A woman is playing with a dog and a frisbee outdoors.

36 Simple Tricks to Teach Your Dog

8 min read

Dogs love to spend quality time with their owners — it’s a fact. But besides cuddling, walking, and running around, you can also introduce some teaching and make your mutual activities more useful and, of course, even more fun. On this page, we’ve selected the best and the simplest tricks to teach your dog — it may take some time to try and learn them all but we are not in a hurry, don’t we?

Some owners have their unique way of teaching a dog and if you are among them, then just stick to it for these tricks as well. If both you and your pet are newbies in the world of dog tricks, we recommend using a clicker and treats as it’s the easiest way to teach your dog to do things.

To Begin With

A woman is teaching her dog to lay down.
Basic tricks comprise simple commands that take little time to teach your dog.

Let’s start with the basic tricks to warm up.

Sit

Sitting is probably the first trick every owner attempts to teach his dog. It’s rather easy to master (just wait until your pet sits, then click and give it a treat. Repeat as many times as needed) and is also useful as you can make a dog sit when you need it to, instead of jumping around.

Wait

“Wait” is a simple command that can help your dog train its self-control and calmness. You can use it before some more complicated tasks or when you need your pet to stay calm and wait for you.

Down

The “down” command might be used when you need your dog to lay down or as a preparation for more complicated tricks like rolling over, playing dead, etc.

Give a Paw

Asking a paw is basically the first thing we do when encountering any cute pup, isn't it? Teaching your dog how to give a paw is a nice way for you two to bond as well as the way to bring a smile on the face of everyone who meets your pet.

Bark

Teaching your dog to bark on your command might take a little extra patience when compared with the previous tricks yet it’s still pretty manageable. Make sure your dog knows this command before you try the next one.

Quiet

Quiet is a command you can use after asking your dog to bark. Besides, this trick will come handy to the owners of loud dogs — ask them to stay quiet and enjoy a (quick) moment of silence.

Next Step

A dog is rolling over with a ball in its mouth.
These tricks are more complicated but they can be more fun for both you and your dog.

These tricks a slightly more complicated but still not too difficult to master, especially if your dog is a quick learner.

Go to Bed

Want to tell your dog that it’s time to call it a day and go to sleep? Try to “go to bed” or “go to your place” trick. It can also be used when you are busy doing something around the house and want a dog out of your way.

Give a Kiss

Dogs are usually happy to give their humans multiple kisses without any tricks and commands. But if you want to keep it under your control, teach your doggy a “kiss” trick.

Swap a Paw

If you already taught your dog a “give a paw” trick, you can now teach it how to swap paws. You might want to use an “another one” command or any other one you prefer. If you want to make this trick more complicated, you can teach a dog to give two paws at the same time.

Catch

Dream of playing frisbee with your dog? It will definitely require learning a “catch” command. Let the dog start with catching treats and then change over to other things.

Fetch

If you want a dog not only to catch things but also to bring them back to you, a “fetch” trick is the one you need. Teach it to your pet and you can have hours of “fetch a stick” game later.

Roll Over

Teaching a dog to roll over doesn’t really have any practical application but it’s just a fun thing to do. Make sure your pet knows the “down” command before you start teaching it this one.

Have Fun

A dog is jumping over the stick.
Have you seen such a tiny dog jumping over a stick? Then it's time to try this trick!

Some tricks look like they are of no use before you try them. They are fun to teach if you are a dog-owner, fun to do if you are a dog, and fun to watch if you are anyone around.

Play Dead

Play dead is a dog trick usually used to impress your friends and it looks like dogs tend to love it. It’s especially fun if you accompany this trick with a “bang” command while keeping your fingers like a gun.

Spin

Teaching your dog how to spin is a first step to winning a talent show, believe us.

Leap

You’ll need a stick to teach this trick. Lay it on the ground and teach your dog to jump over it. After some time, try to keep a stick above the ground, moving it higher and higher to make a trick more impressive. You can also use this trick when you want your dog to jump over a puddle to save some time washing its paws.

