Teaching a young dog new tricks.

Willow sitting.Having completed her Beginner-Improver course with Pets in Practice, Willow now understands various commands. As well as the basics of sit, lie down, come and stay, the most useful thing we have taught her is ‘Spin’ i.e. turn around in a circle on the spot. The reason this is useful is that when she comes in from the garden or a walk and is muddy we ask her to spin a few times on the doormat and it helps get her feet clean. Willow also responds pretty well to ‘leave’ and ‘wait’. The command the children love the most and show off to their friends is her ‘High Five’ which, although cute, I have yet to find a use for!

Although Willow has picked up what she’s supposed to do for most of the tricks quite easily, the one she cannot grasp is ‘Back’ – getting her to walk backwards. We’re still working on that one. The other one I’m also working on with her is how to shut an open door.

Once Willow is a year old I’m considering taking her to agility classes but in the meantime I want to keep her brain working. So I’m going to throw a question out there – what are the most useful tricks you’ve taught your dog, apart from the ones mentioned above, and why were they so useful?

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