Following on from our blog post on ‘How to Entertain Your Dog at Home‘ – a round-up of free Canine Enrichment resources, today it’s time to take things to the next level with a round-up of some fab free resources on ‘How to Teach Your Dog Tricks‘.
During Lockdown, we’ve been trying to learn some tricks with varying degrees of success. Belinha already knows how to give left paw / right paw (in English and Portuguese), but that’s about it. So with more time on our hands, I was determined to see what else we could learn.
Fast forward a few weeks, and Moleque has learnt to give paw, tell me which hand I have a treat in and take a bow. Belinha will also tell me which hand I have a treat in (with varying degrees of success). Who said you couldn’t teach an old dog new tricks!
However, I suspect their learning progress is heavily linked to my teaching abilities which honestly are not the greatest so they’ve actually done pretty well. For humans, there are four different learning styles: visual, auditory, reading/writing, and kinesthetic. When it comes to learning how to teach my dogs some tricks, I’ve realised I definitely fit into the visual category, i.e. I have to watch someone else show me how to teach a trick rather than read a book that explains it.
Thankfully, there are plenty of resources available online with videos on how to teach your dog a trick or two. Plus we know of one London dog who is rapidly becoming a true trick master…our pal Barnabypoo. Cockapoo Barnaby has an impressive and growing repertoire of tricks to bark about so we enlisted his help in recommending resources to teach your dog tricks – both for beginners like us or if you’re on your way to being a pro like Barnaby…
Do More with Your Dog!
This was Barnaby’s top tip for how to teach your dog tricks. The Do More With Your Dog! website created by US dog trainer Kyra Sundance, is a goldmine of information with online classes, Facebook groups, certifications and more. For those that like something to aim for, you can work your way up to a Trick Dog Title, all of which can be certified online by sending in videos of your dog’s tricks. And if you’re someone who needs some encouragement, then there are free Facebook classes via the Spark Teams listed on the site, with literally loads to choose from. Do More With Your Dog! is also the official sanctioning and organizing body for the sport of Dog Tricks.
Best for: Dogs and humans who aim to take tricks seriously. Caters to all levels.
Zak George’s Tricks Playlist on YouTube
As we were researching online, Zak’s Dog Training Revolution YouTube Channel came up time and time again. Hailing from across the pond with more than 2.4 million subscribers on YouTube alone, Zak is possibly one of the most cheerful trainers we’ve come across full of non-stop enthusiasm. As beginners, we’ve watched a few of Zak’s videos on his How to Train Dog Tricks playlist, and they’re simple and easy to follow with a range of tricks to try for all levels so something to work up too as well.
Best for: Being a one-stop-shop. Zak’s Dog Training Revolution YouTube Channel has a comprehensive set of videos on lots of training topics, not just tricks, all helpfully organised into playlists.
The Incredibly Clever Canine Circus
The Incredibly Clever Canine Circus is up next – we think it deserves kudos points for the name alone! The Incredibly Clever Canine Circus used to run classes in London but then moved to New York a couple of years ago. However, creative canines who fancy learning a few circus-style tricks can still do so via a series of 5-minute lessons which founder Deborah has been posting on the Incredibly Clever Canine Circus YouTube Channel. This is another recommendation from our pal Barnaby especially for pups and people just starting out with learning tricks.
Best for: Beginners and those who like bite-sized learning sessions (that would be us on both accounts).
Tricks and Training Facebook Group
The popular Tricks and Training Facebook group has over 49,000 members from all around the world and is a great place to get inspiration from other people’s posts or encouragement if you have some questions to ask.
Best for: Opening your eyes to the world of teaching your dog tricks.
Prancing Percy on Instagram
What is it about Cockapoos that makes them good at learning tricks? Barnaby also told us about Prancing Percy the Cockapoo, another trick pro. You can tune into his tricks with mum and dog trainer Sarah on Percy’s Instagram, and he even knows how to play Connect Four!
Best for: Inspiration and watching the pros at work.
Bella’s Trix Club
Bella’s Trix Club is run by Lynn and her dogs Bella and Nancy. As Lynn says on her website, most people are surprised when they realise Lynn is in a wheelchair: “I have a number of disabilities that affect my general mobility, but that doesn’t stop me training dogs and having fun doing it! In fact, I see being in a wheelchair an advantage, it means I always have to ‘think outside the box’ and come up with new ways to train, which definitely makes training more interesting!”
Bella’s Trix Club also has an active Facebook group where Lynn posts regular tips, trick challenges and you can work towards trick titles,
Best for: Group encouragement with both a structured and out of the box approach!