There are few things more entertaining than seeing a well-trained dog performing various tricks that its master has taught it. Many people buy young puppies with the intention of teaching them to do various tricks, but their plans often fall apart when they realize that they don't know how to teach the dogs to do what they want.
Puppies are often best when it comes to teaching them to do tricks; while the adage, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" isn't completely true, it is definitely much easier to teach them when they're young than when they're several years old and set in their ways.
Below are several common tricks, along with brief explanations of how to teach them. Remember that your dog won't pick up the trick right away; you've got to keep working with it if you want it to perform consistently.
In the modern world, leash and collar training is almost a necessity. Almost as perilous as the dangers of letting your dog wander free are the fines in place for unleashed and uncollared dogs. To teach it to wear a collar, start by putting the collar on for short periods of time around the house. Some dogs won't mind the collar, while others will yelp and fight to remove it. Leave the collar on for longer periods of time, until the dog becomes used to it; repeat this method with the leash to get the dog used to be restrained by it. Once the dog has learned the limits of the leash and doesn't try to pull against it, you're ready to take it out for leashed walks.
The "Heel" command teaches your dog to keep pace with you while he's leashed. Give the command, "Heel", and begin walking with your dog by your side. Should he begin to wander off or run ahead, call out, "Heel", and tug the leash slightly? When the dog is back at your side, give it a treat, and resume your walk. In time, he'll associate the command with returning to your side.
The "Come" command calls your dog to you from a distance. Call out the command, and offer your dog a treat. When the dog comes to you, pet and praise it while feeding it the treat. The dog will come to associate the command with coming to you from a distance.
The "Sit" command has your dog to sit down. Call out the command, and show the dog a treat. Move the treat over the dog's head; often, this will cause the dog to sit down while watching the treat. If this doesn't work, press gently on the dog's rump to put it into a sitting position. Praise and pet the dog while feeding it the treat. The dog will learn that the command means to sit down.
The "Stay" command has your dog to stay in one place. When your dog is in either a sitting or standing position, look at the dog, extend your hand in front of the dog's face, and say "Stay". Move away slightly and slowly, keeping your hand extended. The dog will watch you for a moment, and then will likely follow you; this command takes a bit of time to master, so don't get frustrated. Pet and praise the dog while giving a treat if he stayed in his position for even a few seconds; in time, you'll be able to move farther away as he learns the meaning of the command better.
Of course, there are many more tricks that you can teach your dog, but these are some of the more basic and easier to learn. Good luck with your training, and don't forget to occasionally treat your dog for doing the tricks, lest the dog decides to "unlearn" what you've taught.