Mum was lucky enough the other month to go along in an audit spot to a One Mind Dogs Agility Seminar here in Sydney. She learnt lots of cool things during the seminar that we have been incorporating into our training. One of the things she took out of what Noora said was how little time she actually spent training on courses and showing videos of some of the other non-course training the dogs do.
So if we aren’t practicing agility using agility equipment and training on courses what can we be doing…. well it turns out teaching tricks are great.
Silva Trkman explains it wonderfully on her blog lolabuland when she says “Tricks train them to think, to use their body and mind.”
And tricks are also great when we are short of time or if the weather isn’t great.
So here are some of our favourites….
Shake is a really fun one that always impresses the kids. And just changing your hand position can take it from a shake to a High 5. We love doing a High 5 at the end of a fun bit of training and at the end of an agility run. It is our way of going “Yay Team Bodhi”.
Step Up and Feet are things that we have been working on based on mum’s pre-occupation with me understanding I have a rear end. You see most of us pups don’t really realise that we have back legs and paws or that we can control them. That is kinda problematic in agility where we need to clear a bar with both front and back legs. So the Step Up and Feet exercises are really great for teaching this with just a low solid crate or step stool (the Toddler uses step stools a lot so there seems to be always one at hand around this house for mum to use).
Twists and Turns are easy little tricks that just need a bit of (non-slippery) floor space and a few treats. They are even things you can stop and do mid walk. Kevin from That Dog Dancing Guy has a great video on teaching it too. Now mum has taught me the Twist and Turn from a position beside her which is because we use the actual move in agility while Kevin teaches it from in front. Don’t overthink that stuff. Instead just have fun teaching tricks.
So there you have it. Tricks are great ways of keeping us dogs mentally stimulated, bonding with us and also teaching us some useful things that can be used in other things we do. There are also plenty of games we play too such as our
“3 Ways To Keep Us Pups Out Of Trouble On A Rainy Day“. So what is your favourite trick or game?