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New Year, New Tricks!

by Alvin Nguyen

Whether you love or hate new year’s resolution. It is never a bad time to teach your dog new tricks. Teaching your dog new tricks is a terrific way to bond, burn off extra energy before the night, and sharpen your pups’ mind.

Tricks strengthen obedience, bonds, and intelligence. Like humans, we require the fundamentals of addition and subtraction before we can move onto something more difficult like calculus. Dogs learn the same way.

Although they can’t do your taxes, they CAN impress you with cute tricks.

Many of us paw parents know that Fetch isn’t as easy as it seems for your pup. Once the ball goes out it may never come back. Fetch is a great basic trick to teach your dog before moving onto intermediate tricks. We will discuss how to make your dog chase the ball and return it in this article.

Let’s Get Started!

Retrieve the toy. To avoid your dog sitting and staring, your first task is to get him to chase the toy. Make sure the toy you are playing with is something he/she is willing to put in their mouth. Not all dogs prefer the same toy, take the time and find out what your dog likes to chew.

Place the toy in front of your feet, take a step back, and encourage your dog to pick it up and bring it to you. Reward him with a treat and slowly increase the distance between you and the toy.

Throw the toy. Once your dog is comfortable with retrieving the toy. Now is the time to start throwing the ball. Hold the toy near your dog and get him/her excited. Throw the ball a short distance and encourage your dog to retrieve the object. Reward him with a treat and throw the ball further each time.

How to avoid keep away. If your dog is the type to catch the toy and run off with it. Have a second toy ready. Once your dog retrieves the first toy, wiggle your second toy to encourage your dog to come back to you. Repeat until it becomes a habit.

Take your time. Training your dog can be frustrating. Do not try to force them to learn it all in one day. This should be a fun exercise for both you and your dog. If you are frustrated your dog will sense the frustration and likely become anxious.

Here’s a great video to watch for more info on teaching your dog to retrieve.

 

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