20 Uses for Dog Tricks

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The following article was provided by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. For more great training tips from the APDT, visit TrainYourDogMonth.com.

20 Uses for Dog Tricks

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  1. Tricks engage your dog’s mind and provide mental exercise.
  2. Tricks are fun and make the learning process for children (and adults!) more enjoyable.
  3. Tricks can make breeds with a “bad reputation” look friendlier.
  4. Tricks can help make shelter dogs more adoptable.
  5. Tricks can be used to solve barking: A dog who barks at visitors could be taught to go get a toy and hold it in his mouth instead.
  6. Tricks can be used to solving jumping on people: A dog who jumps to greet people could be taught to sit and wave instead.
  7. Tricks are a great way to strengthen the dog-owner bond. People are relaxed when teaching tricks and it’s great fun for dog and owner.
  8. Tricks add variety to training.
  9. Tricks allow you to “show off” what you’ve accomplished with your dog.
  10. Tricks can be practiced indoors or out, regardless of the weather.
  11. Tricks can be used to help endear your dog to someone not traditionally a dog lover.
  12. Tricks increase your dog’s repertoire of behaviors. The more your dog learns, the better your dog learns and the more mentally engaged he will be.
  13. Tricks are more fun to teach for people “put off” by obedience training: “Bang you’re dead” is the same behavior to your dog as “down” — but you have fun with it.
  14. Tricks provide a way to practice your dog’s “manners.”
  15. Tricks are entertaining and they can make people think you and your dog are both geniuses!
  16. Tricks can be useful. For example, teach your dog to get your slippers or bring in the newspaper on rainy days.
  17. Tricks engage the entire family, particularly children.
  18. Tricks make you laugh!
  19. Tricks can be entertaining for people on therapy visits at places like hospitals.
  20. Tricks can distract a reactive dog from something that scares him.

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