Why Teach Tricks?

Dogs Need Jobs!


Did you know that a lot of dog behaviour problems are caused by dogs not feeling challenged in their daily lives?

  • Barking
  • Destructive Behavior
  • Food Stealing
  • Lack of interest in food/toys
  • Pacing/Trembling
  • Obsessive Licking/Scratching
  • Anxiety
  • Aggression

All of the above can happen when a dog feels that his or her life doesn’t have a purpose.

Dogs need jobs, and many breeds were specifically bred to do jobs that most owners no longer ask them to do.

Does your Husky pull a sled? Does your retriever bring you dead ducks? Does your Sheltie herd sheep? Does your Beagle track foxes? Does your terrier hunt rats?

Chances are, probably not, and sheep/sleds/foxes/rats can be hard to find in urban Vancouver.

That’s why your dog needs to learn tricks and advanced skills.

Dogs love a challenge, and they revel in the difficulty of mastering a new trick. Furthermore, they love to feel helpful, and a lot of dog tricks can be VERY useful around the house!

Sure, there are a lot of cute tricks out there, and we teach them all:

  • Beg
  • play dead
  • spin
  • roll over
  • shake a paw
  • high five
  • dance
  • weave
  • jump
  • fetch
  • skip rope
  • cover nose with paw
  • speak
  • crawl
  • back up
  • walk on hind paws
  • hand stand
  • play soccer
  • take a bow
  • pray
  • dig
  • nod
  • ring a bell
  • ride a skateboard
  • climb a ladder

…and more!

Anything you can think up that your dog can physically do, we can help you to train it!

But many of those tricks can be adapted into useful advanced skills:

  • Pick up toys and put them away
  • put laundry in the laundry hamper
  • pick up the leash
  • retrieve your dropped keys
  • find a lost tv remote
  • open and close doors
  • turn lights on and off
  • bring you the phone when it rings
  • fetch you a tissue when you sneeze
  • pull a cart
  • fetch a diaper
  • alert you when the baby cries
  • carry messages to family members

… it goes on and on. Again, anything your dog is physically capable of, we can help you teach it.

Would you believe that most dog trainers don’t specialize in this kind of thing?

Even though being useful and having a “job” is vital to canine mental health, most dog trainers focus on obedience, or competitive sports like Agility.

At Wag The Dog, we do teach standard obedience and the skills needed for competitive sports.

But with our experience training assistance dogs for people with disabilities, we have practical experience teaching “tricks” that we see as essential skills.

Whether you have a dog whose behaviour shows that she desperately needs a challenge, or whether you’ve just always wanted a dog who will fetch you a drink from the fridge, we are the ones you want to call.

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