Tricks we've done!
Use this list to help you fill out your trick dog forms for Evaluation day. NUMBER your tricks in the order you want to perform the tricks in. Also include several back-up tricks just in case your dog isn't in the mood to perform a different one higher on your list, so you still have enough for your title. This is particularly important due to time restrictions per evalaution (7-min per evaluation, max).
Below is the DMWYD trick list with a green paw-print signifying tricks that we've introduced your dog's to throughout this course. If you don't recognize a trick, it's possible that we will be introducing it next week. I have also included teal paws in novice, which most dogs should all know prior to trick.
WOW! That's a lot of tricks!
Click pictures for larger image.
Send to foot target at a distance
Start close and progress slowly. If your dog fails, you asked too much of them. Go back closer.
When starting a new training session, always start at a distance of no more than HALF of where you left off in your last training session. If your dog was up to 4', then start at no further than 2' next session.
DO NOT HOLD A TREAT IN YOUR HAND WHEN SENDING YOUR DOG! Your dog will NOT leave you if they think there's a treat! Do NOT use a lure.
Plant your feet when sending your dog to the target. We tend to take steps forward. However, that works against us because the goal is to get our dogs away from us, not send them away from us while going with them.
It is best to have the bucket close to a wall, fence line, or some other barrier. To create distance, you move back instead of moving the bucket further away. We want to teach our dogs that their job is to go out to the furthest distance possible (a wall, fence, etc) before stopping & turning back (unless we call them prior to that). We run into problems when we start moving the bucket in the middle of an area. It turns into a scavenger hunt, which is great for many things, but really bad for *target* work. We need the target to be predictable so they can learn to target it well. THEN we can start moving things around.
Upturned laundry basket puzzle
Great for wearing your dog out on rainy days!
Engaging a dog's mind through nosework and puzzle toys, instead of just the body (ball, frisbee, etc), wears a dog out longer than purely physical activities. Additionally, a purely physical activity will also serve to build your dog's endurance, which is generally not what we are going for! Throwing the ball 20 minutes today can lead to needing to throw the ball for 30 minutes later on, because your dog has more stamina and therefore it takes longer to wear them out.
Blind hoop jump
Foundations #2! We are building off previous weeks' foundations by adding a few more streamers/tulle.
Your dog shouldn't need to jump onto a platform anymore, but you are welcome to keep using it. It's even allowed in the evaluation.
Hold - Sustained duration
Hold is HARD for many dogs. It's equally hard for humans. Let your dog guide you. Let them keep pushing you to progress forward, instead of you guiding your dog forward. Trust your dog. ❤️
Your goal is to click (& reward) your dog BEFORE they drop it. This exercise is like a Stay. It's a sustained activity, which means that you tell them when to start AND when to finish. In this activity, you tell them to hold and you tell them (by clicking) when to stop holding (click means "exercise finished, come get reward"). If your dog "breaks" a hold (like "breaking" a stay) by dropping it before we click, we are inadvertently teaching them that "hold" does not require duration.
The way you get your dog to increase the time they hold the object is through their love of the "game," not only through withholding the click a little longer- though that is a part of the process. The more they love holding (created through "winning," by getting clicks and treats often!), the longer they will want to do it! If you extend the time between clicks too long, your dog won't enjoy the game and won't hold. Training the hold is a delicate balance. Err on the side of caution by clicking sooner rather than later. Also, keep your dog guessing how long the hold will be! Sometimes click (& reward) for 1 second, then 3, then 2, then 1, then 4, then 2, etc. Hold can get boring fast. Keep it engaging!
Hold a *single* card
It is best that your dog has a strong foundation holding a PVC dowel before progressing to this trick.
When teaching this trick, use "cut cards" instead of real cards. Real cards get gross fast, whereas card cutters are plastic and will last. Then use the real cards for demonstrating the trick!
Some dogs do better with Jumbo playing cards.
Roll out the red carpet
1) Teach this trick with treats inside the "red carpet" (towel) and fade them slowly.
2) When your dog reaches the end, click and reward them from your hand.
3) Slowly fade the rewards in the "red carpet," but continue to click & treat at the end. Then if you'd like, you can fade the click & treat at the end too, but we encourage you to keep it. Dogs work hard. Sleep hard too. But still they work hard for us.
You can't have treats in the red carpet in the evaluation, but you can click & treat.
Get the mail
Your dog should have a strong foundation in tug before beginning this trick.
This trick is taught just like opening the door.
I use a traditional mailbox (with a dog cover), bent the handle a little, & fitted it to a carabiner attached to a tug. This made it easy to add and remove the tug from the mailbox in a pinch!
This is a dog newspaper toy like ours.
Batman getting the mail.
Here's Dexter getting the mail at TTK9!
Balance a cookie on the nose
This trick is SUPER HARD! It shows a lot of impulse control on a dog's part. Be sure to keep training short, have fun, and play a game immediately after (not after the training session, after you practice this).
Bigger, flat treats usually prove easier for dogs to balance on their nose. It's even harder to have impulse control when treats fall off and hits the floor!
Treat flip (& catch)
It is even more important to have a flat, large treat for this trick.
Play around with where you put the treat on your dog's nose. Many dogs catch the treat better if it's further to the tip of the nose, but play around with it. Also play around with the weight of the treat.
Keep this exercise short and fun! It is extremely difficult and can prove frustrating. Play a game (ball, tug, etc) immediately after practicing!
YES! This really is a trick! How awesome is that?!
If your dog doesn't have a natural desire to catch bubbles, it can still be taught through targeting (or shaping). To get started, use your target stick to help teach your dog to target the bubble by placing the target in such a way that your dog has to touch the bubble before touching the stick (it will have to be really close at first!). Your goal is to click when your dog touches the bubble (late clicks are okay, but try hard to click for the bubble, not touching the stick).
Backing up in heel position
Many people do well by teaching the foundation with their dog in front of them.
Use the wall to help keep your dog in heel position. Many dogs "crab" out (move away from us) and the wall helps this in the foundation stages while they are still learning.
Your hand placement (lure) will mean everything for teaching this, especially when you come off the wall. Watch the video for details on how to maneuver your dog where you want them without leash pressure.
This trick often proves more difficult than it seems!
Your lure will mean everything when teaching your dog how to crawl. With your dog in the down position, place the treat in your hand upside-down on the ground (under your fingertips) and slowly drag the treat away from your dog.
If your dog gets up, try moving the treat away from your dog slower. Many dogs need it to move at a snail's pace. You will find the sweet spot.
If you've been trying for several sessions without success, you can try to kick start this trick by luring your dog under a "bridge" that you create with your legs. To do this, sit on the floor with your legs stright out, then lift your knees, but try to keep your feet on the ground. That's your bridge to lure your dog under. Your dog must crawl to pass through. Reward your dog often, not just at the end or they might give up!
As with many things, your lure placement is very important! Watch the video for the best explanation.
Your clicker timing will be very important, especially if you have a dog that likes to down immediately when lured.
Some dogs don't put their elbows to the floor right away. That's okay. Click and reward for slight elbow bends at first. Once your dog understands the first inch, the rest of the way down will be easy!
THIS TRICK IS SUPER HARD! Most dogs take this class several times before they might get it.
Some dogs don't have the core strength needed to do this trick. You can help that by working "Sit Pretty," where your dog sits and then lifts only their front feet up. We learned this in an earlier week.
Some breeds are not physically capable of doing this trick, and that's okay! It is not a requirement whatsoever. All dogs excel at different tricks and not others. Celebrate the uniqueness of your dog and concentrate on things you both love to do!