45 Dog Tricks You Can Easily Teach Your Dog

Teaching your dog tricks is a great way of building a brilliant bond with your dog whilst having lots of fun with them!

Tricks can also help your dog learn how to use all different parts of their body and most of all, it will mentally stimulate them; helping to keep their minds healthy and happy.

We have compiled the complete list of over 45 dog trick ideas! So grab some tasty treats, set aside 15 minutes and start working through the list!

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List of Dog Tricks

1. Paw

Your dog learns to place his paw in your outstretched hand; like a handshake, but better.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 1 hour(s) Sit

Paw

Steps

  1. At your dog’s level, hold a treat in a closed hand facing upwards.
  2. Your dog will investigate, sniff, and eventually ‘paw’ at the hand. At this point of the trick say ‘good.’ Give them a food reward.
  3. Repeat several times, and then present your hand without a food treat in. Reward at the point they place a paw on it.
  4. Now say Paw, and simply hold your hand out flat. When your dog paws at it, say ‘good.” Reward again.
  5. You can now incorporate holding their paw gently and shaking it.

2. Hand Touch

This trick teaches your dog to move towards your palm and bop it with their nose!

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 1 hour(s) None

Hand Touch

Steps

  1. Start off with both hands behind your back with your dog in front of you.
  2. Move your hand with an open palm (as if you were about to give someone a handshake) in front of you dog. Your dog will most likely move towards it and sniff it, at which point say ‘good.’ and reward them.
  3. Put your hand back behind your back and repeat that several times so they’re confident in leaning towards and making contact with your hand with their nose.
  4. Now you can say ‘touch’ before presenting your hand and reward in exactly the same way.
  5. Next is to increase how far away they have to travel to come bop your hand.
  6. Gradually increase the distance you stand from them, so that eventually they can be across the room and will run to you and touch your hand.

3. Spin

Your dog learns to walk in a tight circle on the cue ‘spin’

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 2 hour(s) None

Spin

Steps

  1. Have your dog positioned in a ‘heel’ position next to your leg and facing in the same direction as you.
  2. Have a treat in a closed hand or between finger and thumb and place in front of their nose and then move your hand in a circle moving out and away from you (as if you were swimming breaststroke).
  3. As you complete the circle, reward them. Some dogs may need some extra encouragement with this trick, so reward at ½ a circle, and a full circle to start with and gradually then move to just rewarding at the full circle.
  4. Once this is fluid, you can now say ‘spin’ (or ‘twist’ ‘turn’.) and then move your hand in the same way and reward as before.
  5. Repeat multiple times and once they are becoming more confident with the movement
  6. You can reduce how must gesturing you’re doing each time until you simply say ‘spin’ and your dog moves.

4. Middle Trick

Teach your dog to come and stand between your legs and look up at you.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 2 hour(s) None

Middle

Steps

  1. Have your dog in front of you to start with. Have a treat in your hand and place it in front of their nose.
  2. Move your hand slowly and gradually round behind you so your hand ends up between your legs from behind.
  3. Have your other hand ready to then pass the treat to going through your legs, to encourage your pup to move between your legs.
  4. Once their head and shoulders are poking out from between your legs, stop moving your hand, wait momentarily and then reward them.
  5. Repeat until it’s nice and fluid.
  6. Then say ‘middle’ and then move your hands as before.
  7. Over time reduce how much gesturing with each hand your doing so that you can eventually simply say ‘middle’ and they move into the correct position looking up at you ready for their reward.

5. Figure Of 8

Teach your dog to make a figure of 8 pattern using your legs.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 3 hour(s) None

Steps

  1. Have both hands closed with treats inside both of them.
  2. For this trick, put one treat-hand near your dog’s nose to encourage them to move. Guide your hand backwards and behind yourself so you end up with your hand behind you, between your legs.
  3. Let your dog follow
  4. Meet this hand with your other hand immediately and move your dog with this hand now out to the other side of you and back round so you end up with that hand behind you and between your legs, and then reward your dog.
  5. Once this is easy (for both you and your dog), you can say ‘figure’ (or weave) before you move your hands at all to add your verbal instruction.
  6. Now work at gradually fading out how much gesturing each part requires.

