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How To Train A Puppy To Do Tricks

Puppies learn fast at a young age. They have to since they are learning all about the world around them. This means that you can start teaching your puppy things you want him to learn as soon as you bring him home. You can begin training your puppy around 8-10 weeks of age. Besides the basic lessons of sit and come that all puppies should know, you can also train your puppy how to do some tricks.

The tricks you teach your puppy won’t be elaborate at first but they will be fun for both you and your puppy and they will get your puppy in the habit of learning things through training. This is a good lesson for your puppy since you’ll probably want to train him to do other things as he gets older.

Roll Over

One of the tricks you can teach your puppy is to roll over. Just as you can teach your puppy to sit by holding a treat over his head and “luring” him into a sitting position, you can also use a treat to lure him into the lying down position. When your puppy is sitting, simply hold a treat in front of his nose and slowly move it toward the ground. Your puppy should lower his head to try to get the treat. As he lowers his head and front, his body should move into a lying down position. Once he’s lying down you can give him the treat and praise him.

As soon as your puppy has mastered “lie down” you can move on to teach him to roll over. With your dog in the lying down position, all you have to do is use a treat to encourage your dog roll to the side. Hold the treat near his nose and use your hand to move in the direction you want your puppy to roll. Your puppy should follow his nose and roll toward the treat. Make sure you offer plenty of praise and don’t forget to give him his treat!

Shake Hands

You can also teach your puppy to shake hands. With your puppy sitting you can tell him to “Shake,” and take his paw in your hands. Then reward him with lots of praise and a treat. Repeat as necessary.  Most puppies learn this trick very quickly. In fact you may be begging your puppy to stop shaking your hand.

High Five

You can teach your puppy to give you a high five. This trick is very easy to teach if you use a clicker but you can also teach it without a clicker. With your puppy sitting in front of you, hold up your hand and ask for a “High Five!” Your puppy may offer his paw to shake. Instead of shaking his paw simply do the high five. Praise your puppy and give him a treat. Keep repeating until your puppy gets the hang of it.

Chase His Tail

You can also teach your puppy to chase his tail on command. All you have to do is hold out a treat at the same level as your puppy’s nose and move it around your puppy’s body. Move slowly at first. As he chases the treat say, “Chase your tail,” or some other command. Reward your puppy for his spins.


No matter what tricks you teach your puppy remember to keep training sessions short. Puppies are smart and they can learn fast but they do have short attention spans. It’s better to have a couple of 10-15 minutes training sessions per day than one long training session that makes your puppy bored.

Remember to stay positive and upbeat. Your puppy will pick up on your feelings and decide what he thinks depending on how you feel and react. If you’re positive and cheerful he will enjoy training. Make your training a game and your puppy will love it.

It’s true that some breeds are smarter than others but all puppies are individuals. They are all capable of learning. Work with your puppy and find ways to motivate him. Some puppies love toys, some love food, some love playing games and having a good time with you.  Find what works with your puppy and you’ll have a puppy who’s eager to learn.


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