WOOF, ready for the coolest tricks of a Yorkie a.k.a. ME?
Teaching your dog new tricks can be a fun and rewarding experience that deepens the bond between you and your furry best friend. As a senior dog, I love being mentally stimulated by new tricks, especially since we’ve been staying at home more. And yes, old dogs CAN learn new tricks – I’m still learning new ones as I BARK.
Perk up your ears, tilt your head, and sniff out my exclusive video “The Tricks of a Yorkie,” showcasing over 15 of my greatest tricks! From the classics like “LAY DOWN” to the seemingly strange ones like “MER-MAN,” I have a “No treat, No trick” policy as should all dogs. Oh, yea, a special shout out to my boy HaChi, a fabulous Shih Tzu from Romania, for inspiring me how to “SHAKE”! Be sure to watch the final trick in the video – it’s my BEST trick to date!
Wanna teach your dog some tricks? Although this post is called “The Tricks of a Yorkie,” I am proudly barking out 9 dog trick training tips for any dog regardless of age or size.
Roger Wellington’s Dog Trick Training Tips:
#1 Always use positive reinforcement and positive reinforcement ONLY
Without a doubt, dogs learn best through positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is unquestionably the most humane and effective way for any type of dog training. Offer rewards through verbal praise, mouthwatering treats, and gentle strokes to demonstrate that you welcome their behavior or action.
#2 Make sure the “trick” is a natural behavioral act of your dog
Dogs don’t like to do anything that’s not in their nature. I mean, who does? An unnatural act can cause discomfort or even pain for your dog. Hence, I beg you not to force your dog into awkward positions for your enjoyment. Make sure you’ve seen the specific action exhibited by your dog at some point before training.
#3 Catch them in ACTION
Instead of setting aside time for “training,” try catching your dog doing the act or the “trick” naturally and then rewarding with verbal praise and treats. During each time, repeat the name of the trick (e.g. lay down, roll over, sit pretty, etc.) until they finally learn to affiliate the specific action with the reward.
#4 Take plenty of breaks
Resetting works MIRACLES. If you feel like they’re “not getting it,” please stop and take a break. Don’t overwork your dog.
Don’t forget, tricks are meant to be fun for your dog! As a dog who gets most of his goodies for simply being present, I can assert (with an upright tail) that dogs would much rather NOT do anything to get treats. So relax, don’t overdo it.
Find out how to potty train your dog without a crate!
#5 Let your dog train YOU
OK, this may sound like a weird tip, but those who embrace it could be much more successful than those who don’t. Listen to your dogs, humans! Dogs have their own way of communicating what THEY want to humans. Whenever I want a treat from my human, I’d do random tricks to see what catches my human’s attention. The moment my human sees what I’m doing (whether it’s “KICK” or “STRETCH”), she immediately identifies the trick by saying it out loud several times. She then rewards me with verbal praise and a delicious treat. Her reaction to my specific action solidifies all the “training” she had put in previously for the trick.
#6 Be patient and accountable
Humans, PLEASE understand that it takes time to train your dog, whether a brand new trick or potty training. It’s all about repetition and rewards to solidify any trick or “desired” behavior. No one is perfect, including yourself. It takes time for dogs to understand what YOU want or what YOU deem as desirable. Don’t give up on your dog even if success seems impossible. Instead, take accountability for your own actions – is there something that YOU are not doing right to train your dog? Are you spending enough time with your dog? Is the “trick” a natural behavior for your dog? Don’t be one-sided!
#7 NEVER abuse your dog (either emotionally or physically)
Animal abuse is morally wrong and cruel. Not to mention, it’s also illegal in many parts of the world (GRRR it should be illegal EVERYWHERE). Only a coward would abuse an animal PERIOD. Please understand that there’s no “right” or “wrong” in a dog’s world. When you praise and reward them for the desired action (or in your eyes, “right”), they learn to affiliate the specific action with something positive. Screaming at or hitting your dog is a cruel, ineffective way to train a dog as it only creates FEAR and CONFUSION.
#8 Always put SAFETY first
Never jeopardize your dog’s physical safety and emotional well-being for a “trick.” Make sure the tricks or desired actions are free of hazards, potential dangers, and emotional abuse (e.g. teasing, bullying). While tricks are great ways to stimulate a dog’s mind and bond with humans, they are ultimately done for humans. Dogs live the happiest lives when they feel safe and secure as real members of the family. Therefore, please provide the safest environment for your furry family member at all times.
#9 Please do NOT teach your dog to walk on hind legs
Despite the recent social media popularity of dogs walking on hind legs, please do NOT teach your dog to walk on two legs as it is simply unnatural for dogs to do so. Think about it, dogs are born to walk on four legs just as humans are born to walk on two legs. Long-term walking on hind legs can be detrimental to your dog’s body. Sadly, many dogs have suffered from abusive and cruel training practices for such a distasteful trick that’s purely an amusement for humans.
Instead, teach them “STAND” (as seen in my video) but never force them to stand upright for a long period because, again, it’s harmful to their bodies to do so. Allow them to go back to their normal position immediately.
Hope you enjoyed watching “The Tricks of a Yorkie” and sniffing out my training tips! If you have training tips, feel free to share in the comments section or shoot me a message. BARK AT ME! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: Roger Wellington to sniff out my latest videos!
Markin’ it up,
Roger Wellington a.k.a. The Doob
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