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I just realized that I haven't taught Kodee a new command in almost a month. I am trying to think of a fun "trick" to teach him...and I can't come up with anything. He knows the following:
Come
Sit
Down
Kennel
Out
Shake
Roll over
Find it
Place
Touch
Leave it

My next "big" command I'll teach is "Heel" (will start that probably in a couple of days), but I just wanted something simple and new to teach him tonight. He usually picks things up by the end of the first lesson. TIA!
 

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I'm trying to teach Shane how to flip food off his nose, but he is having none of it


Maybe how to play dead? I know an ex cop taught his GS how to drop dead when he shouts "bam! Your dead" and pretends his hand is a gun!
 

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Since you've already taught shake about expanding to high five and wave?
 

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How about whisper?
 

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I got Elmo a toddler size basketball hoop and taught him 'dunk'. It's a very cute trick. Now that he knows it, I put the hoop away. LOL.
 

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I like useful commands, as well as tricks:
Stand (stand, but don't take any steps, useful for grooming, or at the vet)
Stay (touch release)
Wait (verbal release)
Carry
Wait on recall (running toward you, then stops/waits until you release him again. Then, and this is much harder, running AWAY from you, he stops and waits when you command it.)

Emergency Stop (playing or running, then you tell him Down or Sit and he drops into that position immediately, and doesn't move til you release him. This is much like a Wait on Recall, except that the dog has to assume a position, and stay there, usually until touch-released.)

Focus/Watch me.

For more "tricky" things, my GSD knows
Speak
Dribble (he dribbles a soccer ball)

Catch (catch food, but if it falls on the floor, he can't have it), and he catches a ball too. We're now working on catch without lifting his butt off the floor at all, no matter what.

Weave (walking with him weaving between my legs, like a little dance, Just lift your leg and treat him AFTER he's already through your leg, otherwise you'll get him stopping halfway through). When you get this well trained, you toss in a few "finish" commands (where the dog ends up in a heel position) and it's like you're dancing!

Around (train him to go around a chair, a tree, or even a sitting dog. Useful for when he gets himself hung up on a walk, or if you practice with other dogs -- who are in solid sit-stays, use the focus command to keep the dog sitting in place -- then he gets used to other dogs being in his personal space, and visa versa when he's the sitting dog).

So, those are just a few ideas...some very practical, some just sort of fun. Some can be taught in just an evening. Some might take longer. Just kind of depends on how delicious your treats are!
 

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3k.. can we see a video of those?
 

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I have video of him playing soccer on my phone, but I have no idea how to upload it. I'll ask my tech support guy -- aka Dh!) Video of us doing the weave would be pretty funny because I always trip. Me, not him.
The dog is really graceful

The Around trick we learned in my last Ob class. I thought it was kind of goofy and that Camper would never tolerate a dog circumnavigating him (he gets weird when he thinks someone would step on his tail), but he learned to go Around the other dog, and Sit-Stay while the dog Around-ed him. It was pretty cute to watch.
And yeah, it can be kind of handy if a dog wraps himself around a pole and you have a latte in one hand and a bag of groceries in the other...
 

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Kodee, I just saw your Play Dead post. I didn't realize you were looking for simple little tricks for therapy work. (I was thinking more complex tasks to keep your dog's brain working with my above suggestions).

Here's a couple.

Downward Dog (my therapy dog instructor called this the Gracious Bow). When your dog stretches, as he stretches backward (the "downward dog" movement in yoga), label and reward that, and mark it with a hand signal.

My beagle mix does this as Downward dog, just for fun. My therapy dog instructor tells her dog to Say Hello, and she (the instructor) leans forward and makes a gracious handsweep (as though she were greeting royalty). The dog then does the backward stretch which looks like a bow. The instructor says she likes this as an option for shaking hands for big dogs because sometimes, our big kids are kind of clumsy shaking hands.

Or, you can take yawns and just make them tricks themselves. I've been trying to do this with Camper because he won't just stretch backward (he's a forward and backward stretcher, every time). So when he stretches in the morning, or after naps, I make an exaggerated "oh! Yawn!" and stretch myself. In time, (he's not picking this one up very quickly. Probably because he's groggy when he's yawning.), I expect I can get him to stretch and yawn on command. Kids love this sort of stuff. "Oh, it's bedtime. Camper is tired." Yawn, Stretch.

Zamboni also Boogies on command. When she would get wet, after the bath or whatever, and shook, we labeled that behavior and treated and hoorayed for it (we originally called it Shake, and wouldn't you know it, she stopped shaking off to offer her paw. Duh. Shake means Here's My Paw. So shaking off is Boogie). This is also helpful when your dog is wet and muddy, and you want them to shake off before they get into the car.

When he was a puppy, I trained Camper the Commando move, crawling forward on his tummy, just by putting snacks in front of his nose then edging them out a bit so he'd have to reach to get them. He learned it, but as he got older, it just didn't work well with his hip structure or something. He kept popping his rear end up. (So I ended up dropping that from his repertoire.) I know someone that does the same trick, but her command, instead of simply "commando" is "Water! Water in the Desert!" And her dog crawls along the ground. It's hysterical to watch.

One of my trainers has a dog that knows all sorts of tricks. One of them is the dog salutes. She says "hello Sir," and salutes him. He salutes back. She said she just put a piece of tape very lightly on his eyebrow, then when he went to push it away, she said the command words, Hello Sir, and the hand signal, the salute...and lots of snacks of course.