6. Paws Up Trick

Teach your dog to put their front paws on a slightly higher object (step, stool, rock, tree stump)- this makes for great pictures.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 2 hour(s) None

Paws Up

Steps

  1. With your chosen object next to you, have a treat in your hand and move your hand slowly and gradually so your dog follows the treat and takes steps towards it.
  2. At the point their feet meet the edge of the object, raise your hand slightly to encourage them to take a step up.
  3. As soon as their feet are up on the object, say ‘good’ and reward them.
  4. Repeat several times until fluid and say, ‘paws up’ and then gesture in exactly the same way.
  5. Once they are confident with the movement and have started to learn the cue, you can start to increase how long they are up on the object for before you say ‘good’ and reward them.

7. Bow

Teach your dog to bow, lowering their front half of their body down whilst keeping their bottom in the air.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 4 hour(s) None

Bow

Steps

  1. Have a treat in a closed hand and place it in front of your dog’s nose.
  2. Gradually lower your hand slightly and move it gently towards their chest so that their head goes down a bit and their front legs start to move downwards.
  3. Reward this trick before they go into a down.
  4. Repeat several times and then gradually increase how far their front legs are going down until they are in the ‘play’ position.
  5. Reward this trick each time they hit this position.
  6. Finish off by saying the word ‘bow’ (again some dogs may mishear for ‘down’ so another cue you could use is ‘bend’.) and then gesturing in the same way.
  7. Some dogs will find this hard if they have a very good ‘down’ already and may need you to place your arm gently underneath their hips to prevent their back end from going into the down instead of bow.

8. Shake Head

Teach this trick so your dog will nod or shake their head.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 2 hour(s) Sit

Steps

  1. Start this trick with your dog in the sit position.
  2. Have a tasty treat between finger and thumb.
  3. Move the treat either side of you (or up and down) so that your dog follows the movement of the treat with their eyes but to the extent that they also have to move their head in the direction you want.
  4. Once they’ve gone side to side or up and down, say ‘good’ and reward them.
  5. Repeat several times so they get the idea that they are being reward for head movements.
  6. Now add your verbal cue ‘what do you say?’
  7. Continue to move your hand exactly as you had been doing so, and then reward.
  8. Repeat several times and slowly reduce down how much gesturing you’re doing.

9. Snoot

Teach your dog to place their nose/muzzle in a circle made of your hands.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 2 hour(s) None

Steps

  1. Firstly, make a circle with your finger and thumb so there’s a little gap (this is where we want your dog’s nose to go).
  2. Take a treat and place it on your side of the hole so your dog places their nose into the hole. Release the treat once they’ve placed their nose in the hole.
  3. Now build up the time they hold their nose in that position for before you reward them.
  4. Once they’re confident, now you can add the ‘snoot’ word before presenting your circle to them.
  5. If they immediately put their nose there, say ‘good’ and reward them in that position.
  6. If they are hesitant because there is no treat waiting for them, wait for a few seconds to see if they can work it out, and then reward them.
  7. Build up the time they hover their nose in that position for before saying ‘good’ and rewarding.

10. Jump Over A Jump

Teach your dog this trick to jump over an obstacle (this is suitable for dogs over 1 year of age).

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 2 hour(s) Stay

Jump Over A Jump

Steps

  1. Have your dog’s favorite toy ready in your hand and have them sat on the other side of the jump in a sit/stay.
  2. Have the jump really low to start with.
  3. Go to the other side of the jump so you’re standing directly in front of them and say ‘over’ and move backwards to encourage them to come to you
  4. When they get over the jump and reach you, have a really good play with them.
  5. Repeat several times so they learn that the ‘over’ trick means go over the jump.
  6. Now start to stand to the side and practice.
  7. Say ‘over’ and as they go over say ‘good.’ and have a good play with them as they land.
  8. Now you can start to incorporate another jump afterwards too without having a sit/stay in between.

11. Roll Out A Yoga Mat

Teach your dog to help prepare for yoga for you.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 2 hour(s) None

Roll Out A Yoga Mat

Steps

  1. Have the towel or yoga mat laid out flat in front of you and then roll it up.
  2. As you roll up the mat, hide a treat in each roll until it’s totally rolled up except for perhaps a 5cm at the end with treats sprinkled on it.
  3. Bring your dog in and allow him to explore the towel/encourage and point out the treats he can see and eat.
  4. You can initially ‘help’ by unrolling a little bit if needed.
  5. Over repetitions, have fewer and fewer treats hidden in the towel so it’s a smooth roll out.
  6. Add the cue ‘do you want to do some yoga?’ (or whatever you like.) before placing the towel down once he’s confident.