Beg

Also known as “hands up” and “sit pretty”, this trick will ensure you a ton of cute Instagram pics while your dog will learn how to ask anyone out there for a treat.

Find a Treasure

While this trick might lead to a lot of digging in your yard, it’s still very fun to do. You’ll need to hide a toy or a treat somewhere in the ground and teach your dog to find it. Note: use this command when you need to dig a hole and your dog is around. 

Crawl

Teach your pup how to crawl so that it can impress the audience with the full-on commando look when you ask for it. 

Useful Tricks

A dog is lying in bed with a woman.
A dog can help you wake up in a good mood early in the mornings.

While some tricks are just fun and entertaining to do, these can be rather useful.

Ring a Bell

If you place a bell on your door, you can teach your dog to use it every time it needs to go out. You can also place it outside so that a dog can ask to come inside when it’s done with playing in a yard.

Do Your Business

This trick will come extremely useful during the bad weather when you need your dog to do its things quickly and run away back under the blanket. Eliminating on command might be harder to master but it’s worth it.

Fetch Your Leash

Get ready for your dog to be super-excited about this trick as putting on a leash obviously means going out for a walk.

Open/Close a Door

Once you teach your dog to open and close a door, your chances to teach it how to fetch a drink from a refrigerator or a newspaper out of the mailbox significantly increase. Remember that dogs can only open some kind of doors — you can make this task easier by attaching a piece of cloth to a latch so the dog can pull it.

Put Toys Away

In this trick, you teach a dog to put its toys away back to a box or a basket. It can also work with putting clothes into a laundry bin in case you need some help with housework.

Wake Somebody Up

It’s a handy trick when you have kids who you need to wake up for school — there are no doubts that warm dog’s kisses are much more pleasant than a loud sound of the alarm. This trick is also often used by dog owners living with a deaf person.

Play to The Crowd

A dog is playing the piano.
Are you ready to impress everyone around? Why don't you teach your dog to play the piano?

The following tricks are made to impress the audience. Use them one by one or stage the whole circus-like performance.

Count

Even though it sounds more like magic, you can teach your dog to count, or at least to make it look like it can count. In fact, you just teach a dog to bark until you give a sign to stop. 

Learn names

Learning names is a necessary command if you want to teach your dog to bring you things. It will take some time but in the end, you can make a dog remember the names of your kids, neighbors, the name of remote control, slippers, the dog’s food bowl, etc. 

Jump Through a Hoop

If your dog already mastered the “leap” trick, you can upgrade it to jumping through a hoop and make yourself look like a real animal handler. 

Play the Piano

Don’t expect the Moonlight Sonata to be performed but at least you can teach a dog to make some sounds on a small piano.

Play Basketball

You are a fan of basketball but have no one to play with? Your dog can become your perfect fluffy partner as soon as you teach it to put a ball in a basket. 

Take a Bow

The best way to end your performance is to take an elegant bow. This trick is actually very easy and requires nothing but a treat to teach. 

Other Tricks

Here are some fun tricks that didn’t find their place in the previous parts. 

Wave 

Teaching your dog to wave hello or goodbye is a nice trick that can also save your guests from excessively enthusiastic jumping and barking. 

Go Backwards 

If your dog already knows how to spin, you can teach it to go backward and combine these two moves in a funny dance. 

Walk Tall

If you are ready to make your dance even more complicated and draw a round of applause, teaching a dog to walk on its hind legs is a perfect option. 

Pass a Note 

After you teach your dog this trick, you’ll be able to send your loved ones cute notes around the house. Or the shopping lists. 

Wolf

A dog’s howling sounds nice and cute, especially when the dogs try to sing along with the music. You can actually teach your dog to howl like a wolf to add one more impressive trick to your collection. 

Balance

This trick teaches your dog patience, first of all. You place a piece of treat (preferably a biscuit) on a dog's nose and let it balance until you ask a dog to give it back to you.

Whatever trick you choose, it’s important to stay relaxed and patient as your main goal here is to have fun together with a dog and not to reach the dramatic academic results. 

by GetESA

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ESA 101: Educational