Clicker training is not just for professional animal trainers. We will show you some simple exercises that will you can use to set some exciting challenges
Fantastic dog tricks to copy - how to use dog tricks to stimulate your dog mentally
At the Meradog dog school for use at home, we want to show you possible ways to maximise your dog's mental (and therefore also physical) stimulation during dog training. A clicker is used to teach the dog a wide variety of dog tricks and commands. This not only strengthens the relationship with your dog, but also trains the abilities of both parties to read and understand each other. And with the dog food or dog biscuits from Meradog, your dog is guaranteed to learn the dog tricks easily and quickly.
Who better to accompany you and your dog through the dog school than a dog: Amy, one of the Meradog employee dogs came from Hungary to her new home in Germany at the age of 7 months. After a brief period of acclimatisation, she found the “normal” dog's life comprising eating, sleeping, walkies and a few hours of dog school per week too dull. After Amy had destroyed sofa cushions, cork tiles, tablecloths, remote controls and telephone books, it quickly became apparent that the dog needed to be occupied! Dog school, dog training and dog tricks to be performed at home were designed to arouse Amy's attention.
Dog school - tips
For many dogs, having a paw enclosed in your hand is a little unsettling at first. Allow your trick student to become accustomed to this gradually. There are numerous instructions that suggest the following approach: Enclose a reward in your hand and hold it out to the dog. Sooner or later, it will start to scratch at it, at which point you must click and reward. After several repetitions in dog training, your dog will also touch your empty fist. You can then open your hand and reward the contact with your palm with Meradog dog biscuits or Meradog dog food. Personally, I have ruled out this approach for pedagogical reasons. If I hold something in my hand, then it belongs to me alone and Amy is not permitted to request it, neither by poking nor by scratching with the paw. If the method described does not work for you (some dogs are unreceptive to this type of contact) and you want to attempt this second alternative dog training, my advice is not to reward your dog with the dog biscuit from your closed hand, but to feed it a second dog biscuit so that at least it does not reach its original goal through its demanding behaviour.
There is some disagreement as to whether growing dogs should perform this exercise. Play it safe and rehearse this dog trick exclusively with adult dogs. This dog trick is also not suitable for very large breeds. Consider how your dog will go about sitting up and begging. Should it stand on its hind legs or simply raise its front paws while in the sitting position? The structure of the training is identical and differs only in terms of the height at which you end up holding the Meradog dog food or the Meradog dog biscuit. I have opted for the latter variant and chosen the command “Amy, how does a meerkat sit?”.
Your dog bows down by lowering its upper body while keeping its hind legs stretched. As previously mentioned in the dog school basic knowledge, this behaviour can also be captured, although this usually takes a long time because you always have to wait until your dog stretches. Particularly tasty Meradog dog food or Meradog dog biscuits will make dog training easier.
This is a trick that can easily be taught to a dog that already knows how to give a paw while lying down. To further boost its motivation, you can use the tasty Meradog dog biscuits or the wide selection of Meradog dog food. This will help you manage even the most challenging exercise in dog training.
Dog school - tip:
A nice command for dogs learning this dog trick is “how does the lovely lady lie?“.
A dog trick that is not particularly difficult to teach but requires a great deal of self-control from your dog! Therefore, be sure to use some particularly tasty Meradog dog biscuits or particularly tasty Meradog dog food to boost your dog’s motivation.
Dog school for professionals - a really dead dog!
If your dog masters the dog trick through distraction, try it using supreme discipline: Your dog should not respond to touch and should let its raised paw fall or even let it go limp when lifted. Step 4: Vary your position relative to the dog or practise at other locations so that your four-legged friend generalises the trick.
Stacking cups is a dog trick that will require your dog to demonstrate a great deal of dexterity. It also involves a chain of behaviour, which means that your dog must perform several behaviour patterns consecutively on command during dog training: Picking up the cup, carrying it to the other cup and placing it inside the other cup. This dog trick is easier to develop if your dog is able to retrieve on command. You will also need at least two sturdy plastic cups.
Dog school - tip:
If your dog does not retrieve on command: Let your dog discover what it is supposed to do with the cup on the floor. Start by clicking when the dog picks up the cup, then when it carries it and finally when it brings the cup in your direction. With the right reward such as the delicious Meradog dog biscuits or Meradog dog food, your dog will also master this trick in no time.
This is a dog trick that requires no coordination skills but presents your dog with an extreme mental challenge. Sticking out the tongue, e.g. when licking the flews, is an action that is performed subconsciously. Therefore, your dog will very probably have to think long and hard about what it is that you are confirming in this training session. To rehearse this trick, we suggest using particularly tasty dog biscuits or dog food. If your dog tends not to lick its flews thoroughly after eating, you can also carefully wipe a layer of liver sausage across the tip of its nose. However, you then run the risk that the dog will concentrate too much on the delicious liver sausage and will no longer pay any attention to the objective of the dog training.