12. Crawl

Teach your dog to commando crawl towards you.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 2 hour(s) Down

Crawl

Steps

  1. Ask your down to go into the lay down trick.
  2. Have a few treats in a closed hand and place it close to your dog’s nose so they can smell them.
  3. Draw your hand back really slowly, keep your hand slightly lower than your dog’s nose to prevent encouraging them to get up.
  4. As soon as your dog shuffles forwards, reward this.
  5. Keep rewarding every little shuffle forward until they’re confident in this movement
  6. Now you can reward every other movement for this trick and build up how far they move before getting a treat.
  7. Once they’ve been able to shuffle forwards a meter or so, you can now start adding your verbal cue- say ‘crawl’ and then lure in a similar way to you had been.
  8. Over repetitions, you’ll be able to reduce how much luring you’re doing each time.

13. Sit Pretty Trick

Teach your dog to sit up on their haunches with their paws up.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 4 hour(s) Sit

Sit Pretty

Steps

  1. Ask your dog to sit.
  2. Have a handful of treats in your closed hand and pop this in front of your dog’s nose without letting them have any.
  3. Slowly raise your hand upwards so they have to stretch their head up, as soon as you get one (or even both) paws up in the air, reward them.
  4. Once they’re confidently lifting paws, now gradually extend the time they are holding their back straight and paws in the end, before rewarding.
  5. Over repetitions they’ll get stronger and more able to hold this position.
  6. Start adding the verbal cue- say ‘beg/pretty/say please’, then lure in the same way.
  7. This trick requires strong core muscles so don’t expect a perfect position straight away, build up their muscles through repetitions and gradually building up their ability to hold the position.

14. Walk Backwards

Teach your dog to walk backwards away from you in a straight line.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 3 hour(s) None

Steps

  1. Have your dog stood in front of you and place a treat in a closed hand.
  2. Place your hand on your dog’s nose and gently move it into him so he takes a step back to be able to sniff it, as soon as he takes a step say ‘good.’
  3. Build up how much movement your dog does in this trick for each reward.
  4. Start with one step, then two steps, then 3 etc. so he’s moving further and further back each time.
  5. Start saying ‘back’ before moving your hand towards him and wait him for to move backwards however many steps you have so far trained for.
  6. Repeat this several times, until on the 5th or 6th go, simply say ‘back’ and wait for him to move himself.
  7. Now just make it more fluid by practicing more and expecting a few more steps each time.

15. Roll Over

Teach this trick so your dog can roll

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 2 hour(s) Down

Roll Over

Steps

  1. Ask your dog to lie down and have a handful of treats in your closed hand.
  2. Place your closed hands with treats right on their nose and move your hand slowly in a loop so they follow it.
  3. This is easiest to do for your dog if they are in a ‘relaxed down’ and have one hip tucked under.
  4. You’re looking for your dog to want to follow the treat all the way so his whole-body rolls for this trick – make sure it’s a tasty one.
  5. Reward once he’s flopped back the right way.
  6. This trick is suitable for physically fit dogs – older or arthritic dogs may find this too physically demanding.

16. Ring A Bell

Teach your dog to ring a bell when asked.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 1 hour(s) None

Ring A Bell

Steps

  1. Have some tasty treats ready nearby and hide the bell behind your back.
  2. Put the bell in front of your dog and wait for them to sniff it- say ‘good’ and reward them.
  3. Remove the bell.
  4. Put the bell in front of your dog and wait for them to sniff it- say ‘good’ and reward them.
  5. Now that they’re confident in approaching the bell and know they gain rewards from interacting with it, we can now wait for different interaction- a tap with their paw.
  6. As soon as they either move their foot towards it, or indeed make contact with the bell, say ‘good’ and reward them.
  7. Repeat a few times.
  8. Once they’ve managed to hit the bell generally a few times, you can become more specific in what they need to press- now present the bell but only reward them when they make the bell ring by tapping it.

17. Back Up Onto Object

Teach your dog to walk backwards and then place their back paws onto a raised object.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 3 hour(s) Walk Backwards

Steps

  1. Have your chosen object (size appropriate for the size of dog) and a handful of treats.
  2. Lure your dog onto the object so they initially have front paws, and then come off so just their back paws are left on it and reward them as soon as they are in the correct position.
  3. Repeat this several times and then lure from different angles.
  4. Now take a step away from the object with your dog and reverse them back onto the object using a hand lure and moving it towards them- they might bump into it initially but as they’ve had lots of experience with their back paws on it they should learn to ‘find’ the object with those back paws.
  5. Add the verbal cue ‘get up’ and repeat exactly the same way. Once they’re fluid with this dog trick you can simply say the verbal cue and wait for them to respond before rewarding them.
  6. Once they’re great at one object, try using a different object.

