There are an almost endless list of benefits to teaching your dog a few (or more!) new tricks. Perhaps most importantly, teaching any behavior using a gentle, motivation based approach is a wonderful way to form a closer, more communicative bond with your dog. And an amazing side benefit is the more you teach your dog the quicker they learn because your teaching skills improve as does your dog’s ability to understand the training game and learn most efficiently.
Your dog’s overall obedience and manners is also likely to improve. This means you will have a dog who knows fun tricks to show off to friends and family, but also a dog who is generally more pleasant to be around.
Trick training is likely to result in better health (as many tricks help build muscle tone and stamina), increased flexibility, balance and concentration, as well as a boost in your dog’s confidence in him or herself and you. At the same time each new behavior you teach provides you with yet another useful way to channel your dog’s energy into something positive. For example, if your dog is attempting to jump on someone you can ask for a trick to refocus him or her onto something appropriate (and fun).
When setting a course for trick training success, be sure to move at your dog’s pace and to choose behaviors which are appropriate for your dog’s abilities, age, temperament and health. Keep training sessions brief and be sure to have a number of motivators (rewards) for your dog so that he or she sees one of the benefits of playing the trick training game with you.
If you are interested in treating your dog and yourself to a trick training course, check out our Level I and Level II Trick Training Classes held at Animal Haven (251 Centre Street) and the Uptown Dog Spa (415 East 91st Street).