Dog Trick Fun!

Johann the dog published this the other day. She has a really nice blog about dog agility, so don’t forget to check it out. I know all of you are always looking for new tricks to teach your dogs and I thought this would be a great way to build a list of common tricks for everyone to use. Don’t forget to pass it along so we can get a great list!

——-Copy and paste starting with this line and everything below———-

There are all kinds of fun tricks for us dogs, right? Well, let’s make a list! And share it with the dog world!

Here’s how it works:

1.) Copy and paste this post beginning with the “copy and paste” line at the top of the post to the “copy and paste” line at the end of the post, courtesy of Johann The Dog!

2.) Substitute the Host Tag (see below) and one of the vacant “Tricks” spots with the name of your dog trick and the URL of your blog, just like I did.

3.) When you find out that someone has added this link post to their blog and their trick isn’t listed on your post, practice good paw and add their link in one of your “Tricks” slots, by copying his/her ‘Host Tag’ and paste it over one of your “Tricks” slots below, and republish. This makes the list the same on everyone’s blog!

5.) Encourage and invite your readers to do the same and soon this can grow fast. And if your not a dog, but you blog about dogs, or own a dog, you are also welcome to participate!

Host Tag: Cover Your Eyes – Tummy Scratch!

1. Danger! (run and sit between your 2-leggers legs) – JohannTheDog
2. Rollover – Rescue Me
3. Beg – Raise a Green Dog
4. Bang! (play dead) – Fun Dog Tricks
5. Jump over 2-leggers’ Back – Pacco de Mongrel
6. Cover Your Eyes – Tummy Scratch!
7. Super chase dogs – Gus & Louie
8. Push the door closed – Jake’s Progress
9. Trick
10. Trick
11. Trick
12. Trick
13. Trick
14. Trick
15. Trick
16. Trick
17. Trick
18. Trick
19. Trick
20. Trick

There it is! It’s as easy as that! I hope to make lots new friends with this project and learn about all kinds of new tricks I can learn! Please leave a comment here if you have added this project to your blog, so that I can add you to the list!

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Crate Training a Puppy

I am writing about this today because before now, I didn’t realize how frustrating it can be to crate train a puppy. We got a new puppy Friday, a pug, who is very cute and we believe, very smart. Too smart for his own good!

Before he came to us, he spent most of his time in a kennel, which I am thinking is/will impede his progress with potty training because he is use to going in his own space. We will see how it goes.

If you are wanting to crate train your new puppy it is best to start the day you bring him home. You will need a crate that is the size of your dog. He should be able to turn around and lay down and that’s about it. Keeping his area small will discourage him from pottying in the open space and then lying in the other half. If you want, put a towel or small blanket in there for him, and be sure that it is washable in case he has an accident.

When you first bring the puppy home, place the crate in the same room with you and allow him to explore it. To encourage him to go in it, you can tempt him with a tasty treat. Allow him to smell the treat and then toss it in the crate while saying your command, ours is “Crate.” Allow him to go in, eat the treat and come out if he wishes. Once you have him regularly going in and out of the crate, you can try having him stay in the crate for a short period of time. Allow him to go in, close the door, wait a few seconds then open the door and give him a treat. You can do this, each time increasing the time between entering the crate and his treat. Here you can add a safe toy, one that doesn’t have small parts or come apart easily, such as a Kong. They are made of hard rubber and are pretty much indestructible, not to mention, you can fill it with peanut butter and keep him happy for hours!

Once he is comfortable with the crate, you can start feeding him in the crate. Place a small bowl of food just outside the door and allow him to eat. Each time move the bowl farther back in the cage until you reach the back. Once you reach the back, you can close the door. Keep the door closed while puppy is eating then let him out. Each time you can extend the amount of time you wait between when puppy is finished eating and when he gets out of the crate. You want to do this to build positive associations with the crate, do not use the crate as a form of punishment.

Once he is happily eating his meals in the crate, you can start getting him use to you leaving for a bit while he is in there. Put him in the crate and sit quietly by it for 5-10 minutes. Then get up and go into another room for a few minutes, then return and sit by the crate for 5-10 minutes. After doing so, let him out of the crate and praise him. Repeat this process a few times a day until you can successfully leave the room for 30 minutes. Once he is used to you leaving for that amount of time, you can start leaving for a longer period of time running errands, etc.

