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what age to start tricks?

dog woman
October 2nd, 2006, 02:23 PM
I am new to this board and new to own a puppy she is a jack russel almost 13 weeks old what age should start to teach her tricks?? I was think wait untiol after she is potty trained or is that too late?? any tips on easy tricks my 11 yr old son can do with her ( it is his dog) we would love all or any advice

October 2nd, 2006, 02:32 PM
I'd focus on simple obedience first. Things like sit,down,stay. Sit is pretty easy-have a piece of kibble/treat in your hand. Move it to it's nose and then move it up and and back. The dog will instinctively follow the treat and sit. All this would be taught in puppy kindergarden. I'd highly recommend it. Jacks are pretty smart/stubborn little creatures. The more discipline they have the better your household will be.
Hope this helps.

October 2nd, 2006, 03:33 PM
I agree. Work on the basics before making things complicated. And for that, you can start any time, but remember to keep it fun, and if the puppy gets too distracted, chances are the training sessions might be too long.

October 2nd, 2006, 06:34 PM
Get her to sit down before she gets her food, for a start. When she's getting the potty training, have her sit before she goes out the door.

I found that by watching what they are already doing, you can reinforce a behaviour with praise and treats and they will learn a trick quickly (when she's a bit older.) So, for example, if she is sitting and waiting for a treat and starts to reach out a paw, say "Shake!", gently take her paw, call her a good girl and then give the treat. She'll pick up on it in no time!

October 2nd, 2006, 08:14 PM
So, for example, if she is sitting and waiting for a treat and starts to reach out a paw, say "Shake!", gently take her paw, call her a good girl and then give the treat. She'll pick up on it in no time!

I am completely unsuccessful at teaching this trick :shrug:

But I agree with everyone else, work on obedience first and make sure training is positive. Make it fun, but also make it stick.

jesse's mommy
October 2nd, 2006, 08:37 PM
Don't worry erykah, Jesse can't shake either. She refuses to do it. She just stares at me with a sarcastic look like, "yeah, I just might do that". :frustrated:

October 2nd, 2006, 09:08 PM
Kita will do it if SHE feels like it, but not if im asking.
Meik will only shake for my dad, he looks at me as if to say "huh, nope, this isnt your trick, only pappa's"
I have never actually ever had a dog who would shake when i asked.

October 2nd, 2006, 09:35 PM
I am a huge believer in trick training - I agree that the basics are necessary but tricks get your dog thinking and improves your bond. I teach tricks and OB commands at the same time and started a few days after I found Dodger (6 weeks old).
Trick training is really fun for both dogs and handlers, there's no pressure, only fun learning (which is often lacking in OB). Go into an OB, then a trick class and you will notice the difference immediately (you will see it to in courses that incorporate tricks and OB vs one's that focus on OB exclusively). Dogs and handlers relax and approach trick training in a light, carefree manner - OUR attitudes change and our dogs respond with eagerness and enthusiasm.
Tricks are the "extras" so basic OB should come first to a certain extent but incorporating tricks into OB sessions motivates both the dog and handler!
The easiest tricks to teach are one's that come naturally to your dog - it could be shaking a paw, speaking, rolling over, retrieving etc... The easiest way to "teach" tricks (particularly at this young age) is to capture, praise and treat whenever your dog does the desired behaviour on her own. You don't have to add a cue until she realizes what she is being praised for. However, you do need to be careful what you are teaching her - if you praise and treat everytime she speaks, you could be teaching a not so desireable behaviour as she grows (to combat this you can teach the quiet command and/or only reward when you ask for it). I must also emphasize that a "treat" is NOT (and shouldn't) just be food related! It is anything that motivates your dog - anything she is willing to work for - which could be food, toys, tugging or praise etc...
There's loads of "tricks" that you can teach that are obedience related - retrieving, proofing leave it and targeting are all good OB skills but can be turned into impressive tricks as you increase the difficulty!

I am surprised that some of your dogs don't like to shake, is it because they don't like their paws handled? It's not exactly a calming signal, but it is a natural appeasement gesture. Maybe you can try paw targeting?