Tag Archives: tricks

Weekly Woof from the Web

It’s time for your weekly roundup of the best woofs from around the web!

Here are some great ideas for homemade entertainment – let the fun & brain games begin: DIY, Six DIY food puzzles and Recycled Enrichment

Off leash dogs storming your dog, who may not welcome the space-invasion, is a common complaint and a common contributor to your dog’s discomfort; here’s one strategy to try when you can’t get away.

Here’s a nice straight forward canine communication resource and the answer to a more specific signaling puzzle: Do you know what the dog twist behaviour means?

And there is no more important application of an understanding of canine signaling, than when children and dogs interact. Here’s what to do: I Speak Doggie and here’s How not to greet a dog

Resource guarding is normal, natural, necessary dog behaviour that may cause problems within groups of dogs living together: How to prevent resource guarding in multiple-dog household

Some excellent ideas for exercises for attention building around distractions here.

Remember, dogs don’t work for free (just like you and me!) so don’t think that he should do it because he loves you!

Need some training inspiration? Check out this awesome training!

Pulp Fiction fan? Talk about inspirational training: Pulp Fiction

It’s a fact; humans are powerless against puppy head tilts…check out these GSD puppies and prepare to surrender!

Weekly Woof from the Web, 2

Our first WWW this week was overflowing so here’s more good stuff, we just couldn’t leave behind!

Each of us has that point at which we become overwhelmed, and our dogs are no different. Here’s a great piece looking at what’s happening your dog when they get to that point and things that you can do to help – Thresholds: when dogs reach their emotional edge

More news of just how awesome dogs are and how much they can and do help us: Largest dog genetic study informs human diseases, Tracing the roots of OCD in pets and people and ASU Lab training bomb-sniffing dogs to detect IEDs.

do dogs turn in circles before lying down?
– does my dog cock her head?
– do dogs make a mess when they drink?
do dogs like to shred tissues?


to live with a high energy dog without losing your mind
– to crate a dog (!)
– to completely pet-proof your home

Puzzles and brain teasers are essential for ALL dogs but they can really help boost the confidence of shy or fearful dogs: teaching your fearful dog to use puzzle toys.
The weather is pretty nasty right now so have lots of fun indoors with these 7 rainy day games to play with your dog.
And of course entertainment and enrichment is not just for pet dogs: 15 easy ways to enrich your indoor cat’s life and environmental enrichment for cats (we are not big fans of laser-chasing for pets, so please take care with that suggestion).

Today we hear the very sad news of a newborn baby killed by the family dogs, while the new mother fell asleep beside baby. Please check out and share this video-presentation: 5 types of supervision

Why not really pamper your dog and make him some homemade yummies?! Try some black pudding & potato bites or some low-cal snacks!
Please be careful any time your dog might be exposed to ‘human’ food and check for components that may be dangerous to them, such as xylitol.
Most people are aware of the dangers associated with your pet eating chocolate, but few are aware of much more serious and sinister dangers such as grapes/raisins and xylitol products.


Just as in humans, recent work has suggested that dogs also have ‘general intelligence’ that can be measured in a canine ‘IQ’ test: Mensa Mutts? and Canine IQ test developed. Why not try some ‘intelligence’ tests with your dog, just for fun: Dog IQ test.

As we learn more about human and canine sports medicine, canine conditioning and physical therapy is becoming more popular: Physical Therapy of the 4 legged variety and Doggy Yoga – and it’s no joke! for more on what this area is all about,
But as we learn more, we must take extra care not to cause our dogs more harm than good: Extreme Canine Conditioning Exercises – they may be possible but are they safe?
Here Duffy shows you some fitness tricks!

And all this developing knowledge is great for helping dogs shed those extra pounds, that will improve both the quality and quantity of their lives: Pet Fit Club – check out some of those amazing transformations!

Canine Bloat or GDV is a serious, life-threatening condition that all pet owners must be aware of: Everything you need to know about canine bloat.


What do you think of matching pets and people just like online dating? Well, there’s an app (almost) for that!