Now the most important thing is to keep puppy on a routine. Feed him at the same times during the day and this will greatly help your potty training. Most puppies will have to go out within 30 minutes of eating so be sure that you take him out after he has eaten. You will also want to take him out first thing in the morning and after naps and play time.

Puppies younger than 6 months will need to go out about every 3-4 hours because they have limited bladder control. So be sure to plan your day around letting puppy out to go potty. When you take puppy out of the crate, carry him to his potty spot and stand there until he goes. Once he does, praise him lavishly and give him a treat.

Crating Duration Guidelines

9-10 Weeks Approx. 30-60 minutes
11-14 Weeks Approx. 1-3 hours
15-16 Weeks Approx. 3-4 hours
17 + Weeks Approx. 4+ (6 hours maximum

While you are potty training it is a good idea to keep puppy on a leash so you can supervise him at all times. If he begins sniffing around like he is looking for a place to go potty, scoop him up and take him to his potty spot. If you wait for awhile and he doesn’t go, return to the house and try again in 10-15 minutes.

If your puppy does have an accident, punishing him after the fact will do nothing but confuse him. He won’t even know what he has done wrong. If you catch him in the act, scoop him up and take him to his potty spot.

Do you have any tips or tricks for puppy potty training? Let us know!

Teach Your Dog to Stay

Ok so you’ve mastered the sit command and the down command, great job! Now it’s time to teach your dog to sit or lie down for a short period of time. A perfect stay command is usually perceived as a sign of a well-mannered dog.

The stay command teaches your dog to maintain her position until you give her the ok to move. Got your tasty treats? Ok, let’s do it!

  1. Tell your dog to sit.
  2. Put your hand in front of your dog’s face and tell her “Stay.”
  3. Take a step back from your dog. Repeat, “Stay.”
  4. Wait a couple of seconds then return to your dog and say, “Ok.” Praise her, give her a treat and THEN let her move. If you give her the treat after she has moved, she will think that she is getting the treat FOR moving not for staying.
  5. Repeat this over the next few days. When your dog seems to have gotten the idea, you can increase the distance and the amount of time you have your dog stay. Start with the amount of time that she stays first, then you can increase the distance.

Stay will become old hat to her, boring, and easy as pie. Once you have mastered time and distance, then, put your hand in front of her face while saying stay and walk all the way around her. She may want to try to get up and go with you. If she attempts to get up, say “no, sit”, and push your hand in front of her again while saying stay. This will teach her that is it okay to be approached from all sides while she is in the stay position.

Teach your Dog to Roll Over

Before teaching the roll over command, your dog should already know the “down” or “lie down” command. Have you got your yummy treats ready? Ok, let’s go!

First, give your dog the down command. Wait for him to shift his hips to the left or right, this will tell you which way it will be easier for your dog to roll over.

Put one of those yummy treats in your hand, but keep it closed. Let your dog smell it and know that it is there. Then slowly rotate your hand around your dog’s head toward his tail. He will naturally roll to the side to get the treat.

Once he is on his side, keep rotating the treat around his head until he rolls over. Praise him and give him the treat.

Note: For larger dogs, you only want to do this one time, as it puts a lot of pressure on their hips. With little dogs, you can do it 4 or 5 times.

Teach Your Dog or Cat to Sit

Sit, is the first and most basic command to teach. Actually, it is quite easy. As always, you will need your supply of tasty treats and 5-10 minutes a day to practice.

While your dog or cat is standing in front of you, show him the treat. Hold it just above his nose. When he sees it, move it backward toward his bottom. He should naturally follow it with his head and to do so, will put his bottom on the ground. As he lowers his bottom, say sit. When he sits, reward him with praise and a treat. Repeat.

Teach Your Dog or Cat to Lie Down

Teaching the “Down” command first, leads to other tricks suck as “Play Dead” and “Roll Over.” The Down command should follow the training to “Sit.” Once your pet has learned the sit command you can move on to the down command.

