Here’s What You Said: Your pets’ best tricks


At 18, Chloe has learned to “shake.”

In our January newsletter, we asked if you had taught your pet any special tricks.

Lissa says she has been trying to teach her cat tricks for years, but 18-year-old Chloe (pictured) just recently learned how to give paw. It shows, Lissa says, that you can teach an old cat new tricks.

Jennifer writes that, at the beginning of the school year, the family’s puppy, Daisy, followed her up the stairs to wake up her kids. After a few weeks, Daisy took the job on as her own. Now all Jennifer has to say is “Go wake up the kids,” and off Daisy goes. She kisses them awake — a good way to start any day.

Many of you have trained your dogs to ring a bell when they want to go
out. Here’s how Christina trained her pet, Cinnamon, to do this trick:
“I took a little jingle bell suspended on a ribbon and hung it from the
door handle. Then I took Cinni and told him when he wants to go out,
‘You jump up (I lifted up the top half of his body with his hind legs
still on the floor), paws up (I stretched his two front paws up to reach
the bell), DOINK (I clapped his front paws together to ring the bell),
good boy (I petted and praised him).’ I did this five or six times, then
I opened the door for him. After about one week of this, he got it.
Now whenever he wants to go out, he rings the bell. Whenever I tell him
to ‘go make a doink,’ he goes to the door and does it.”

Roni’s dog has learned several commands, but the best one is
rescuing the family’s blind Schnauzer when he wanders into the shrubs at
the back of the yard. “All I have to say is ‘Go find Max,’ ” Roni says.

Some pets dance for goodies. Nancy’s miniature Poodle dances on her hind legs for a treat. Susan’s cat Red hops on his back feet for a
tidbit. “I hope all the treats [I’ve given him] to do this don’t add weight to make him
off-balance,” she says.

Barbara and her dog Astrid, a registered therapy dog, visit nursing homes and Alzheimer’s centers together. They always bring smiles to the patients’ faces when Barbara asks Astrid what to
do in a fire. Astrid promptly stops, drops and rolls.
(See a video of Astrid doing her trick here.)

Gisa’s Border Collie mix, Chica, figured out how to turn the doorknob to
get out. Gisa started latching the door, but after watching Gisa a few times, Chica learned to turn the knob and
flick the latch. “So I now have to lock the door with my key,” Gisa says, “but I’d
better not leave the key in the door, because she figured out real fast
how to turn the key, flick the latch, turn the knob and get out.”

Thanks to all of you for responding to our newsletter question. We love to hear from you.

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