Dog Tricks for Rainy Days

If your toy poodle or any puppy or dog for that matter is driving you mad with those little tricks they have, to let you know they are bored and want to go out but it is raining down too hard to go out, then trying some of these fun tricks should allay their boredom and stop them from harassing you for a walk.
Ralph tells me by first jumping at the nearest closed door to the front door ( our exit door for a walk ) and if that doesn’t get what he wants he jumps to my lap and gives me kisses. Now this is lovely for a few moments but he will continue until pushed away, which I don’t like to do but there are only so many dog kisses a girl can take.
After being pushed away he will settle for a few minutes but will then launch himself at the door again. By this point I know that giving him 10 to 15 minutes of my time will help him to settle to a snooze so I can get on with whatever it is I need to do that day.

SHY DOG

  1. Ask your dog to lie down or if already in that position all the better. If your dog is happy to be fitted into a position by you handling him, great, do that, but do not coerce a dog who doesn’t like being handled like this as it will be counter-productive. Ralph does not like to be positioned but will happily be led to a position with a treat.
  2. Take one of their front paws or ask to shake paw if you have already done this command.
  3. Shake it then place it back across the other one.
  4. Place your hands behind their ears and gently position their head between their paws. Do not force head down, if they offer resistance, stop and try another day.
  5. Kneel down beside them saying ” shy dog” as you reward with a treat and praise for their position.
We all hope for the natural actor in our dog to come out at this point and have them look coyly up at us but it may not happen immediately. Eye contact will come as you both work on training.

ARE YOU ASHAMED?

This trick is too cute and most dogs will take to this one quite quickly.
  1. Get a rug, not too heavy. If you don’t have one on the floor where you are playing then a bath mat is ideal.
  2. Get your dog to sit just by the rug.
  3. Place a treat under the rug. Make sure they see you place the treat. Not too far under for the first attempt.
  4. Say “Are you ashamed?” In an excited high pitch tone, whilst tapping the edge of the mat with your hand. They will try to push their nose under the mat to retrieve the treat which will pucker up and cover their nose.
  5. Let them have treat and praise them. If they get to the treat too quickly and without their nose and eyes covered by the mat, try holding the treat until they are in position or put the treat a little further in next time.
Eventually they will get in to position on the command of “are you ashamed” without a treat.

PLAY DEAD

This one takes into account two commands you will have already taught them. Down and Rollover, so make sure you have covered these and have them as firm commands before attempting this one.
  1. Crouch or kneel by your dog. It doesn’t matter whether your dog is in standing or sitting position.
  2. Ask your dog to go into a “down”
  3. Ask your dog to “Rollover”
  4. When they reach halfway stage say “wait” and give a treat.
  5. Now say “Play dead”
This will take some practice and re-enforcement but eventually the first two commands can be dropped and they will simply flop to the ground when you say ” play dead” but don’t expect them to stay there for too long.

TAKE A BOW

The bow is something most dogs do naturally. Ralph will do a bow and then a give a stretch to his back legs after a nap. Sometimes he will do them both several times if he has been disturbed and is not ready to move, just yet.
The easiest way to teach this command is when they do it naturally, so you will have to keep an eye out for the move and be ready. I always have a treat or two in any pockets I have.
  1. As you dog stretches down say “Bow”
  2. Praise and reward with a treat. They will be a bit surprised at first. A treat for nothing. Happy days.
  3. Next time you catch them in a stretch down, place treat just in front of paws.
  4. Hold tummy up and give the command “Bow” as they go for the treat.
  5. Praise, praise, praise.
This one is usually picked up quickly as it is a natural movement and they want to please. The command of “Bow” should be enough after 3 or 4 attempts at this.
I hope you and your dog have had some fun on this rainy day and that you get your walk soon. Remember your dog needs mental exercise as well as physical and you can have a lot of fun whilst doing it.
I love to hear your training stories and to answer any questions you have, so leave them in the comments section below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
I am always happy to receive your photographs for my doggie rogues gallery. You can send them to karen@trainingmytoypoodle.com
With Grace and Gratitude
Karen& Ralph