Best of the Barking Butler

Posted on March 19, 2020May 7, 2021Categories Assistance Dog Skills, Great Tricks, Training Methods, Uncategorized, VideosTags , , , , , , , , ,

Have you ever wished your dog could pass your husband that wrench? Or that you could send your dog to the garden with a note for mother? One of the best tricks you can teach your barking butler is to deliver objects to targets. In this article, we will go through the 3 simple steps it takes to teach your dog to deliver an object to another person.

Roscoe learns to deliver an object between 2 people

Teach ‘take it to mom/dad’

Pre-requisite training: Retrieving is required, knowing names is helpful too.

Step 1: Stand 8 ft apart from your partner. The sender has the dog retrieve an easy item like a glove by handing it to them or tossing it on the ground. The sender cues ‘get it,’ but as the dog comes to deliver it, the sender points and says ‘take it to (name).’

Step 2: Now the sender must be quiet and let the receiver do the talking. Sender stands still and stares at the receiver while they ask the dog to ‘bring it here.’ The sender cannot offer any further encouragement, nor should they cue the dog again. This is key. If the sender keeps talking, the dog won’t stop looking at them and go off to the receiver.

Step 3: Fade the hint by waiting 2 full seconds after the sender says “take it to-” before helping. Your dog will already be on their way over most of the time, and will require less and less encouragement from the receiver.

Simple as 1-2-3! Now you can try new objects and locations. Increase distance until the dog can deliver to someone in another room without the receiver helping at all.

Troubleshooting

Near the end of the video I left some demonstrations of how to handle setbacks, such as the dog dropping the item either halfway there or just as they deliver it. At one point Roscoe simply trots off without ever getting the item.

The person who is to receive the delivery is the person who needs to encourage the retrieve. The sender must always remain silent after giving the ‘take it to’ cue.

If the dog drops the item, ask them to retrieve it again rather than picking it up yourself.

If the ‘get it’ is a complete fail to begin with (as in the case that they march off with nothing), then the sender will have to call the dog back to start over, but once the dog has the item, the sender must stay silent.

Enjoy your dog’s new skill!

Move over, Lassie, here comes my dog, and he’s got a message for you and my mom! (that he’s the bestest boy there is).

Peek-a-boo!

Posted on September 27, 2016Categories Dogs, Great Tricks, Please Share, VideosTags , , , ,

Peek-a-boo is such a cute dog trick! Your dog learns to pop up between your legs, which is a fun game some dogs discover on their own (typically, while in attendance at formal parties.) I’ve taught my dogs to ‘peek-a-boo-you’ so that  I can send them to goose someone else (while in attendance at informal parties, mostly.) Though, this trick can be classy; adding ‘chorus line kicks,’ so that your dog walks dramatically along with you will delight any dog dancing enthusiast. You can teach your dog to ‘peek-a-boo’ too, in just a 3 easy steps!

Teach ‘Peek-a-boo!’

  1. Cue ‘peek-a-boo’ by putting your hands on your hips, and popping both knees out.

  2. Lure your dog into position

  3. Say ‘yes!’ and reward

It’s smart to practice luring your dog through a few times before you add the cue. Begin with treats in both hands, holding one behind you so that your dog can see the teat between your legs. Once your dog is through and behind you, reach through your legs with your other hand from the front so that you can lure them forward and into position. Say ‘yes!’ when your dog is right between your legs, and reward. As you get better at luring, and your dog gets the hang of it, you’ll find that you can lure them easily with just one hand.

Don’t forget to release! I always release my dog from the peek-a-boo position with ‘okay’ so that I can have them hold that position as long as I want and perform the advanced peek-a-boo tricks.

Stimulus Control, for Safety’s Sake!

Getting this trick under stimulus control means that your dog won’t perform the trick absent of the cue. While you could choose almost any combination of verbal or hand signals you’d like as your cue, I recommend that bending your knees always be part of your ‘peek-a-boo’ cue. Don’t reward your dog’s peek-a-boo unless you bent your knees and asked for it. This will prevent your dog from trying to peek-a-boo people who may be knocked over, justifiably surprised by a large dog suddenly appearing in their crotch.

