Every dog wants to please their owner, so really, every dog is capable of learning a trick or two. That having been said, not every dog will be able to pick things up so quickly. A stubborn dog like a French Bulldog, for example, will have a far harder time picking up tricks than a German Shepherd.
If you keep the tricks simple enough though, nearly any dog will catch on. So, to that end, here are five of the easiest tricks that any dog can learn.
This is the easiest trick to teach your dog because it plays towards their natural instincts. No, they do not have the instinct to shake hands but they do naturally paw at things.
To train your dog to shake hands, simply put one of their favorite treats in your closed fist. Then present it to them. Since they can not get to the treat with their mouth, they will naturally paw at your hands. Just introduce the word shake and reward them for a successful action and they will have it in no time.
With reinforcement, most dogs should be able to learn to shake within a few days. If they are smart, they will likely pick it up in hours.
Another classic trick or game is Fetch. Some dogs like the Weimaraner take naturally to fetch but others will require a little encouragement.
To get started, pick a toy and hold it in front of your dog. Give the command fetch and when they take it reward them with a small treat. Then, place the toy a bit further from your dog and when they pick it up reward them. Keep doing this, gradually increasing the distance and rewarding your dog.
Eventually, they will pick it up and you will no longer need to give them treats after each success.
Spin is a simple trick to teach your dog but it does take some repetition.
Get your dogs favorite treat and hold it in front of them. Then, slowly move the treat to one side of your pet so that they have to turn to follow it. Do this in a complete circle and then reward them.
Once they have the circle down, start adding the command “spin”. Spend a few minutes a day repeating this until they get the hang of it. Before you know it, they will know how to spin with no treat required.
This is one of the most important tricks to teach your dog because there will be many occasions where it is not just impressive but handy.
To teach them to lay down, simply get a treat and hold it in front of your dogs nose. Then gradually move it down towards the floor until they have to lay down to get it. When they complete the task, give them the treat and praise them.
After they have the basic movement down, add in the words down or lay down. Repeat the training a few minutes every day until they have it mastered.
Once they have the down command mastered, you might want to consider the ever popular roll over command.
As with most training techniques, you are luring your dog with a treat to get them to move a certain way. In this case, take a treat and move it from their head to their shoulder and them move it to the side so that they have to lay on their side to follow it. Complete the circle slowly, allowing your dog to follow it. If they complete the movement, give them praise and a treat.
Once they have mastered the movement, add in the verbal command and repeat for a few minutes every day until they master it.