Runnings loves dogs- heck, Runnings loves dogs so much that they’re welcome in our stores! But if you’re going to bring your four-legged friend into the store, you might as well teach them some tricks that they can show off! Many dogs can sit, lay down, and maybe even fetch on command, but… let’s be real, that’s not going to make your dog the life of the party!
Teaching tricks to your dog can be time consuming and sometimes frustrating, but just think about how impressed all your friends and family will be! So if you want your dog to be the coolest (and smartest!) dog on the block, we have 6 simple tricks that you’ll be able to teach your fur-baby in no time.
For this trick, you’ll want to get on your dog’s level by sitting on the floor in front of them with a treat in your hand. Make sure you put the treat fully in your hand and make a fist around it. Hold your fist with the treat in it close to your dog’s nose. Just sit there holding the treat in front of your dog, and do not do anything until your dog paws at your hand. As soon as this happens, give your dog the treat and praise them. Do this a couple more times until your dog consistently paws at your hand for the treat. After this happens, remove the treat from your hand and place it in front of them (like you’re going to shake their hand). They should still paw at your hand expecting a treat. When this happens, hold their paw and shake it! However, always remember to praise and reward your pup with a treat. Soon they’ll be greeting everyone with a friendly handshake!
- Roll Over
This trick is super cute and will be an instant hit with any kid! You’ll want to have a treat in your hand at all times and get your dog in the ‘down’ or ‘laying’ position in front of you. Hold the treat to their nose and guide the treat from their nose to their shoulder. They will instinctively follow the treat, get off balance, and fall onto their side. When this happens, instantly reward them with that treat. Repeat this step but continue the motion until they complete a full rotation. Remember, always lead with the treat and immediately reward them with it once they do the trick correctly. At this point, add in the command “Roll Over!” After enough practice and treats, they’ll do the trick in front of any audience.
- Walk Backwards
A backwards walking dog is a hilarious thing to watch, and even better knowing it’s a fairly easy trick to teach them! Stand facing your dog and slowly walk towards them. They will start walking backwards instinctively - give them a treat immediately. After doing this enough times, they will expect a treat every time they walk backwards. Practice this by walking towards your dog, and eventually you’ll just need to add the command “Back!” and hand motions and your dog will miraculously walk backwards anytime!
- Play Dead
Personally, this is one of my favorites and always a crowd pleaser! This is such a classic trick and should definitely be on your dog’s resume under special skills. The first step is to instruct your dog to sit and then to lay down. Carefully push your dog over so he/she’s on their side. While they are in this position, say the command “Bang!” or “Hold ‘Em Up!” Since this command won’t be as easy for your dog to remember as the others, be patient with them. With your help and some delicious treats, this command and movement should guide them to lay on their side in no time! Make sure to take about 10 minutes on this and reward them every time they execute the command. Slowly get further away from them every time you say the command, and in no time they’ll be nominated for an Oscar for their believable dead performance! Check out this video for another explanation of how to teach your pup to play dead:
- Fetch a Drink
What’s better than a room full of friends, your dog, and a couple of drinks? Your dog bringing you and your friends those drinks! Well, don’t worry, you can definitely train your dog to fetch you your favorite drink with a bit of practice and patience. First, get a can that will be able to fit into your dog’s mouth comfortably. Put this drink on the ground and command your dog to “Take It.” Whenever he does this correctly, reward your dog with a treat immediately. After your dog has gotten the hang of it, command your dog to “Bring It” to you and then to “Drop It” into your hands. Again, when your dog does this correctly, immediately reward him with a treat. Start putting the can further away from you, repeat the 3 commands until your dog does it all in one fluid action, and then reward your dog for completing the command fully. Soon you’ll be able to shorten the command to just “Bring me a drink!” If that doesn’t earn your pooch the title of “man’s best friend,” we don’t know what will! Here’s another way to teach your pup first class service:
This trick is such a crowd pleaser that your dog will be on their way to prom in no time! Instruct your dog to sit. With a treat in your hand, slowly raise the treat higher and higher so that your pup will slowly raise onto their hind legs. Keep the treat steady for a couple seconds so your dog can keep their balance. After that, your dog will start hopping around to keep their balance. When this happens, turn the music up and grab your pup’s hand for the cutest dance ever!
There’s no doubt that your dog is talented, and you might as well show off their smarts! For all your training needs - Runnings has you covered. Grab a bundle of your pup’s favorite treats and even some training help, if needed. By the way- stay tuned for our Howl-O-Ween pet contest! Runnings will be giving away gift cards worth up to $250!