Bonus Tricks

The peek-a-boo walk: Feed your dog as you take steps forward, then start feeding after a step or two, then after 3 or 4 steps, increasing the time spent walking in the peek-a-boo position gradually. Always release your dog.

Chorus line kicks: Ask your dog to ‘shake-a-paw’ or ‘wave’ a few times before your next ‘peek-a-boo.’ Now, cue your dog to ‘shake-a-paw’ from the ‘peek-a-boo’ position. You may need to lean forward at first, but you’ll eventually fade your hand signal to just a quick flash of fingers at your hip. Kick out your right leg and cue your dog to shake/wave with your right hand. I like to use ‘right’ and ‘left’ because it is easy way to teach the meaning of those words while my dog is facing the same direction as me. Now, kick your left leg out and cue your ‘left’ shake. It still looks rough in the video, but soon this trick will look like my dog is high kicking along with me as I walk!

Add another dog: Once you have your first dog in position, pop your knees out again and ask your second dog to ‘peek-a-boo’ too! So cute!

Play ‘peek-a-boo you!’: This is a fun version of the ‘go to’ game that you can play with a friend or family member. Begin with just two people, standing just a few feet apart, facing one another. Cue your dog to ‘peek-a-boo you,’ (or name names), and point. Now, stand completely still and silent, and let your partner cue your dog to ‘peek-a-boo.’ Both people should have treats, luring if necessary. Ensure the dog is successful 90% of the time before increasing distance or adding more people.

Peek-a-boo makes a fun frisbee trick too! I like to let Doug grab the frisbee as he comes through, and I’ll reward him with a game of tug and another chance to catch the frisbee.

You may find that your dog is nervous to go through your legs at first. Let them eat as they go, and reward them with genuine enthusiasm. Soon, they will learn to love this trick, and their confidence in themselves, and trust in you, will have increased. If you’ve ever wanted your dog to stare up at you, wondering what fun thing you’ll do together next, then this trick is for you! Give it a try and have fun with your dog!

 

Bang!

Posted on July 27, 2016June 21, 2021Categories DogsTags , , ,

Play dead is the oldest trick in the book, and while it may be an oldie, it is most definitely a goodie. It is adorable, easy to teach, and furthermore, it is incredibly useful. If you have ever struggled to clip your dog’s nails, treat a wounded foot, or check a hot spot on your dog’s inner thigh, then you know that getting your dog to lay still on their side is an indispensable skill.

My husband’s dog came to us with a fear of veterinarians, and developed a mysterious open wound on his paw that needed attention. The vet bit her lip, and wondered aloud how on earth we should go about examining this 110 pound Presa Canario’s sore foot. Of course, we want to make sure not to upset him by just grabbing his foot, “perhaps we should get a muzzle?” she wondered. It was at that moment that I drew my gun, and fired. Bang! Roscoe flopped on his side, and very happily showed off his feet to the vet, who delighted in seeing this frightened beast of a dog turned soft. She rubbed his belly, and he loved the vet. The vet’s job was made easier, and most importantly, Roscoe’s life was made better the day he learned to play dead. He limped around for nearly a year before his foot healed, but he never quit happily showing off his ‘bang!’ trick. Dressing changes weren’t stressful for him, he knew this was all part of his trick, and he loved to do it.

Play dead allows dogs to relax, and even learn to enjoy grooming and medical treatments. You can have better control over your dog while simultaneously giving them control of their own body. Your dog will prefer being asked to play dead over being grabbed, forcibly rolled-over, and held down. The day your dog is injured, and already in a stressful situation like being at the vet, this cue will build trust, and ease your dog’s suffering. Who knew that pretending you’re dead is the best thing you can do at the vet?

Teach ‘Bang!’ (play dead)

Practice using a treat to get your dog to look over their shoulder while they lie down. If your dog is not already lying down, lure them to the ground with a treat instead of using your ‘down’ cue, which your dog will confuse with the new behaviour. Doing this on carpet, a soft mat, or a gently inclined grassy knoll can be helpful. Start at the dog’s nose and move your lure slowly toward their shoulder. If your dog is lying down with legs outstretched to their right, then you’ll lure from their right cheek to their right shoulder, using your left hand. Say “Yes!” and reward the moment they flop over. You can pet their bellies and keep feeding them with their head on the floor for an extra moment before you release them. I like to use ‘reanimate!’ as the release cue for this one!