  1. First get your tasty treats ready. Pick a time when your pet is relaxed and willing to work.
  2. Give your pet the “Sit” command. When he sits, reward with a treat.
  3. Next, put a treat in your closed hand. Put your hand by his nose and let him smell the yummy treat. Lower your hand toward the floor while putting gentle pressure on your pet’s shoulders. When he gives in and lies down, praise him and reward him with the yummy treat.
  4. At first, your pet will probably get right back up. As training goes on, you can have him lie down for longer periods of time by withholding the treat and praise.
  5. Repeat the above steps until your pet catches on. You will want to keep training sessions short, no more than 5-10 minutes so that both you and your pet don’t get frustrated.

Earthdogging

I read an article in Modern Dog Magazine the other day that talked about Earthdogging. I had never heard of it before, so I decided to do a little research and share it all with you.

Earthdogging is for small terrier breeds and Dachshunds, which are bred to hunt vermin. It plays on their natural instincts to follow a scent underground to the game’s den. These small dogs have the right stature, mental capabilities and courage to do so. This “game” gives them an outlet for their natural hunting instinct.

The American Working Terrier Association started testing artificial dens in 1971. This program was designed to encourage terrier owners to take up actual hunting with their dogs. Gordon Heldebrant, with help of Karla Diethorn Martin, worked for several years to develop a three tier program that would be accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC). In 1993, they met with the AKC to finalize the details and agree on the rules governing Earthdogging.

The AKC recognized 15 breeds that were best suited for Earthdogging, including:

  • Australian Terrier
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Border Terrier
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Dachshund
  • Dandie Dinmont Terrier
  • Glen of Imaal Terrier
  • Lakeland Terrier
  • Manchester Terrier
  • Miniature Bull Terrier
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Norfolk Terrier
  • Norwich Terrier
  • Parson Russell Terrier
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Sealyham Terrier
  • Silky Terrier
  • Skye Terrier
  • Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Welsh Terrier
  • West Highland White Terrier
  • Wire Fox Terrier

There are four different tests a dog can pass in Earthdogging. The first test being the Introduction to Quarry. This test shows a dogs willingness to enter a tunnel and follow a scent. This test consists of a 10-foot tunnel with one 90 degree turn. At the end of the tunnel lies a cage of rats (NOTE: in all events the rats are secure in a cage and cannot be harmed. From what I’ve read about what others have said the rats don’t even seem fazed by the fact that a dog is barking at them!). The dog is encouraged to follow the scent into the tunnel to the cage and the “work” the rats, by barking, digging, etc.

The second test is for the title of Junior Earthdog (J.E.). In this test, the dog must maneuver a 30-foot tunnel with at least three right-angle turns in 30 seconds, work the rats for 60 seconds and then allow the handler to remove him without injury to the dog or the handler. Once the dog has been certified by two different judges, he earns the J.E. title and a certificate from the AKC.

For the Senior Earthdog title (S.E.) the tunnel length is the same, but it is filled with distractions, such as a false scent trail or bedding. The dog has 90 seconds to maneuver the tunnel, work the rats for 60 seconds of reaching the end end of the tunnel, the rats are then removed and the dog must recall the tunnel and return to the handler in 90 seconds.

The highest level for Earthdogging is Master Earthdog (M.E.) the Master Earthdog must actually hunt his way to the den with a bracemate (another dog), inspecting an empty den on the way. This is from a distance of 100-300 yards. Both dogs must find the den and mark it to indicate that it is an active den. The den is a similar structure to the Senior den, but this one has two obstacles. These include a 6-inch PVC pipe to indicate a tree root and the other is a narrowing down to 6 inches for a distance of 18 inches. The dog has 90 seconds to reach the quarry, must work the rats for 90 seconds, then allow the handler to remove him within 15 seconds. While one dog is working the other dog is staked out and must wait his turn with minimum amount of noise while his bracemate works the quarry. The dog must complete the task four time under three different judges in order to be certified as a Master Earthdog.

Earthdogging provides your little terrier with an outlet for his excess energy and allows him to do what comes naturally. Of course you will still have to teach him not to dig holes in your lawn!

For a complete guide to the AKC Earthdog Rules and Regulations, click here.

For the Earthdog Test Procedural Manual, click here.