Do you play with your dog? How many dog tricks can your dog do? Dogs are such playful animals by nature! We humans (adults anyway) can get too serious and need a reminder from our dogs of how much fun life is meant to be.
Dog tricks and games also do serve the purpose of furthering our training too. The dog doesn’t know that rolling over is a game but coming when called isn’t. It’s all part of the great game of life!
Here’s a dog trick you and your dog can have fun with. It’s adapted from 101 Dog Tricks, by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy. Kyra (human) and Chalcy (Weimaraner) are dog trick show performers. More about the book further down the page… now, here’s an interesting trick!
Balance and Catch
WHAT IT IS:
Your sitting dog balances a treat or a toy on his nose and hold it there. You say “Catch!” and he tosses it into the air and catches it before it hits the floor.
1. With your dog in a sit, hold his muzzle parallel to the floor and put a treat on his nose. Say “wait.” If you have a short-nosed breed, like a pug, this trick is harder but you could try a wet noodle or other bendable treat.
2. After a few seconds, let go of the dog and tell him “Catch!” At first the dog may allow the treat or toy to fall to the floor but if that keeps happening, pretend to race the dog to the treat and he will more likely catch it in midair.
TIPS: This will be easier for some dogs than for others, but all can enjoy it and benefit from practicing it. You will need to figure out where the best place is on your dog’s nose, in terms of balance.
The book starts out with basics like sitting and coming, and progresses through increasingly difficult tricks. I personally would never teach “Bring Me a Beer from the Fridge,” because once my dogs knew how to open the fridge, they wouldn’t go for the beer! (She does warn about that. Maybe if you had a small fridge in your family room…. dogs aren’t that good at generalizing, like from one fridge to another.)