Her dog also sneezes on command. When your dog sneezes, mark it "achoo!" (or Gazuntight or Bless You!) (wipe your nose for the hand signal) and treat. A friends dog does a similar trick where the friend says "achoo!" and the dog pulls a Kleenex out of the box and brings it to her. Basically, anything your dog does, you can make it a trick. Just watch him throughout the day and think, would THAT be cute if done on command? Then mark it with a word, a cute hand signal, and give lots and lots of treats.

 

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These are great tricks!!! I'll be working with Elmo on some of them. He loves learning new things so it will be fun for the both of us.
 

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Darn, you mentioned find it. But if you have a yard bury something after letting the dog smell, and then tell him to find.
 

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KodeeGirl - start naming favorite toys. When he knows at least 5 or 6 you will have fun telling which toy to go get. Kids love it!
 

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All of my girls learn to wave good-bye and it's cute to see how they put their own style into it. Some reach up really high with their paw, some wave it up and down, some reach up and then slap their paw onto the ground. I try not to shape any more than the basic wave so they can "individualize" it.

I also teach all of my dogs to spin. This is another one that tends to gain a separate style with each dog, and I let it. I usually only teach a spin to the side that is the most natural for the dogs, although my black chow chose to turn once counter-clockwise and then spin back clockwise (spin and spin back) which is also really cute.

Many of the tricks that my dogs do are just extensions of natural behaviors, too. Trick (my older shepherd) liked to kind of flip a ball at my foot and we turned that into actually throwing a soft toy - she can toss it up higher than my head at times, and I catch it and throw it back. So we play a game of toss back and forth, which really amuses people. Dora, my black chow, would rub her paw on her nose on occasion and I shaped that into "does your nose tickle?".

Khana, my red chow, has a huge repetoire of tricks. She touches noses with me and will hold her nose against mine for as long as I want her to. She shakes her head "no" when I ask "what do you think?" (usually said after asking something like "should I give this treat to Dora?"), points her nose at the ceiling when I say "sky high!", lifts her front feet in a goose-stepping style on the command "tick-tock", covers her nose/eyes with her paw when I say "cover your face". If I put out my hand and say "head" she'll lay her head into my hand, and if I have her put her paws up on me, she lays her head on my chest when I say "toogle" (I just made up a word one day to see what I could teach her in a very short amount of time .. *L*). She also backs up on the command "scoot" and is getting pretty good at going quite a distance, although she hasn't gotten as good as Trick. At one point, I could stand still and back Trick 35-40' across a parking lot. Khana doesn't back that far, but she will back circles around me - from heel position all the way around back into heel position.

I went through a period where I taught all the dogs "paw/face" behaviors. They all developed their own style for these, too. Dora learned the nose rub as I already described, and Khana did the "cover your nose" while she was still sitting. Trick would lay down on her side and put her paw over her nose, so I would ask her "what stinks?". Tori, my former GSD, would lay on her side and put both paws up over her nose, which turned into "peek-a-boo!".

When you start getting a lot of single command behaviors, you can chain some together. The first chow I had would lay down on a blanket, take the edge into her mouth and roll over, pulling the blanket over her. She had to learn a solid "hold" command first, learn to roll over first, and then I chained them together by having her lay on the blanket, "hold" the edge, and then roll over while still holding it. Her command for this was "bed time!". With Trick, I can have her back up ("you're too close") and then have her spin at a distance. This is tough at first, because most dogs want to come back in. I'm just starting some of this with Khana - I get her to step back a few steps and then I ask her for another behavior while I'm walking in to her.

Another neat chained behavior is fetching a cold drink from the fridge. You need to break it into opening the door (one behavior) and retrieving a beer (second behavior) and then put them together. It helps to use the foam can covers on the beer (bottled or canned). Trick learned she could puncture a can and drink the beer (the lush!). I learned that she really likes beer!

Dogs are mostly limited by what we mere humans can figure out to show them. I think one of the reasons why my dogs don't tend to get bored by obedience is that I don't limit it to just sit, down, stay, heel, etc. We mix it up, put in tricks here and there, practice heeling forward and sideways and backward, heel on the right as well as the left, do spins in mid-heel or turns where the dog ends up on the other side of you, etc. Add in the frequent rewards (which encourage a dog's happy enthusiasm far more than compulsive methods do) and you have a dog that is eager to do things with you.

It's all just behavior - even basic obedience is tricks if you think of it that way!

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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How about crawl? We taught both Emma and Elle this within 10-15 minutes.

Have him to lay down, and take a treat and have him to scoot it or crawl to it with out standing up! ( you may have to walk backwards to coax him to it) but it is a very cute trick, everyone we know begs us to get them to do that trick when they are here! Goodluck!

Elle shows her teeth on command, and Emma can say Momma, this took a while to teach, constantly telling her "Say Momma!" Now she says it all the time even without us telling her to. They both know 'find momma' or/and 'find daddy'. Elle has a trick that we never taught her, so I guess it's a natural talent, but if there is any kind of money on the ground anywhere she will find it, her biggest find was $20, her smallest amount was a penny (lol). Emma knows how to shut her crate door from inside her crate, and also open it. They both give kisses on command, although Emma's a tom boy, and doesn't much care for it. My list could go on, but I'll stop here!! Goodluck with deciding what to teach next!
 
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