18. Chin On Floor

Teach your dog to ‘look sad’ and place their chin between their paws on the floor.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 1 hour(s) Down

Chin On Floor

Steps

  1. To start teaching this dog trick, ask your dog to lie down and then pop a closed hand of treats on their nose.
  2. Slowly lower your hand down until their chin hits the floor, at which point say ‘good’ and reward them.
  3. Repeat this lots of times until they’re fluid and can hold that position for a few seconds too.
  4. Now add the cue of ‘chin’ or ‘sad’ and lure in exactly the same way.
  5. Once they’ve been able to do this a few times, simply reduce how much gesturing you’re doing each time.

19. Stand Up

Teach your dog to stand up like a human; a very fun trick!

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 3 hour(s) None

Steps

  1. Have your dog in standing position and then simply take some treats in your hand and move your hand from their nose upwards.
  2. Reward any movement with their front legs off the floor.
  3. Once they’re reliably standing up on their back legs, increase the duration they can maintain that position.
  4. Now say your cue ‘stand up.’
  5. Lure in the same way and as they continue to become more reliable, reduce how much luring you’re doing each time.

20. Walk Across A Beam

Teach your dog to balance and walk across a beam.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 1 hour(s) A plank of wood at least 15cm wide

Walk Across A Beam

Steps

  1. Initially have the plank of wood on the floor and make sure it doesn’t wobble. Every 10 cm or so a treat placed.
  2. Have your dog next to you at the start of trick facing the plank. Have a hand full of treats to help lure them onto the plank so all 4 paws are on there.
  3. Allow your dog to slowly find each treat along the plank.
  4. Repeat this a few times to teach the trick and then use fewer treats along the plank each time.
  5. Now you can try having the plank slightly raised off the floor.
  6. This time walk alongside with your dog and reward them for walking across the beam with you.
  7. Once you are confident they are not going to fall off, set them up again and have just one treat at the end.
  8. Add a cue of ‘walk on it’ and practice with fewer and fewer treats on each time- but always rewarding at the end.

21. Pivot Round An Object

Teach your dog to put their paws on an object and walk round it on their back legs.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 3 hour(s) Paws Up

Steps

  1. Lure your dog up onto the object like you did for paws up.
  2. Once they are in position, do not reward them.
  3. Now move yourself so you are slightly to the side rather than in front or next to them, dogs usually reshuffle so that they can see you easier, and at this point say ‘good’ and reward them.
  4. Repeat several times until you get a full circle.
  5. Rewarding at each point of movement during the trick.
  6. Now fade out how much movement you are doing (maybe just gesture with your hand, or rock on your feet towards rather than taking a step) and reward any movements from them.
  7. Over time and repetitions your dog should start moving more fluidly and more often for fewer treats until they can do a full circle without so much help from you.

22. Hold

Teach your dog to hold an object in their mouth.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 3 hour(s) Sit

Steps

  1. Get an object which will fit in your dog’s mouth nicely.
  2. A round toy or another safe object.
  3. Encourage your dog to take hold of the toy in their mouth, at which point immediately say ‘good’ and reward them with a food treat.
  4. You don’t want to allow them to play with it as such.
  5. Now for the tricky bit- building up how long they’ll hold the toy for- to start with aim for 1 second.
  6. Present the toy to them, when they take it wait a second and then say ‘good’ and reward them.

23. Kiss

Teach your dog to hold their nose against your cheek; a cute trick

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 2 hour(s) Snoot

Steps

  1. Firstly, with this trick, teach your dog to nose touch the tip of your first finger- present your finger to your dog and then say ‘good’ and reward him when he touches it.
  2. Build up the duration of how long he’ll hold his nose on your finger until around 5 seconds.
  3. Now start moving your finger towards your cheek- present it closer and closer, rewarding your dog each time they touch your finger for 5 seconds regardless of the position of your finger.
  4. Finally position your finger so you’re pointing/touching your cheek.
  5. Reward your dog for touching the finger and holding the position for 5 seconds again (you may need to build the time back up gradually in this new position).
  6. Now add your cue of ‘can I have a kiss’? and place your finger on your cheek.

