All of the SuperStart tricks in one place!
Filming each sessions I have put together a training video so hopefully you can sucessfully teach your dogs how to backup!
With this trick I like using two surfaces so the dog can easily understand what is being rewarded and hopefully they offer the behaviour on their own.
In this case I am using hardwoodflooring and having Loki back up onto the carpet. In my first session I somewhat lure him onto the carpet and reward. I do this for less than 5 min and than allow him to take a nap and get some water.
For the next few sessions I continue to lure until I feel he is starting to understand what is being rewarded. On my fifth session I start to wait till he offers even just one step backwards and I reward.
This trick shouldnt take very long but keep it fun and be patient!
Say Your Prayers!
This trick goes into two steps. Paws up & Pray.
I start on paws up by luring the dog into a sit pretty and waiting to see if they will place a paw on my arm. Rewarding for one paw and two. Once you have that mastered, start to place your hand with a cookie under your arm. Normally a dog will drop a paw to look. Keep trying until you get a solid pray and reward!
As seen in the video the duration gets longer and longer.
Once you think the dog understands what you're asking, add a cue.
Open & Close
Something I highly recommend is looking up all of the pet friendly places in your area. I hit the lottery when I found an outdoor mall that allows dogs in almost all of the stores.
Not only did Loki get to meet tons of people but he also got to get desensitized to some unique noises and sights! They had a light show with fire,water and amazing music.
Working on some tricks, recall and just overall listening in these new places is a fantastic way to spend time with your pup!
Let's learn to KLIMB!
If you haven't already heard of the Blue-9 KLIMB you need to go over to their website and check them out! (Click on the Klimb photo above)
"The Klimb is a specially designed dog training platform that improves a dog's focus by elevating them off the ground and making training more effective".
This was Loki's very first Klimb training session and so far I am beyond pleased with his progress! Both of my other dogs are trained to use this pedestal and its worked wonders with Marvel's reactivity training. Also in this video I was training during a huge storm.
Orbit is a trick I have been doing for a while that is something people love to see! It's easy to teach and helps the dog understand where his paws are. It can be called anything, I have heard people call it reverse and back up.
This is only Loki's first session.
This is the continuation to learning the trick. After your pup proves he/she understands what is being asked, I move to using a hand gesture instead of my entire body. I also work on both sides as you can see in the video. At the end of the video you'll see Loki working on his paw coordination, I love this exercise.
Just like teaching spin, I use a very similar format to get to the final behavior. With a flick of the wrist I allow the dog to think about what is being asked and give him the opportunity to successfully offer the behavior. I like to call this behavior "turn" and eventually when teaching Orbit I will call make it mean multiple things.
Orbit Around You!
Now that I have spent a good amount of time working on the foundations for this trick, it was no problem for Loki to pick up the new behaviour. I wont start naming this trick untill I can have my hand high above his head and lure in a circle.
I'll be honest. Teaching this trick is time consuming and frustrating. I love this trick for photos, but it also helps with body awareness and control. There are several ways of teaching this trick. In the video, you will see a few methods combined for the best results!
I like to start off using a toy or item the dog likes to hold already. Once he starts to learn the behaviour, I move on to weird objects like metal, plastic and paper.
Cross Paws & Hold IT
I picked two tricks to work on this week.
Crossing Paws is a great trick to help with coordination, now Loki is picking up on it pretty quickly. There are plenty of methods to teaching this behavior and I got the best result with the one shown in the video.
This trick should be worked on about three times a day for a few weeks.
Learning to use their paws is a pretty important skill for a puppy to have. I like teaching small behaviours that include using a paw or two. In this video, you can see me teaching Loki how to properly ring a service bell.
This behaviour is super cute and not only helps the dog with learning how to use his paws, but helps with surfaces.
This is a trick with many names but one purpose : entertainment! I always have so much fun looking down at an adorable little face looking back up at me! Many people also enjoy this trick because people are always in aww by it!
Now to teach this trick, I break it into two parts. (Start) & (Paws Up)
Start is a widely used obedience position. I use it to get my dogs out of the way of other people when in a crowded area. Its main use for me is for this trick. Once your dog is comfortable with this position you can move on to teaching your pup to place his paws on your feet. I like to start this with large shoes, giving your dog a larger surfaces to use.
If your dog isn't good with his paws, you can place a treat over his head. This will make him/her raise his front paws to try and reach the reward. Simply move your feet inwards and when your pup drops to the ground, their paws will land on on your feet! Reward for one paw and reward for two. Just take your time!
This trick is something I like to wait and allow the dog to figure out. I can move around the box to help with a higher success rate, but normally I just point to the toy and allow the dog to figure out what is being asked. As you can see in the video Loki was having no problem with bringing the toy back to the box BUT he is having issues with keeping his paws out of the box. I solved this by raising the box in order to prevent him from bending down to drop the toy in.
The reason behind me rewarding away from the box is to not have his paws in the box along with getting him ready to fetch another toy. This trick normally involves more than one toy to fetch!
If you are having issues getting your pup to target the toy to the box, Here is a SUPER old video of Puppy Hero learning this trick from scratch!
Due to a high demand, I decided to supply you with a tutorial on how to teach sit pretty. This trick is extremely easy BUT takes a ton of dedication and patience. The key is how much you work on it, 5-10 minutes a day several times a day for weeks at a time and you will have this trick mastered!!
Honestly it's just a lot of luring, treats and patience!
Jump In My Arms
Many people teach this trick for a celebration after a good agility run or just to have an easy way to pick up their dog. I use this trick for several reasons and those vary between dogs. Teaching this behaviour not only has a lot to do with the dog but everything to do with the person. It took me several months to be able to catch my 50lb dog. Once mastered it's a wonderful trick to show friends and family along with using it outside of entertainment.
The first step is to have your dog jump on your lap while you sit on a couch or chair. Once your pup is comfortable with that you need to fade the sitting to a slope. I do this by leaning on a wall,tree or couch.
The final step comes with confidence from both dog and handler!
A fun trick I enjoy teaching is to limp! I named this trick (Ouch) because why not! The steps are simple but the trick takes a while to build up the muscle memory. Just like a sit pretty, this trick takes around a month to master. I start off by teaching the dog to stand on que.
Once they have mastered that I cue for a paw and reward. I start to expect a longer duration for the hold and continue to reward. This can be easily done by holding your hand out and waiting for the dog to try and place their paw in your hand. The final step is to get some walking steps. I simply que for the paw and step backwards.
Many people enjoy this trick for photos. I teach it for photos and to improve my dogs coordination and balancing skills. Teaching this trick your pup will need to have an independent sit pretty.
The steps are simple, cue a sit pretty and place the toy in between your dog's paws. Reward for any small signs of a hug. With time and patience you will have a solid hug in no time! You can easily transfer the hug to other objects, dog's or people!
Backing up with a twist!
Let's get some body awareness! At this point our pups all know how to back up. Something fun I like to work on is backing up a flight of stairs! I start this off with just rewarding for a single step, and rewarding after every other step. This is a super fun exercise that can be done a few times a day.
At 6 months old I normally start teaching my dogs the foundations for a handstand. This is a fantastic rear-end awareness exercise. Most people think of a handstand as a harmful trick especially to younger dogs, except that's not what it is at all! You're building your dog's muscles and core strength. If done properly you will achieve a walking handstand at your dog's own pace.