Some people naturally love dog tricks and navigate to them as soon as their puppy enters the family. Other people tend to stick to the meat and potatoes of dog training - wanting to simply teach their dogs good listening skills and basic obedience, but did you know that one can help the other? There are many benefits to teaching your dog a big bag of tricks. So why should you? Here are 4 good reasons to spend some time teaching your dog to shake-a-paw or give you a high-5!
Dogs love to learn and Tricks are great for that!
Did you know that dog's brains are fully developed by the time they turn 7 weeks of age? That means that mental stimulation is very important to both developing puppies and adult dogs. Tricks help to get your dog thinking and learning, whether they are following a lure or offering more complex behaviours through shaping, your dog will love the mental stimulation of trick training.
Teach the dog how to work for you by teaching Tricks!
Often tricks can help bridge the gap of understanding between human and dog. We are both complex creatures and low-stress learning can really help us figure out how to read each other. It's also a wonderful way to build a bond with your dog. Dogs can quickly learn to trust you when they are heavily reinforced for activities.
Put your dog at ease in potentially overwhelming situations with Tricks
It's nice to have behaviours to rely on that will help your dog cope when things get stressful. Having a bag of tricks to help your dog focus on positivity can help them in overwhelming situations. Picture a scenario where your dog may become worried - first time meeting new people, kids or a new environment. I you can refocus their mind with a trick or two, transfer of value can occur and the new situation can be washed with the positive association your dog has with their tricks.
Teach your dog to think and offer behaviours through Tricks
As we mentioned, dogs love to learn and they love to be stimulated both mentally and physically. Exploring trick training with your dog allows them to troubleshoot and offer behaviours. It's a great stepping stone to learning how to problem solve and think through road blocks in their training. Learning really is a skill for both humans and dogs!
So take some time to teach your dog a trick or two. You'll be glad you did!
If you need some ideas for tricks to teach or tutorials on how to teach them, visit our YouTube channel.