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I once read a book about dog tricks and it explained how to train your dog to turn lights on and off, open doors (by pulling rags tied to handles), etc. We didn't have much success with "sit", so these things were pretty much out of the picture, but I was wondering if anyone here has managed to train their dog to do anything cool?
 

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One of my dog do know how to open the door. I dun tie rags to the handle, he is just tall enough to reach it. It is not recommented if there are some rooms that you actually do not want him to enter.

"sit" is pretty easy to train especially when your dog is still a puppy.
 

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Emma can target. She can "bang bang" play dead.. I can put her in a down and walk away... She has reliable recall....she can heel...she can sit... She'll climb onto the car hood on cue...shakes with both paws....sits up... sits up and high fives....spins on cue...knows what "off" and "on" mean...goes to her crate on cue...reliably fetches.... i could go on and on.... and thats just one of the mutts...

you can train a dog at ANY age...in fact IMO adults are easier because they are less distracted. I adopted Emma at 8 years old... One year ago.



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Training can be lots of fun for you and your dog. In addition to heeling, coming front and finishing, sit, stand and down stays and the other basic obedience trial stuff, retrieving, show posing, rally and agility stuff, I have taught my dogs tons of tricks. They close doors and drawers, get me tissues, pick up their bowls after eating and bring them to me at the sink, find and deliver things on walks, get toys by name, etc. But for me the real fun are the silly things. I had one that would whisper in my ear on the cue "tell me a secret", some "raise your hand", some play patty-cake, some dance, several cock their heads on cue ("what do you think?"), a couple shake their heads 'no' on the cue "you wouldn't do that, would you?", and lot of other fun things. One of my favorites (don't try this at home :D) we called "got rabies?" and my girl would bare her teeth and snap in your face. You had to know her - it was totally in control and funny - no thought of aggression involved. I always joked that I was training her in case she got a starring role in Old Yeller. -- Guess I should have mentioned these were/are all Labs. My Old Yeller is over Rainbow Bridge now, no doubt using her brilliant mind to be the Queen in heaven.

The more things you teach your dog the smarter they become and the deeper your relationship grows. Dogs love to be challenged and, if you make it fun, most of them love to learn. It doesn't matter how old they are - it's never too late. I love to train little puppies, but I rescue dogs and foster dogs of all ages and they all get training if they come to my house!
 

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My cat used to jump on the door handle and Bonzo my pekinese would push the door open...a joint effort but not taught by anyone just worked out by themselves!!!
 

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my dog also can play dead but she also can hold her own leash and follow me when i ask her to hold something she will hold until i say give
 

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The more things you teach your dog the smarter they become and the deeper your relationship grows.
Is that right? I get the bonding and deeper relationship but training your dog makes it smarter?

I think its the other way around, you know, a smart dog can be trained faster. People and dogs don't learn to be smart, but being smart helps learning!
 

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One of our dogs can shake, roll over, high five, camando crawl, play dead, and his best trick...sexy bark!
 

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Is that right? I get the bonding and deeper relationship but training your dog makes it smarter?

I think its the other way around, you know, a smart dog can be trained faster. People and dogs don't learn to be smart, but being smart helps learning!
People and dogs can learn how to learn and that makes them smarter than if you had not trained them at all. If you put a child in a room and didn't teach him anything he would not be as smart when he grew up as he would be if you taught him things beginning when they were young. Likewise, if you take a puppy or young dog and leave him to his own devises without training, he will not be as smart as he would be if you trained him lots of different things all along. Teaching dogs many things helps them get more tuned in and they understand when you are trying to teach them something new. That makes them more likely to actively participate in trying to figure out what you are trying to teach, which makes training faster and more successful.

Certainly some dogs are born smarter than others, just as people are, and smart dogs can be easier to train (unless they are smarter than the trainer :)). But dog that is born "not as smart" as another dog and has been trained many things all along will effectively be much smarter than a dog that is born with a "better brain" but never trained.
 

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Hudson knows some of the basics but the best is when he dances on his hind legs to music when my husband and I say "come on Hudson lets dance!" It's so cute! He may not be the "smartest dog", but he sure knows how to have fun and make us laugh!
 

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That was so cool! Mine would trip me and take off with the bag of treats!! hahaha! Thanks for sharing!
 

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Most of the stuff I train is more for convenience than cuteness. I trained mine to laydown before she can leave the back yard. Otherwise she would charge by at mock five. Now she has extrapolated the trick and whenever she really wants anything she lays down. It's kinda funny to see a dog lay down in such an intense way like she does cuz she is dying to get something from me!

I also trained mine to allow me to brush her teeth using an electric toothbrush. Dogs will learn a lot if you tempt them with bacon fat!

I trained her to always show herself whenever I say "wheres my Sessa?" That way, I can find her if we are out hiking. I don't always want her to come, just want to check to see if she is OK and still near.

I trained her to play hide and seek. I hide and she seeks. She seems to really like the game. We always play in the yard so I think she knows it's a game.
-Eva
 
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