Circus School for Dogs

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Whether you have or deal with naughty dogs who need lots of guidance or you just want to learn new fun ways to play and interact with your dog, training tricks may be exactly what you want. Interestingly tricks can be useful in many ways. For instance, even if your dog is about as smart as a stone, if he can beg or wave or shake hands on cue your friends will think he’s practically Einstein. If your clients or friends are lacking one-on-one time with their Fido, training tricks can serve as a quick way for them to play with their pet throughout the day. And for those of us who have dogs who need lots of mental stimulation and even some fear issues, tricks provide a way to keep them focused on you and to build self-confidence.

This weekend I’ll be teaching a Circus School for Dogs workshop at the Humane Animal Welfare Society in Wisconsin (for more information click here) as well as speaking on a number of cool animal training topics. Since it’s a bit far from home my dog Jonesy doesn’t get to show off his tricks. So, I thought I’d let him show them off here.

This is head down. It’s a great relaxation trick for JRTs (Jack Russell Terriers.

Look, I can wave …. and beg without jumping.
When I’m not relaxing with my head down, I’m springing up and down like this. My cue is the flat hand extended up high over my head and the verbal cue.
I like to deliver stuff back and forth to people. Especially if it means I sometimes get a treat.

I’ll even fetch Kleenex if you sneeze

I may look sweet, but I’m known for my sailor’s mouth and my mean karate kick

I get bored pumping iron. I prefer to exercise by lifting my own body weight. How many handstand push-ups can you do?


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One response to “Circus School for Dogs

  1. I have had well behaved dogs all of my life. I’m 61 years old. Always in the past, I have muscled my dogs through their training, but this year I started my Rottweiler in Service Dog Training which is employing your methods. Needless to say, it’s much easier to work with a 110 pound Rottie who is having a good time than one who is being coerced. My Rottie performs all of the basic obedience commands flawlessly and also turns a lamp on and off, backs up, touches a target, and is learning to take, hold and give an object. When offered food, instead of grabbing it, he looks to me. As a side bar, my Rat Terrier puppy has learned to sit, wait, speak and get off of the sofa on command, without a collar or leash. And all 5 of my dogs come to me gladly when I call them, even if it means ending their play or getting a bath. Positive reinforcement is so easy and effective, I can’t imagine why anyone would still choose to bully their pet into desired behaviors.

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