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Why do we train dogs to do tricks?

16/04/2022 - Puppy & Dog Training Advice

Here at Best Behaviour Dog Training we love trick training! For many people, tricks can seem a bit silly or pointless – but we couldn’t disagree more. So, here are some of the reasons we love to teach tricks!
  1. Many tricks have practical applications.
Tricks like “paw” are great husbandry skills, teaching our dogs to freely offer their feet for us to handle and check over. Things like “spin” are a good way to get our dog to orient back to us, dry their feet on the door mat and are even good for our dog’s mobility.
  1. There’s no difference for our dogs.
Whether a behaviour is a serious one like a sit-stay or a fun one like “play dead,” there’s really no distinction for our dogs! Our dogs don’t know that one behaviour is being taught because we find it cute/funny and another is being taught because we need them to do it to keep them safe and under control – they’re all just behaviours!
  1. The more training that we do, the better our relationship and communication.
Even if we never use a trick for practical purposes, more training is just more time working together as a team. Teaching new behaviours helps show our dogs how much fun it is to work with us and how valuable it is to stay engaged with us!
  1. It helps our dogs learn how to learn!
Use it or lose it! This is true for brains, too – even for our dogs. Teaching our dogs new things gets them using their amazing brains, and helps turn them into super students. A dog who understands how the training game works will be able to pick up new skills – practical or fun – much more quickly and easily. 
  1. It’s enriching!
Our dogs are lucky – they’re domesticated animals and their needs are all being met by us monkeys! They don’t need to go out foraging for food or seeking shelter. This is great and means they are happy and healthy, but it has a downside. Having all your needs met completely out of your control can be… kind of boring. Think about it – even if you get a take away for dinner, you still have to work to earn money to pay for the takeaway, then make the decision to get takeaway, choose which takeaway to go to and what dish to order. Then you have to actually order it. You may even have to dish it up and clear away rubbish or plates afterwards! Our dogs don’t have to do any of these simple things – food just appears. Training is a wonderful way to provide mental enrichment to our pampered pooches’ lives, so why not get creative and have fun with it!
  1. It’s fun!
Not just for our dogs (although it is!) but for us humans, too. We all want to enjoy our time with our dogs and, frankly, we owe it to our dogs to make sure we do! It doesn’t and shouldn’t all be able ticking boxes (lead walking – check, recall – check). Have some fun, get creative and work with your dog just for the sake of working with your dog! See what amazing things you can both learn to do together! 
To teach your dog tricks and much more book your classes here https://www.bestbehaviourdogtraining.co.uk/puppy-training-classes/puppy-and-dog-training/

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