drool on your hands then this trick is right up your alley.

Before you try, know this is a rather tricky trick to teach. To begin you will either need to catch your dog in the act of baring his teeth, or do something to initiate the response and then instantly reward him. Some tips on making him bare his teeth (in a non threatening manner) are to tickle his nose, or even pull up on his lips while rewarding him quickly afterward. It will take time, but this trick is worth it for the humor factor alone.  Nothings quite as adorable as a dog wagging his tail all while aggressively baring his teeth. 

The bell tolls

Sick of looking your dog in the eyes and asking him in baby voices if he needs to take a leak? Then teach him to tell you when nature comes calling. 

First things first, tie a small bell to the handle of the door your dog most often uses to go outside and do his business. Ensure the bell is eye level with your pooch, this means he doesn’t have to get on his hind legs to reach it.

 Point at the bell and commend your dog when he touches it with a treat. Hopefully he will get the picture and venture to touch the bell without being told. Again, reward him.

The next step is to make him touch the bell every time before you let him outside. Repeat this and eventually he will learn that the bell = let-me-the-heck-out-side. 

Back it up Sparky

If it will get me a treat, I'll hobble backwards for you.
I better get a treat for this.

Tired of seeing your dog walk the same way day in and day out? Well, teach him how to walk backwards!

Start out by having him sit in front of you. Walk towards him and reward him when he backs up a step. Continue to walk forward, rewarding him every time he moves back. Eventually say “back” while doing this and stop moving yourself. Reward your pooch for moving back when you command him and laugh every time he does it because its funny. As a hint, it’s easier to teach this trick while in a narrow hallway. 

Leash (go get it)

If dogs love to go for walks so much then why don’t they just bring you their leash? Probably because you have it hidden somewhere...and you haven’t taught them how yet. 

Warning: This trick requires your dog to know both “take it” and “bring it” commands. 

First, hold the leash out and make your dog take it. Reward him when he does grab it in his mouth. Make him hold the leash for longer periods of time, and of course reward him after.

Once he is comfortable, make him follow you around with the leash in his mouth, and of course reward him for doing so. Repetition people! After he learns to take it, and follow you, place the leash in an easy to access spot so he can retrieve it for you when you ask him. Ta-da! No more interrupting Cartoon Network just to get a silly leash.

Hopefully your dog has learned some useful tricks for once, but if you failed miserably at teaching him don't worry. Just bring your pooch to any of the local pet trainers we have listed here