Whether you have or deal with naughty dogs who need lots of guidance or you just want to learn new fun ways to play and interact with your dog, training tricks may be exactly what you want. Interestingly tricks can be useful in many ways. For instance, even if your dog is about as smart as a stone, if he can beg or wave or shake hands on cue your friends will think he’s practically Einstein. If your clients or friends are lacking one-on-one time with their Fido, training tricks can serve as a quick way for them to play with their pet throughout the day. And for those of us who have dogs who need lots of mental stimulation and even some fear issues, tricks provide a way to keep them focused on you and to build self-confidence.

This weekend I’ll be teaching a Circus School for Dogs workshop at the Humane Animal Welfare Society in Wisconsin (for more information click here) as well as speaking on a number of cool animal training topics. Since it’s a bit far from home my dog Jonesy doesn’t get to show off his tricks. So, I thought I’d let him show them off here.
      

       
This is head down. It’s a great relaxation trick for JRTs (Jack Russell Terriers.
      

     
Look, I can wave …. and beg without jumping.
      

       
When I’m not relaxing with my head down, I’m springing up and down like this. My cue is the flat hand extended up high over my head and the verbal cue.
        

             
I like to deliver stuff back and forth to people. Especially if it means I sometimes get a treat.
       

     
I’ll even fetch Kleenex if you sneeze
      

     
I may look sweet, but I’m known for my sailor’s mouth and my mean karate kick
     

     
I get bored pumping iron. I prefer to exercise by lifting my own body weight.

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