After you have house-trained your puppy, his education doesn’t have to stop there. Like people, dogs have an endless capacity for learning. Your dog will be happy to learn many fun things with you. In addition to sports and activities like agility, flyball, rally, and other athletic pursuits, you can teach your dog some more specialized training.
Canine Freestyle (Doggy Dancing)
If you and your dog enjoy obedience training then you may want to consider canine freestyle or, is it’s often called, dog dancing. Canine freestyle involves teaching your dog good heel work. If your dog is able to heel off-leash then he can learn to follow your movements as you move through a dance routine. You can add extra moves for your dog, such as jumps and bows. Once your dog knows the basics there’s no end to how far the two of you can go. Several organizations offer demonstrations and events in the United States. Canine freestyle is always a great crowd pleaser and its fun for dogs and their owners, too.
Everyone knows that dogs have a great sense of smell. A dog’s nose has many hundreds of times more sense receptors than a human nose. That’s why dogs are so successful when it comes to finding game and working with humans to detect drugs, bombs and other things. You can put your dog’s nose to work to let him learn tracking skills. Contrary to popular belief, a dog doesn’t have to be a Bloodhound to become a tracking dog. Dogs from many breeds, including mixed breeds, can learn to track. Some of these dogs can become search and rescue dogs or at least enjoy part-time tracking work. Some people have even trained their dogs to help track missing pets.
Any dog can learn tricks at home and any owner can teach their dog a few tricks. The tricks don’t have to be complicated. Most dogs learn very quickly if you just take the time to teach them. You can teach your dog to roll over, to give you a high five, to fetch your newspaper, to stand and dance — to do virtually anything. All you have to do is figure out a way to communicate what you want to your dog. If your dog is physically capable of performing the moves then you have a good chance of succeeding. You may be amazed when you watch dogs in movies or on TV but you can teach your own dog to do many of the things you see these acting dogs do.
For instance, if you want to teach your dog to give you a high five all you need to do is touch his paw with your hand. When he picks up his paw praise him and give him a small treat. Repeat this a couple of times asking him to do it with some phrase such as “High Five!” When you say the phrase and your dog picks up his paw, praise and reward your dog. Keep asking your dog to do this and have him touch your own hand to get his praise and reward. Keep doing this until your dog is touching his paw to your hand in a high five, a little higher each time. It’s not hard to teach at all.
There are lots of fun things to do with your dog and lots of fun things you can teach him. Spend some quality time with your dog and it will be fun for both of you.