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Training dogs; Tricks and Advanced Techniques

Updated on July 18, 2011

Training dogs advanced tricks can be a great way to continue the excellent communication that you established during early training. In previous articles we showed you how to train your dog. From early house training, through basic and advanced training we taught you how to establish good communication with your dog. To have any success with teaching your dog the advanced tricks of this article then you will need to already mastered commands such as sit, lie down,stay, fetch and drop it.

IF you want to recap these commands then try the following articles;

Bringing home and house training a puppy

Training dogs; teach your dog the basics

Training dogs; Advanced training for your dog

On this page we are going to focus on tricks rather than the necessary obedience commands you have learnt before. Tricks are often more about the process of spending time with your dog in a positive way than the trick itself, but never underestimate the power of a trick to introduce your boisterous dog to a nervous family member or friend.


  • Intially dogs respond through a desire to please you and recieve reward.
  • Always use the same command
  • Praise every success

Training Dogs - teach your dog to crawl

 In the previous article we taught your dog to lie down. Training a dog to crawl is the next logical step on from that. Find a nice quiet area with no distractions and have your dog sit in front of you with his attention firmly on you. Make sure that your dog knows that you have a treat in hand. By now it will be well used to performing for reward and will be keen to learn what it has to do to get that treat.

Instruct your dog with your command to get it to lie down. Once it is lying down and settled, hold the treat in front of its nose and slowly pull it away and say the command 'crawl'. If he starts to stand up, take away the treat and get him to lie down again. If the dog moves even an inch or two in your direction then reward him with praise and the treat. Repeat this trick moving the treat slowly further back each time before giving the reward. Be sure to use the command every time and reward every positive response at first.

Train your dog to roll over

Training dogs - Teach your dog to roll over

A genuine favourite among many dog owners is to teach their dog to roll over. Bare in mind that it may not suit all dogs. Many dogs dislike exposing their stomach in this manner. Always roll your dog on soft surfaces and if your dog shows dislike then give it a miss and move onto something else.

The technique is simple. Have your dog lie down in front of you. Hold a treat and move it to the side and round behind your dogs head. It should first lie on its side and then roll over. Be sure to issue the command at the same time and praise your dog copiously for any success.

Training dogs - teach your dog to play dead

 Whilst to many it may seem a little morbid to encourage your dog to play dead, remember that to the dog it is just rewarded for lying still. Whilst its a neat trick, it can have practical purposes. When your dog is over excited or behaving inappropriately, commanding it to play dead can be a fun way to modify its behaviour.

Command your dog to lie down. With it lying down on its belly, gently roll your dog over onto its side whilst keeping its head gently on the floor. Us your chosen command  as you do this. Once it has held that position for a couple of seconds, say 'wake up' or 'lets play' and give the dog its reward.

the high five is a natural progression from 'shake hands'
the high five is a natural progression from 'shake hands'

Training dogs - teach your dog to shake hands and high 5

 Teaching your dog to shake hands and then to high five can be a great way to encourage interaction between him and newcomers. You can introduce the shake hands command on a daily basis by saying 'shake hands' as you take his paw in your hand. As you hold it, say 'good boy' and then offer him a treat. Repeat this several times each day and your dog will soon pick up this simple trick.

To progress to a high five, you'll need to continue as if teaching to shake hands but change your hand position to that of a high five. Instinctively your dog will match that high five as it attempts to shake hands. Once your dog has the hang of this new behaviour you can introduce the new command 'high five'.

Keep the training going.

 IF you have successfully mastered this series of tricks and are wondering what to try next then the answer may be to come up with some new tricks yourselves. Over the last few articles we have seen some very definite patterns to training that if you follow, you can expect success with a dog that has already proven its ability to learn. Remember than many tricks lead on from a more basic version (think of sit-lay down-play dead-roll over) and all are reinforced with enthusiastic praise and reward.

Good Luck!


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    • profile image

      pauly 6 years ago

      An answer to danieliuhasc, absolutely can you teach an old dog new tricks. It just requires consistency.

    • pepalive profile image

      pepalive 7 years ago

      Pretty good stuff here. I am using some of these on my dog.

    • dosburros profile image

      dosburros 7 years ago

      Mrs J.B.

      id certain try with one at a time, unless you have four hands!

      Choose the one you find most responsive. Once one picks up a new skill and the others see it getting rewarded for it, they may be more inclined to copy!

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 7 years ago from Southern California

      Should I start with one dog at a time?

    • dosburros profile image

      dosburros 7 years ago

      Mrs J.B. thanks for your comments. Too many people look at dog training as a real effort. hopefully ive helped dispell that myth. Starting slow and steady can have rewards.


    • danieliuhasz profile image

      danieliuhasz 7 years ago from Romania

      I have a question here: can one teach an old dog new tricks? I know this souds like a cliche, but I have an older dog male and would consider teaching him a thing or two..

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 7 years ago from Southern California

      You are a great teacher. The steps are so easy to follow. Now come to my house and teach my 4 daogs all these tricks... LOL