This week we looked at some misunderstandings when assessing a calm dog or a very stressed dogs; frozen ain’t fear free!

Clever/sneaky dog has worked out to get a yummy treat for himself!

Speaking of sneaky, check out these stealthy, spy-cats!

Weekly Woof from the Web

A busy week so a packed round-up for you:

Older dogs with grey muzzles are heart-melters and we of course want to make sure that their twilight years are the best.
Some great advice on keeping the senior canine family member happy and healthy, especially when there is a young upstart under the same roof from Smart Dog University.

On the subject of seniors, making decisions about their treatment Vs their quality of life is always difficult; here Marc Bekoff examines What’s a good life for an old dog?

Helping bonded dogs cope with the loss of a canine companion can be very tough; here’s one take.
And not just difficult for canine companions, but also the other end of the leash too. Has grief for a dog who died every overwhelmed you? Don’t worry, you are not alone.

Training your dog is vital, not a luxury. You really need ten reasons? 10 Reasons to train your dog and 10 Top Tips from Dr Yin!

Trick training is not only fun but behaviours taught can be useful in sports, conditioning and working with your dog plus you develop an excellent relationship with them, all the while having a great time. Lexus and Jesse provide lots of inspiration!

Even when you might enjoy the scents of aromatherapy, there can be harmful effects for our pets: Aromatherapy: Relaxation or Torment for Pets?

Finding a good dentist can be tricky, and so can finding a good dog trainer – don’t worry always ask us for help in choosing a pet care professional!

Animals are naturally stoic and don’t want to be too obvious about showing serious pain. Pain is a major stressor leading to often misunderstood, subtle and even surprising behavioural changes – that’s why if there’s a change in behaviour or behaviour issues present, the first port of call is the vet!
Your dog can’t be in pain as he runs & plays? Think again!

Veterinary medicine really has come such a long way but important considerations are always required when it comes to pet anaesthesia: Canine Anesthesia
Being an informed pet owner also means knowing what questions to ask too: Questions to ask before anesthesia

I know we all love a hug, and love cuddling a cute canine even more, but for some dogs in some situations, this might not be as much of a joy for them: Why dogs don’t like to be hugged and Does your dog like cuddles?
Just as we would prefer to be asked before being touched, ask does your dog really want to be petted?

Philip Tedeschi delivers an insightful TEDx talk on the human-animal bond.

Be more dog: How to be a dog

Did you know that we can teach all manner of animals to be willing participants in their healthcare, even for invasive procedures? This originates in work with large, exotic animals in zoos and collections – it’s pretty tricky to restrain a large cat or hyena and sedation is stressful and dangerous. So, why do we continue to restrain dogs and other pet animals, causing untold levels of distress (to all) and presenting potential health and safety nightmares; instead try husbandry training like this fantastic example.

A streaker!

Squishy and stretchy; dogs squeeeeeeezing through cat-doors!

And my favourite clip this week; it’s always the little ones!

So many great bits and pieces, we might even have enough for another WWW this week!

Training Game 1.4

Tricks for Treats

Trick training is a fun way for your dog to earn his lunch and for you to really get into teaching your dog behaviours.

Keep it light, keep it fun  and remember, it’s all tricks to your dog!


Today’s Games

Time Allowance:
Practice for 1-2 minute sessions and then take a break. Have a few  sessions today and tomorrow.

Try fitting  each short session into your routine; for example, while you wait for the kettle to boil, during the ad break of your TV show or while you wait for the computer to start up.

Family Participation:
Kids are often great dog trainers. Teach each child how to lure safely.
If your dog is mouthy,  jumpy or likely to get over-excited it might be best for you to get the behaviours established and then bring in the kids to help with practice.
Always supervise child-dog interactions and make sure children learn to leave the dog alone when eating his rewards.

Top Tip for Today’s Training Games:

When you are just starting with a new behaviour (for you or your dog) work in a low distraction situation, such as inside the house, so that both you and your dog can concentrate on learning the new behaviour.


Let’s start with luring – this is a way of teaching dogs simple behaviours by guiding their body into position with a food reward or toy right on their nose.