24. Wave Trick

Teach your dog to wave his paw at you.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 3 hour(s) Paw

Wave

Steps

  1. Initially place your hand in the same position you would as if you were wanting his paw and reward him for placing his foot there.
  2. Now increase the height of your hand placement so he has to reach a little more, reward when he places his paw on there.
  3. Once he’s happy to still paw your hand higher, now when he tries to paw, remove your hand slightly out the way and say ‘good’ as he attempts it, and reward.
  4. Repeat until he’s trying a few times to get your hand and reward after a few ‘waves’.
  5. Now add your cue of ‘wave’ and do exactly the same.
  6. Reduce how much hand gesturing you’re doing to enable your dog to wave with just a verbal request.

25. Close The Door

Teach your dog to pull a door shut.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 2 hour(s) None

Steps

  1. Initially teach your dog to touch a post-it note.
  2. Present the post-it note, and reward interaction with either nose or a paw (depending on the size of the dog).
  3. Now place the post it note at an accessible height on the door you want to teach him to shut and reward him for touching or pawing at it.
  4. If he’s confident with this trick, now withhold rewards until he makes the door move a little bit to close it and when it closes enough (makes a noise), reward him.
  5. Now open the door a little further and repeat. Keep going until the door can be open wider and your dog goes to shut it.
  6. Add your cue of ‘close the door’ and repeat several times- with the post it note still in place.
  7. Once they’re confident and understanding the cue, remove the post it note and say the cue and reward when the door closes.
  8. You might want to build up the distance the door is opened again when you remove the post it note.

26. Tell Me A Secret

Teach your dog to press his nose against your ear as if he was telling you a secret.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 2 hour(s) Kiss

Steps

  1. Initially make the shape of cupping your hand as if you were trying to listen to something.
  2. Firstly, we want to teach the dog to press his muzzle against the palm of your hand.
  3. Present this shaped hand towards your dog and initially reward him sniffing or interacting with it like we did with the hand touch.
  4. Once he’s confident with this, now build up the time he holds his nose there for at least 5 seconds.
  5. Now start to move this closer to the opposite ear until you are covering it (from your hand- so you’re arm moves your body to cover your ear from the front) and reward your dog for continuing to hold his nose there for 5 seconds.
  6. Add the verbal cue ‘can you tell me a secret?’ and repeat.

27. Push Object

Teach your dog to push a toy car.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 2 hour(s) None

Push Object

Steps

  1. Present the new object in front of your dog and start this trick by waiting for a sniff or an interaction and then say ‘good’. Reward and remove the object.
  2. Now re-present the object and wait for a little bit more interaction – a nose touch or shuffle and say ‘good’ and reward.
  3. Over repetitions of this trick, your dog should touch the object more and more, and you should increase how much of a touch you require before rewarding each time.
  4. If the object moves, reward doubly.
  5. Now simply build up how far they’ll move the object, or how often they’ll nose it to get it to move.

28. Fetch

Teach your dog to bring your something you’ve just thrown; a classic trick

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 2 hour(s) None

Fetch

Steps

  1. Firstly, find a toy your dog is going to like to hold or be interested enough to pick up for this trick.
  2. Drop the toy on the floor directly in front of you and say ‘good’ as soon as your dog picks it up and raises his head up again.
  3. Build this up until he is holding the toy in front of you for a second or two so you before you reward him.
  4. Now repeat exactly the same but before saying ‘good’, put your hand on the toy, so that he is going to drop the toy into your hand.
  5. Repeat until this is reliable.
  6. You can now build up how far you throw the toy. Start off with just dropping it slightly further ahead of you, so the dog just has to turn back towards you and do exactly the same.
  7. Over repetitions and several sessions, you’ll be able to throw the toy further and further away from you, and your dog return to being close to you with the toy in his mouth.

29. Cross Legs

Teach your dog to lie down elegantly.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 3 hour(s) Down

Cross Legs

Steps

  1. Practice a few ‘paws’ and reward them so they’re reminded of this trick.
  2. Now ask them into a down and ask for paw again and reward them.
  3. This may feel different for them so practice this part of the trick a few times so they’re reliably giving you their paw and staying in the down.
  4. Once they’re confident, now gently move their paw so it lands on their other paw (and therefore crossing over) and say ‘good’ and reward them straight away.
  5. Keep rewarding them there for however long they keep their paws crossed for- and stop rewarding them if they take the paw away.
  6. Repeat this lots so they learn to keep their paw in that position.
  7. Now start to place your hand to the side of their opposite paw to encourage them to give paw over that side and position their paw themselves- reward each time they hit their paw on the other leg and keep it there for 5 seconds.
  8. Now add the verbal cue of ‘cross’. Say the cue and then practice in exactly the same way, before then stopping the gesture and just saying the cue.

30. Walk Round A Cone

Teach your dog to walk round a cone (or any object).

