I’m a big fan of trick training. Although being able to show off some tricks is great for therapy dog visits that’s not the only reason why I like it. Far too many dog owners think of dog training as serious stuff and it really doesn’t have to be that way. Although all dogs should know the basic exercises, including sit, down, stay, come and walk nicely on a leash; that training doesn’t have to be taught like military boot camp. Trick training helps keep the training mood light.
I’ve written two books on trick training; one for adults and one for children.
The book for adults is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dog Tricks. This book takes dogs and owners through the training process, using a lure and reward techniques that most dogs like and owners find easy to use. The tricks taught begin with very basin ones such as shake and wave through much more complicated ones, such as weave through the owner’s legs while walking. The book also provides guidance on how to chain tricks together to create a show or demonstration. This is particularly fun for therapy dog visits. Here’s the amazon link http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Idiots-Guide-Dog-Tricks/dp/1592573991/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327540250&sr=1-1
My book for kids is Dog Tricks (Capstone). This one also uses a lure and reward training method. It is written for fourth to fifth graders but I’ve found it acceptable for many older kids and even adults as it is laid out in easy to follow training steps. Here is the amazon link to that one http://www.amazon.com/Tricks-Teaching-Doggie-Shake-Hands/dp/1429665262/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327540759&sr=1-2
When doing some trick training with your dog, keep in mind that even trick training is training. So use good training techniques: Help your dog succeed, praise and reward him, and don’t get angry or frustrated if he doesn’t understand. Keep your training fun for both of you.