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Teaching Your Dog Tricks

February is Dog Training Education Month. Has your pup finished his petucation yet? If not, this is a great time to show Fido something new! Read on as a local Fort Collins, CO vet offers tips on teaching your canine companion some cute tricks.

Start With Basic Doggy Obedience

All dogs should know simple commands, like Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. If your furry pal doesn’t have all of these down yet, work on these first.

Choose Tricks That Fit Fido’s Personality

All of our canine pals are unique, with their own doggy personalities. Keep this in mind when choosing tricks. For example, not all dogs fetch very well. Some will run after the object, but won’t bring it back. Others will just tilt their heads and look at you as though wondering why you threw away a perfectly good toy. Keep your pet’s personality and capabilities in mind.

Class Curriculum

Dogs don’t have very long attention spans, except perhaps when it comes to watching their human buddies cook bacon or cheeseburgers. Your furry pupil may get bored with long sessions. Keep ‘classes’ short and sweet. About 15-20 minutes at a time is fine. Also, if possible, try to work with your pet at the same time each day.

Build On Basics

Many of the more complicated dog tricks—such as fetching slippers—are built on a foundation of simpler tricks. For example, if you want to teach Fido to get your remote, start by teaching him to Fetch. Then, have him start learning the words for specific objects. Look online for step-by-step instructions.

Offer Rewards

When teaching dogs anything, it’s very important to provide positive reinforcement. Praise and compliment your pooch for doing well. Of course, snacks are also a great reward. Choose small portions, though: you don’t want to overfeed your adorable student.

Have Fun

Classic dog tricks, like Shake and Roll Over, will always be cute, but Fido can learn much more than that. You can teach your pup to Smile, Hide Your Eyes, or Play Dead. Or, if you want to teach your canine buddy something more useful, show him how to put his toys away, turn lights off and on, or get you a drink from the fridge.

Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!