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 2 hour(s) None

Walk Round A Cone

Steps

  1. Place the cone on the floor in front of your dog and reward him for movement towards it – not touching it.
  2. Throw the treat away from the cone so that you can continue to reward movement towards the cone next time.
  3. After a few repetitions now wait for your dog to reach the cone and reward them on the floor on the other side of the cone so they’re moving round it.
  4. At which point then reward them again by throwing a treat away from the cone again so they may a full circle of the cone.
  5. Repeat several times and then try not rewarding halfway round.
  6. Once they’ve got the idea of moving round the cone, we can now increase how far they have to travel to get to the cone.
  7. Take a step away from the cone and repeat, and then build up how far your dog has to walk.
  8. Now put it on a cue on the trick of ‘go around’ before your dog sets off.

31. Jump Onto Back!

Teach your dog to jump onto your back.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Hard 4 hour(s) Balance

Jump Onto Back!

Steps

  1. To start the trick, you need to be on all fours to stabilize yourself – but have a hand ready with some treats too.
  2. We need to encourage the dog more and more to place all four legs onto your back- manipulating your hands position in order to do so.
  3. Reward half attempts to start with and then eventually a full jump.
  4. Now you can build up your own core strength and practice doing the same movement from your dog, but onto you half standing up, and build up the time they spend up there.

32. Leg Weaves

Teach your dog a fun trick to walk through your legs as you walk.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 3 hour(s) Figure of 8

Leg Weaves

Steps

  1. Start this trick with a treat in each hand and practice moving between both hands from side to side.
  2. Spread your legs as if you were taking a step forward and lure your dog through the step forward leg so you dog starts in front of you and ends up behind you
  3. Take a step with the other leg and repeat.
  4. Get this really fluid so your dog doesn’t hesitate to follow your hands or stop moving between legs (a good transfer of which hand is luring is useful here).
  5. Reduce how much of a lure you need to use, so you ‘show’ the hand behind your leg but then only rewarding right at the side of you and increase how many steps you’re taking.

33. Be Shy

Teach your dog to put their paw on their nose.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 3 hour(s) Down

Be Shy

Steps

  1. Take a small piece of sticky tape and roll it up so both sides are sticky.
  2. Place it on their nose whilst they are sitting or in a down, and say ‘good’ and reward as soon as the dog tries to remove the tape from their nose.
  3. Take the tape off after each reward.
  4. Reward any paw movement at this point – if the dog touches his nose with his paw, reward extra good things.
  5. Now you can add the verbal cue of ‘are you shy?’ to the trick.
  6. Continue in exactly the same way to continue to reward paw movements towards or on the nose.
  7. Once the dog has consistently performed the nose touch with their paw, now don’t use the tape. To do this, pretend to put tape on their nose (hand movement towards), and say their cue, and then reward attempts.
  8. Finally, reduce how much of a hand gesture towards them you are doing in the first place and just use the cue.

34. Orbit

Teach your dog to walk round you backwards.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Hard 4 hour(s) Walk Backwards

Steps

  1. Have treats in both hands for this trick and have your dog next to you in the classic ‘heel’ position.
  2. With one hand start moving it gently into him (like how we taught walk backwards) but then direct the movement behind your back.
  3. Then reward them as you can’t reach any further before meeting them with your other hand behind your back and continuing the same type of movement towards them until they’re back round in front of you.
  4. Reward them again.
  5. Bring your other hand back in and then continue the move it towards them and around until they are back in the original heel position.
  6. Once they are more confident about the movement, you can reduce down the interval rewards and just reward right at the end.
  7. Now you can add your verbal cue ‘orbit’ and then reduce down how much hand gesture you’re doing.

35. Jump Into Arms

Teach your dog to give you a cuddle.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Hard 4 hour(s) None

Jump Into Arms

Steps

  1. Start off by sitting cross legged on the floor with your dog to the side of you.
  2. Lure him onto your lap so that he has four paws across your two legs.
  3. Repeat until this is fluid and he’s confident with standing on you.
  4. You can add an ‘up up’ verbal cue once he’s reliably getting on.
  5. Now get a chair so you’re slightly higher up and have your dog to the side of the chair and then say ‘up up’ and lure in exactly the same way as you did on the floor- reward when he gets up onto your lap again.
  6. Once he’s confident with this movement, you can now remove the chair, and start increasing the height of your lap.
  7. Start again by crouching on the floor with the knee closest to your dog up. Say ‘up up’ and lure again and reward when he bounces up onto the knee and you now support the rest of his body with your other hand.
  8. Now start gradually standing up so there’s less of a knee support each time.

