If you dream of your pet being the next winner of Britain’s Got Talent or the next face of Felix or Viovet then you better polish up your tap shoes and start practicing some tricks.
Some animals are smarter than others and some breeds naturally take better to learning then others so if you are choosing a pet because you want a pet to perform then do your research and choose an animal that is willing to learn. Dogs that were originally breed for hunting are a great breed to choose as they have a natural ability to learn and pick tricks up quickly. Retrievers, Setters and Spaniels are gun dogs which makes them smart and naturally able to learn tricks quickly.
Dogs respond well to reward and praise. If you lavish a dog with attention (be it negative or positive) they will do the behaviour again to receive the attention so one of the best tools in training dogs is to reward good behaviour and where possible ignore the bad behaviour. As an added incentive you can offer food as an extra reward.
Training your dog to dance like the Britain’s Got Talent winner is a long and hard task which will take a lot of time and patience. If you have plenty of both then go for it but if you are looking for your dog to just perform some basic tricks, perhaps enough to get them a TV commercial, then here are some training tips.
The Basics. Always start with the basics and work your way up, basics include sit, stay, heel, come to me and retrieve. Dogs learn by repetition so be prepared to do the same thing again and again. Always use the same command word so you do not confuse your dog and use an upbeat tone. A good way to teach a dog to sit is to hold some food over their head and in order to see it they will sit down. As you are holding the food Royal Canin food is very tasty to most dogs so makes a good reward to try) say sit and as they sit reward them with the food and plenty of praise. Always get the dog to do the action you are teaching, say the command then reward.
Once basics are mastered you can move onto more adventurous things such as giving paws, rolling over and begging on back legs. Again food is a great incentive; Royal Canin dog food is a tasty and nutritious kibble which is perfect for training. If training a cat try Royal Canin Cat food as a reward for correct behaviour.