Dog not dead yet?

Some dogs seem to get stuck and don’t flop the whole way over. Look for any movement in the right direction, say “yes!” and reward. Make sure your hand isn’t going over their head and covering their eyes, which they won’t like. Twist you wrist around, moving toward the back of the neck, not over the top of the head, and let them eat as they go. Do a few reps and try again tomorrow, your dog will be ready to give you a bit more trust and roll over farther if they have a bit of success, and then a rest.

Once your dog is flopping over easily, you can add the cue ‘Bang!’

Hold out your ‘gun’ while you say ‘Bang!” and then lure them over with your treat 2 seconds later. Always begin by holding out your gun and waiting a couple of seconds, they need time to think about it, to realize that flopping to their side always seems to follow this gun shaped hand you keep showing them. Eventually, they will begin to anticipate your lure, and your cue “bang!” will cause them to flop to their sides… adorably.

Kids love this trick, but I have heard that schools are not so fond of using ‘hand’ guns, so if you’d like to teach your child this trick without also teaching them to make a gun shaped hand signal, simply name the cue something else like ‘belly rubs?’ or ‘show me your belly’ or ‘roll.’ You can use any hand signal you like,  but don’t skip this trick, your dog will thank you for all the extra belly rubs!

Reanimate!

Don’t forget to release! The release cue is the key to having your dog hold this position, remaining motionless, dead, for as long as you’d like. If they get up before you release them, help them back down with body language and/or your lure, release them without rewarding, and try again. You can make it easy for them to hold the position at first by letting them eat a few treats while they’re dead, and rubbing their belly doesn’t hurt either.

Your average dog will learn this new trick by the end of the week! Which means that by this time next week, your dog won’t ever need to be grabbed, rolled, or held down ever again. Have fun and enjoy a better relationship with your dog!

 

Jump Over My Leg

Posted on June 24, 2016Categories Dogs, Great Tricks, Please Share, VideosTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Got a leg? Then teach your dog to jump over it! This trick is easy, fun, and will burn energy almost anywhere.

Teach your dog to jump over your leg

Jumping over and over isn’t for puppies, wait until your dog is at least 1.5 years old, 2 for giant breeds before teaching this trick.

Begin with your foot against a wall, fence, or tree. Save your hamstring the trouble and keep your foot low, it will help your dog learn to go over, not under your leg. Lure your dog over your outstretched leg with a treat. Say ‘yes!’ and reward your dog with a tasty treat, be especially enthusiastic if they jump high.

Once your dog is happily jumping over, add the cue ‘hup’ or ‘jump,’ and begin gradually raising your leg up. You’ll need to ask your dog to ‘sit’ or ‘wait’ a few feet away so that they can take a run at it.

Do dozens of reps over at least a week’s time before slowly, gradually moving away from the wall, fence, or tree. You will know you’ve gone too far, too fast when your dog cheats and circles your leg instead of jumping over. Smart boy! He knows an easier route! Don’t laugh, you’ll only reinforce his cheating ways, just go back a little closer to the wall and do a few more reps. Your dog needs plenty of practice to set the pattern and learn the cue.

We think your dog will love this trick! Have fun!

Hoop Jump

Posted on June 22, 2016Categories Dogs, Great Tricks, Please Share, VideosTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Teach your dog to jump through a hula hoop! You probably have one lying around, and if not, they aren’t hard to come by, which makes this trick an easy bet for summer fun!

What you’ll need: A hula hoop large enough for your dog to jump through, treats, and an adult dog. You can find hula hoops at toy stores and dollar stores. Make sure that the hoop isn’t designed to make noise,  drain any noisemaking beads if necessary so that your dog isn’t startled by the hoop. Jumping over and over isn’t for puppies, wait until your dog is at least 1.5 years old, 2 for giant breeds.