36. Wrap Up Trick

Teach your dog to roll himself up in his blanket.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Hard 4 hour(s) Down

Steps

  1. First, Practice holding the blanket in his mouth.
  2. Reward for then picking it up off the floor and holding too.
  3. Do this by first offering the blanket as you normally would for hold, and then gradually lowering the blanket to the floor for each ‘hold’.
  4. Now practice ‘roll over’ whilst on the laid-out blanket, reward plenty for each roll.
  5. Now combine the two
  6. Have your dog laid down on the blanket, and then bunch a bit of blanket up between his paws- enough that he can ‘hold’ it in his mouth.
  7. Once he’s ‘holding’ the blanket, ask him to roll over- if he manages to hold and roll- reward him. If he drops the blanket, don’t reward him.
  8. Keep practicing until its fluid. The you can add your verbal cue of ‘wrap up.’ before initiating the whole sequence.

37. Speak

Teach your dog to bark on cue.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 2 hour(s) None

Steps

  1. If your dog barks predictably in some situations, you can say ‘good’ and reward the bark.
  2. If he barks again, repeat.
  3. Now before he barks, say ‘speak’, and should he bark say ‘good’ and reward.
  4. Reward him thereafter for doing a sit, or a down (or anything else) but bark and then say ‘speak’ and if he barks. Reward him at this part of the trick.
  5. It’s important to ensure this one is taught well so that your dog only barks when he’s asked to.
  6. If he barks at you without you asking for it after you’ve added the cue. Do not reward him.

38. Jump Through Arms

Ready for a circus dog?! This trick is a favorite.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 3 hour(s) Sit

Jump Through Arms

Steps

  1. Start by working in a doorway.
  2. Have your dog on one side of the door, and a treat on the other side of the door about 1 meter away from them.
  3. Ask your dog to sit and wait so they don’t steal the treat.
  4. Place one arm about 5-10 cm (depending on size of the dog) across the door frame so your dog will leap over the arm to get the food upon being released with ‘through.’
  5. You may initially have to tap the floor with your other hand.
  6. Once they’re confident with this and reliably going over your arm when told ‘through’ you can do exactly the same but create a hoop with your arms. Repeat a few times so they’re confident going through your arms.
  7. Now don’t have a treat on the other side of your arms but say ‘through’ in exactly the same way, and when they jump through, reward them from your treat pouch. Start practicing in other locations now too.
  8. You can now increase the height they’re jumping through to get to the treat gradually from just off the floor to however high your dog will be able to jump.

39. Do The Laundry

Teach your dog to move laundry from the basket into the machine.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 4 hour(s) Drop

Steps

  1. Have your washing basket in front of you and take a piece of clothing and offer it to your dog, if they take it, then ask them to drop, and then reward them as the laundry goes in the basket.
  2. Repeat this several times so they get lots of rewards for dropping in the basket. If they miss at this part of the trick – don’t reward them and try again.
  3. Now start to build up some movement, so offer your dog the clothing slightly offset from the basket, so they’ll have to move their head round before ‘drop’ and reward.
  4. Once they’re reliably putting the laundry in the basket, now it’s a case of building up how far they travel with the clothing before dropping it.
  5. Again offer the clothing at gradually increasing distances until your hand is inside the laundry machine. You can now not cue them to drop.
  6. Now you can put the clothing in the machine and point (or you may need to lift the item slightly) and then reward when they pick it up.
  7. Once they have got confident with this, add your cue ‘do the laundry’, reward in the same way.
  8. You can now look to encourage multiple items before rewarding. Point back to the laundry machine after they’ve deposited one item and reward for the second.

40. Play Dead

Teach your dog to play dead. Sometimes known as the shoot trick.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 2 hour(s) Down

Play Dead

Steps

  1. Have your dog in a down position (with a hip to one side like we used in roll over) have a closed hand of treats and place on his nose and move it slightly backwards and up so your dog’s head lays flat on the floor (rather than rolling over).
  2. Reward them when their head is in that flat position and repeat several times.
  3. Once they’re moving in this way reliably, add the cue ‘play dead’ or ‘bang’ or ‘go to sleep’.
  4. Now start to build up the length of time their head is flat on the floor before rewarding.
  5. Ideally reward your dog after 5-10 seconds- and when their tail isn’t moving.
  6. You can now also fade out the amount of luring you’re doing and change the gesture, so it looks more like a ‘gun’ or no gesture at all.

