It’s spooky season, so get the whole family in the spirit this Halloween and include your blood hound in the fun! Learning tricks with your dog is a great way to play with them and build a strong bond – plus you can impress your friends with how clever your dog is! So get your treats at the ready, here are four ghoulish tricks to get started from stunt-dog training expert Gill Raddings.
“Teaching your dog tricks is a great way to train them and keep them mentally stimulated. It’s also a wonderful bonding experience for the two of you. Be prepared with some high value treats, such as Arden Grange Tasty Liver Treat or Crunchy Bites, to keep your dog’s attention. Every dog is different, (some dogs will get it quicker than others). The key ingredient to the perfect trick is patience! Remember: command, praise, repeat and have fun!” explains Gill.
I’ve seen a ghost! (hide my eyes)
Step 1 – With your dog in a sitting position, gently lift one paw with your hand.
Step 2 – Offer Tasty Liver Treat as you gently bring the paw above the dog’s nose. Encourage the dog to follow the treat and give praise.
Step 3 – Bring the paw over the nose and offer the treat from underneath the dog’s paw. Command ‘COVER’, treat and reward. Practice in short periods, until you no longer need to lift the dog’s paw.
Step 1 – Start with your dog in a DOWN position (lying down, tummy on floor) and get your treats ready!
Step 2 – Gently place your hand on your dog’s back to encourage them to keep shoulders and hips down as they move.
Step 3 – Hold treat in front of their nose to coax dog forward. Command ‘CRAWL’ and move the treat only slightly forward so the dog follows. Keep hand gently placed on their back. Praise and Reward.
Step 4 – Repeat Steps 2-3 and build up confidence and strength slowly. Practice until you can remove your hand from the dog’s back. Be patient, this takes time!
Step 1 – Start with your dog in the down position.
Step 2 – Hold a front paw and gently roll dog onto opposite side, while saying ‘FLAT’ command. Praise and reward.
Step 3 – Repeat, praise, reward until your dog rolls over without contact (just the command ‘FLAT’ and appropriate hand gesture). You can then introduce a ‘STAY’ command to keep them in position and refine the pose!
Step 1 – Start with your dog in a sitting position. Hold the treat between thumb and middle finger whilst using index finger to point up, above the dog’s nose, while saying ‘SIT UP’.
Step 2 – Lure with the treat until your dog lifts upper body off the floor. Catch their front paws. Praise, reward, repeat.
Step 3 – As confidence builds, slowly remove your support until the dog can maintain sit up position. Gradually put more distance between the dog and the treat. Take your time.
About Gill Raddings:
Gill is the founder of Stunt Dogs & Animals, specialist suppliers to the film, TV and advertising industry of trained animals. Gill has worked closely with super-premium pet food company Arden Grange for many years, and has been a star performer, with her dogs, on its stand at Crufts.
Our favourite trick treats: Join in the fun and have a go at teaching your dog some tricks. Arden Grange Tasty Liver Treat (£2.66 RRP) is a naturally hypoallergenic pork liver paste suitable for both dogs and cats. In addition, Arden Grange Crunchy Bites for dogs (from £2.75 RRP) can be used as either a healthy treat or reward for good behaviour and are also naturally hypoallergenic. Arden Grange products can be bought in many independent pet shops, vets, online pet food retailers and at ardengrange.com