Don’t you just love to see a very well behaved dog? It is even cuter when this is a miniature dog breed such as a Maltese terrier or Chihuahua. These types of dogs are known for their cuteness and playfulness. Once you have this type of dog trained properly, moving on to small dog tricks is just the next logical step. Everyone will get a kick out of seeing such a cute little animal do the cutest little things.
Don’t think that training a dog how to do tricks is difficult. In fact, if you learn to reward a dog for any positive behavior it displays, that dog will try really hard to repeat that behavior again in order to receive another reward. The same is true for simple tricks that are based on your dog’s natural behaviors.
When you think about it, getting a dog to do tricks is simply another form of dog training. The key to all effective training is to understand how to communicate with your dog so she understands what you expect, but she also needs to understand the difference between good behavior and bad behavior. Dogs will work very hard to do whatever it takes to receive praise, attention, affection and rewards from you. In fact, many breeds even enjoy the mental stimulation of being asked to work for their rewards.
The groundwork should have been set in place with basic training for you to move on to pet tricks. When you think about many of the tricks you want to teach, you’ll find they’re already normal dog behavior.
For example: teaching your dog to roll over should begin with a small treat held slightly above your dog’s nose. Tell your dog to sit, but don’t give the reward yet, as she hasn’t finished working.
Next tell your dog to ‘drop’ down to her stomach. Bring the treat down in front of her nose and between her paws. She should follow naturally down into a prone position. Once again, don’t offer the reward just yet. She still hasn’t finished working.
Now ask your dog to ‘roll over’. She won’t know this command, so gently nudge her so she is lying on one side. Give her the treat now and praise her. She may not have rolled all the way over, but she’s still learning the command.
Repeat this exercise a couple of times a day for a few days and your dog will start doing this automatically for you in order to receive your praise.
Consider this time as a way to continue bonding with your pet. This is quality time that the two of you can spend together learning something new together, which means that you must consider the approach that you will use.
Remember that your pet takes her prompts from you. This means that she is very sensitive to your mood. Do not forget that when you are trying to train a dog, her performance will be based upon how you react in the situation.
Contrary to belief, this also applies when you are trying to teach small dog tricks. If you dog does not understand your commands or is not picking up on what you want him to do, you cannot yell at him and expect him to perform any better. As a matter of fact, you might end up doing more harm than good. Do not lose your cool. Raising your voice will only confuse or frighten you dog. So, if something is not working out, take some time off and try it again at a later time. Trying to teach small dog tricks will go a lot smoother when you and your pet are working with positive, happy forms of reinforcement.
All in all, it is not hard to get the hang of teaching your small dog any tricks you want her to learn. After all, if you treat your dog properly and reward him for his effort, he will do his best to please you and perform at his best.