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Ten Fun and Easy Dog Tricks

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When most people think of dog training, they think of the basic dog training commands - sit, down, come, stay. While those things are important, don't underestimate the benefits of training a dog to do tricks. Dog tricks are a great way to offer your dog some mental stimulation, and many of them build from the basic commands. Plus it's a lot of fun to train a dog some cool dog tricks to show off for friends!

Here are some dog tricks that are fun and fairly easy to train a dog to do:

1. Back Up

Woman playing with her pet dog
Cavan Images/Getty Images

Back up is a fun dog trick, and it can come in handy in a variety of situations. Once your dog knows how to back up on command, you can use it to keep him from rushing out the door, crowding you at the refrigerator, or just to entertain your friends.

Back up is fairly simple to teach a dog. All you need is some patience and a handful of treats, and you can quickly train a dog to back up a few steps when you give the command.

2. Take a Bow

Taking a bow is a dog trick which involves having your dog put his chest to the ground while keeping his rear end up in the air. It may sound like a difficult dog trick to train a dog to do, but the truth is that bowing is a natural behavior for dogs.

If you watch two dogs playing together, you will frequently see them bow. Trainers refer to this behavior as a play bow, and it is a dog's way of asking another dog to come play. You can easily use your dog's natural playfulness to train him to take a bow. And it's a great way to end a demonstration of all the cool new dog tricks your dog has learned!

3. Shake Paws

Have your dog greet your friends by shaking hands (or paws, as the case may be). This is an easy dog trick that you can usually train a dog to do in a few short training sessions.

4. Wave

Training a dog to wave hello or good-bye is a fun and fairly simple dog trick. Start by training your dog to shake paws. You will use the same action your dog uses to shake to train him to lift his paw to wave.

5. Speak

Training a dog to speak is fun and it helps to solve a common behavior problem. Many dog trainers recommend using the speak and quiet commands to put an end to excessive barking. Putting these on command allows your dog to bark in certain situations, and also allows you to have control over when the barking should start and stop. It's also a lot of fun to show off your dog's conversational skills at family gatherings!

6. Spin

By holding a treat near your dog's nose, you can easily lure him into a spin. If you want to add some difficulty to this dog trick, you can teach him to spin in a specific direction. You'll amaze your friends when you show them how your dog can tell the difference between left and right.

7. Give Kiss

Training a dog to kiss is one of the easiest tricks to teach. While not everyone enjoys a big, wet doggie smooch, this dog trick usually goes over very well with kids. By putting a little treat on your cheek and adding the command, you'll soon be able to get all the affection you want from your dog on demand!

8. Beg

What could be cuter than seeing your dog sitting on his hind legs with his paws up to beg for a treat? This dog trick can be a little more difficult to train a dog to do than some of the others, but with a little patience, your dog will be sitting up to beg in no time.

9. Roll Over

Most people train a dog to roll over in several small parts and work up to getting the dog to roll over all the way. It may take a little extra effort to train a dog to do this dog trick, but it is well worth it. It's lots of fun, and it also serves as a building block for several other dog tricks, such as playing dead.

10. Play Dead

Your friends are sure to be blown away when you hold your finger like a gun and say bang and your dog falls to the floor to play dead. Although it looks impressive, it's not as hard as you might think to train a dog to play dead, especially if you have already trained him to roll over.

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