Step 1: Hold the hoop on the ground and lure your dog through with a treat. Say ‘yes!’ and feed them as they go through the hoop.

Step 2: Hold the treat on the other side of the hoop and ask you dog to make the first move. Say ‘yes!’ and feed them once they have made it through the hoop.

Step 3: Hold the hoop an inch or two off the ground, and repeat step 2 a few times, gradually raising the hoop.

Step 4: Once your dog is jumping through with ease, add your cue to ‘hup’ or ‘jump’ or ‘hoop’ to name their new trick!

Step 5: Have your dog ‘sit’ or ‘wait’ and step a few feet away, hold out your hoop give your cue to ‘hup!’ Stare at the hoop, not your dog, and show them the treat on the other side if they struggle.

Bonus Step 6: The double hoop jump trick! Add another hoop, and teach your dog to follow your eye by looking toward the hoop you’d like them to jump through. They will learn to jump around you in a continuous loop!

Bonus Hula Hoop tricks: You can also use your new hoop jump trick to teach your dog to jump over your back, your leg, through your arms, and much more!

Ring of fire: Cover your hula hoop in tissue paper and cut a hole big enough that your dog will still jump through it. Repeat the process with increasingly smaller openings until you have a dog that will jump through the covered hoop, with just a small hole at the centre! Draw some cool flames on it, or maybe your dog’s name, and let him jump through it to begin your show, even if it’s just for grandma and her friends at the nursing home. Your dog will delight and amaze!

We think you and your dog will love this trick!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canine Superstars!

Posted on May 31, 2016Categories Dogs, Great Tricks, News And UpdatesTags , , , , , , , ,

There are so many cool dog sports to choose from. Which do you pick? Agility? Treibball? Flyball? Disc Dog? Dock Diving? Musical Freestyle? Nosework? Surfing?

Why not do it all?

Welcome to the awesome world of Trick Dog Titles.

Trick Dog work is a non-competitive activity which focuses simply on the bond between you and your dog. It encompasses the skills of all of the sports mentioned above, and more! Dog-owner teams receive titles for achieving harder and harder levels of dog tricks, including some of the amazing feats that you may have the Superdogs do at the PNE!

tricktitle

http://domorewithyourdog.com/

In our new class, offered at The Bark Lounge in Coquitlam, you and your dog will achieve a Novice Trick Dog title through Do More With Your Dog. Your dog will learn elements of agility, such as going through tunnels and over jumps, as well as many other cool tricks that will amaze your friends and family. Even better, you’ll discover awesome new ways to bond with your dog and tire out your dog’s busy brain and body!

Class starts June 14th at 7:45 pm!

To Learn More, click here.

To Sign Up, click here.

Teach Your Dog To Dress Themselves

Posted on May 27, 2016November 23, 2020Categories Assistance Dog Skills, Dogs, Great Tricks, VideosTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Your dog might not ever be ready to move out and go to college, but teaching this easy trick will make your life a little smoother, on a daily basis, which adds up. Most importantly, giving your dog this responsibility will make their life more pleasant.

Teach The ‘Dress’ Cue

Ensure your dog’s collar, bandana, harness, or backpack is oriented so that large or dangly parts hang down, rather than looming over your dog’s head, hitting them in the face as they dress.

Step 1)

Reach your hand through the neck hole, place a treat on your dog’s nose, and lure them through. Say ‘Yes!’ and allow them to eat as they ‘dress.’

Step 2)

Hold a treat on the other side of the hole and ask your dog to make the first move, this is sometimes a tricky step because you can’t hold it open wide with one hand as easily, enlist the help of a friend if you are struggling. If your dog is struggling, try holding the treat right in the center of the hole, and luring from there, saying “Yes!” once their entire head is through.

Step 3)

Hold the opening wide with both hands and say ‘dress.’ Mark with “yes!” and reward once they are fully dressed. If they hesitate to go through, show them the treat on the other side again to remind them.

Enjoy your dog’s new trick!

If your dog’s harness is the kind that it would help if they would just stand still on top of it, begin by teaching the ‘stand‘ cue on a pedestal.