A small food reward, like a piece of kibble, is best to start with as it can be hidden in your hand easily.

The mechanics of luring start with how you hold the lure:


Hold the lure under your thumb and against your fingers. Present the back of your fingers to the dog though.
This helps to avoid your dog mouthing at the lure in your fingers.


Move the lure down to your palm when you reward the dog.


Deliver the lure, as a reward, on your flat palm. This is a safer reward presentation and reduces your dog’s teeth catching your hand.



Hold the lure right at your dog’s nose and move it slowly until they are in position. Say YES! and release the lure to reward them.

Think of the lure like a magnet…

If your dog’s nose isn’t right at the lure (remember, it’s a magnet) you’re moving too fast or in the wrong position.

Luring properly can take quite a bit of practice but we’ll keep it simple with some cute tricks to get you started.

Beginner Level Tricks

Sit Pretty

Ask your dog to sit, or lure him into sit position.

Slowly raise the lure, right at your dog’s nose, straight up above his head.

When he lifts his front legs off the floor, say YES! and release the lure to reward him.

Repeat until your dog promptly follows the lure straight up, and supports his weight, front legs off the floor.



Decide whether you are going to teach a clockwise or anti-clockwise spin – it doesn’t matter to your dog but will be confusing if you chop and change.

Hold your lure right at your dog’s nose and move it straight out at his chin-height.

Guide him slowly around in a circle, back toward his tail.

When he completes the circle, say YES! and release the lure to reward him.


Advanced Level Tricks

Leg Weaves

This is a more complex trick that involves teaching a couple of behaviours. We lure the dog in a figure-of-8 movement around our legs.

leg weaves

Practice luring your dog in a spin before trying this one, to really get the hang of moving the dog with a lure.

Have a lure in each hand.

Hold your left lure behind your back and drop it down between your legs, behind your left thigh.

Encourage your dog to move toward it by moving between your legs.

Lure him around to the front of your left leg.

Say YES! and release the lure to reward your dog at the inside of your left leg.

Immediately repeat on your right side.


After some practice you will be able to work with only one lure, the one in your right hand.

Roll Over

Ask your dog to lie down, or lure him into a down position.

Wait for your dog to choose a hip to rest his weight on, or lure him to one side or the other.

Guide your dog’s head back toward the opposite hip.

Lure your dog’s head up and over so that he lies on his side. You can continue to lure your dog over all the way or choose to reward him at this stage.


The key to luring is getting rid of the lure!

We certainly don’t want to have to lure the dog with a food reward every time we want the dog to do a behaviour so as soon as the dog is doing the behaviour by following the lure, we will begin to fade the lure and eventually get rid of it altogether.

First stage is to fade the lure so that it’s less about the lure and more about being rewarded for the behaviour:

  • once your dog is performing the behaviour every time you lure him, keep the lure working but don’t let the dog have it – when he completes the behaviour, say YES! and reward him with a food reward from your other hand


  • with some practice, switch to using the lure every second time – keep your hand in the same position, as if you had the lure in there – say YES! and reward the dog from your other hand
  • after a few repetitions, switch to using no lure at all and instead just say YES! and reward the dog from your other hand


Once the behaviour is reliable, start working without a lure:


Now your dog is performing the behaviour on your hand signal (empty hand)! Because English is a second language to your dog we will use your hand signal to teach the dog your verbal cue (a word).


Start adding your verbal cue once your dog is following your hand signal:

  • say the word you have chosen to call the behaviour – it can be any word you like – before you move your hand signal
  • say YES! and reward your dog



You might use a body movement, rather than a verbal cue too:


When the dog is performing the behaviour on verbal cue we can begin to think about reducing the number of food rewards.

If you would bet €50 that your dog will do the behaviour when you ask him, you can start to reduce the number of food rewards! Doing so before this may weaken the reliability of the behaviour – don’t un-do your hard work!

Do you have a favourite trick you are working on? Practice that one instead, having your dog earn his Training Mix!

Let’s see those tricks – wow us!