Teaching Luna a new trick is one of my favorite things to do. I feel so incredibly proud when she nails a new trick and I also think it keeps our bond strong. Plus, trick training is a great way for Luna to get some mental and physical exercise while we live in an apartment or during winter months.

So far Luna knows the basics – Sit, Stay, Down, Come (Front), Watch Me, Leave It, Drop It, and Off. Luna also has a few tricks up her sleeve – High Five, Give Me Ten, Roll Over, Bang! (Play Dead), and her most recent addition, Speak.

Luna performs a trick, BANG!

Commands Luna and I need to work on some more include Emergency Recall and Heel. It can be a bit of a challenge training these because I have to overcome her Beagle nose.

There are still quite a few more tricks that I would like to teach to Luna. Eventually I hope we can master Spin, Twirl, Roll Over (the other way), Wave, Bow, Sit Pretty, and Crawl. There are a ton more, but that is our wish list for now.

Tips to Teach Your Dog a New Trick

1. Start with a natural behavior. It’s much easier to train a behavior your dog already does that to try to create a new behavior.
2. Use both a vocal and hand signal cue. Dogs are great at reading body language and may respond easier to hand signals than verbal commands.
3. Stay positive. Your dog will pick up if you get frustrated, so keep your cool. It also helps to keep training sessions short, but frequent.
4. Reward with a high value treat and praise. Use a treat that your dog truly enjoys. If treats cause too much distraction and your dog responds well with praise, try that.
5. End on a positive note. Even if your dog didn’t quite nail the trick yet, end with a trick she already knows. Ending positively will boost her confidence for the next training session.

Which tricks does your dog know? Which do you hope to teach?

This week’s 52 Snapshots of Life Photo Challenge theme is TEACH and this post is my submission. If you’d like to see more photos from our 52 Snapshots of Life Photo Challenge, you can view them all over in my Flickr 52 Snapshots of Life photo album.

Don’t forget to visit last week’s post to learn what is BELOW and come back next week to see how we celebrated MOTHER‘s Day.

You can also check out other snapshots from this week’s 52 Snapshots of Life Photo Challenge theme by clicking below!

Jessica Shipman
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