41. Say Prayers

Teach your dog to put their paws up on and object and then bow their head.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 3 hour(s) Paws Up

Steps

  1. Ask your dog to put their paws up on the object (high enough that they’re going to have to reach for it – your bed or a chair).
  2. Once their paws are up on the object, you’re now going to have a hand full of treats and place it underneath their chin, so they lower their head between their paws and looks like they’re bowing their head.
  3. Reward them when their head is bent down.
  4. Repeat this trick several time until it’s fluid and they’re anticipating food below their paws- and you’re having to do less and less prompting with that food hand.
  5. Now you can ‘name’ it add the verbal cue of ‘pray’.
  6. Build up the time they are ‘praying’ for.

42. Fake Pee

Teach your dog to lift their leg as if they were peeing.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Hard 4 hour(s) None

Steps

  1. Place an object with an uneven top on, so that it wouldn’t be obviously stable to stand on.
  2. Help your dog to position themselves so that front legs are on one side and back legs are on the other.
  3. Then lure them forward slightly and as soon as you notice one of the back legs move upwards (to avoid the object) say ‘good’ and reward.
  4. Repeat several times so that they start to understand they’re getting rewarded for moving their leg.
  5. Build up a little bit of time that they leg is up in the air for before rewarding.
  6. Add the cue!
  7. Now we can reduce the object they’re standing over- to smaller or more variable objects to start fading out the object completely.
  8. Once they can lift their leg up with small objects, you can try cueing them to do it without anything underneath them at all.

43. Open A Door

Teach your dog to open the door. A very practical trick!

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 1 hour(s) None

Steps

  1. Tie a long tuggy toy on the handle of the door handle so that when it is pulled down, the door will open.
  2. Now encourage your dog to grab hold of it and see initially if they’ll hold and pull or not. If they just hold it, reward them. If they pull it – even better.
  3. Now reward attempts at a tug or a bigger tug until you get the door to open.
  4. You can reduce down how much toy there is for them to grab hold of.

44. Go To Bed

Teach your dog to sleep.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Easy 3 hour(s) Down

Go To Bed

Steps

  1. Stood by your dog’s bed and scatter some treats into it so your dog goes to eat them initially.
  2. Then toss a treat away from the bed so they move away.
  3. Now they’re on their way back to the bed, wait for them to take a step onto the bed (or more.) and reward that engagement.
  4. Reward them on the bed a few times (even if just standing for now) and then toss a treat away so your dog gets used to moving towards the bed.
  5. Once they’re confident to move towards and get on the bed, now wait for them to do something other than stand on there. Whether it be a sit, or ideally a down – but ideally don’t cue the behavior. Wait for them to offer something and then reward that.
  6. Again, every now and then toss a treat away from the bed to ‘re-set’ the trick.
  7. Once they’re reliably moving towards the bed and lying down, say ‘bed’ as they’re on their way to the bed.
  8. You can now start taking steps away from the bed so they’re not reliant on you being close to the bed.

45. Tidy Up

Teach your dog to tidy their toys away.

Difficulty Time Prerequisite
Medium 4 hour(s) Drop

Steps

  1. Have their toy box in front of you and offer them a toy, ask them to drop so the toy will land in the box and reward them.
  2. Repeat several times. If they miss the box, don’t reward them and offer the toy again.
  3. Once they’re reliably putting the toy in the basket, now it’s a case of building up how far they travel with the toy before dropping it.
  4. Again offer the toy at gradually increasing distances until the toy is offered to them a few meters away. You can now not cue them to drop too.
  5. Now you can put the toy on the floor and point (or you may need to lift the item slightly) and then reward when they pick it up, move it from the floor to the basket.
  6. Once they’ve got confident with this, add your cue ‘tidy up.’ to complete the trick and reward in the same way.
John Woods Headshot
John Woods is the Founder of All Things Dogs and leads our editorial team as our Editor in Chief. A member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, he has been a dog lover since he was 13 years old. John is parent to Nala, a working lab retriever. John has also volunteered at multiple animal shelters, where he gained firsthand experience of rehabilitation and force-free positive reinforcement training methods.
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3 Comments

  1. Many thanks for your tips. I’ve got a very willful eleven month-old Labrador x Collie x Newfoundland pup and she takes some looking after!

  2. We are getting a cavapoo in six weeks and we could not be more excited! All of these tricks will help immensely and we can’t wait to teach our little cavoodle all of them. There is nothing like a cute and smart dog doing so many things! Thanks so much for all of the advice, its all well needed!

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