You can start right away teaching your dog to do tricks if you know how.
I will give some great basic trick ideas and how to train your dog to do them. Also, what types of rewards and praises are good for dogs.
Every dog has his own personality. Some dogs are better at certain tricks than others. But, every dog can learn tricks and many of these tricks are your basic obedience skills that all dogs should know. Even dogs that are not well trained will have tricks they do to get attention. It is when you teach them to do it when you want them to do it, is this considered a trick.
Each trick you teach needs to have an opening command and a closing command which is the release. The closing command can be a simple word like, “O.K.”. The dog needs to hear this at the end of every trick and know that the trick is over. The opening command is the name of the trick, such as sit up, or shake etc. You praise the dog during the trick and then release them with the closing command. Then reward your dog.
You can reward your dog with anything the dog likes. A reward is their compensation for a job well done. Give your dog whatever he likes. Petting and praise from you. Love and hugs from you. A smile is also a reward. Getting a dog treat, such as food. Some owners don’t want to give a dog treat because they don’t want their dog to always be dependent on the treat in case they don’t have one with them. Usually, though, actual treat rewards are good in the beginning, but eventually the dog will find petting and praise enough when they are older. Other treats can be playing the dogs favorite game or whatever works. Many times the trick you are doing is a reward in itself, such as the game, “fetch”.
An easy first trick that all dogs can learn to do is to wag their tails on command. Your dog probably wags his tail all the time when he is happy anyways. So simply use this to teach them the trick. The opening command could be something like, “Are you a happy dog?” Praise your dog while they are wagging their tail. Then release them by saying O.K. and pet them.
The most important trick that your dog needs to know is the “stay” trick. Many other tricks are based upon this one, so is obedience. We call it a trick, but it is really a command in itself. The trick is for the dog to understand when you want them to sit and do nothing until you release them. This is how to teach your dog to stay. Put your dog on a leash. Push him down into the sitting position, saying, “Sit.” Praise him for sitting. Tell your dog to stay and give a hand signal such as, a flat palm in front of their face and say, “stay.” You can help them to stay in the beginning by holding the leash taut and back so they can’t stand up. Or, stand gently on their tail, so they can’t stand up! If your dog moves, reposition them and say, “sit.” Now say “O.K.” to release your dog and run around the yard with them.
There needs to be a clear difference between the word stay and the release work O.K. Running around the yard makes the difference clear. Next, you need to practice the same steps again. Sit them down, say, “stay”, give the flat hand signal for stay. Then release them with O.K. Run around with them and give them a reward. Repeat the training session many more times, lengthening out the stay period and moving away from them each time. You can release them with O.K. to come running forward to you at which time you will give them a reward. Keep practicing with them until they get it right.
You can teach your dog to lay down in much the same was as above. Say, “down”, while you are placing them in a laying down position. Say, “stay” and give the hand signal for it. Then release them with, O.K. Give them their reward or praise.
A very basic fun trick is the “Fetch” trick. Some dogs are natural retrievers, others are not. Some dogs like to give things to their owners, others do not. Therefore, it may be harder to teach some dogs this trick than others, but here is how you do it. The first step is to throw your dogs favorite toy or ball across the yard. Say, “go get it” or “fetch”, which they are probably already doing because they want what you just threw. It is important to verbalize the command even when they are already doing it. Eventually they will equate the sound of your words with the action they are doing. They will probably already have the object in their mouth, but if they don’t you will have to teach them to pick it up as well. Once your dog has the object they will probably start running back, hopefully towards you.
The next command is, “Come here” use a high pitch command voice with lots of praise as they are running towards you. At this point, most dogs will run right on past you to try and go chew on it. But, get in front of them and stop them. Say, “Drop it” and put your hand under their mouth and pull it from them if needs be at first. It is usually quite easy to get your dog to run after the object, pick it up and run back. It is the, “drop it” part that takes practice. Keep practicing this trick, remembering to use all the commands, “fetch”, “come here”, and “drop it”.
This basic dog tricks are easy to build on. Once you understand the concept of giving the same command each time to do the trick and then release it you can teach your dog many more creative tricks. Remember,it does take practice and repetition for all dogs to learn anything.