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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter Trick for You + Your Side Kick!

Holding a Bone on the Nose Trick then Flipping It Off and Catching It

You've heard it right!  Teaching "tricks" to your dog is a fun and healthy way to build a bond with your favorite Side Kick.  Also, training sessions fulfill your dog's need for continuous learning and stimulation, which is a great complementary activity during months of limited outdoor exercise.  It is also fun and you have something to show off to your friends.

Many tricks have several behaviors combined and the "trick" can have some influence on the dogs behavior in other areas.  The bone on the nose trick is comprised of Sit, Stay, and Facial Handling. It builds self control and focus in the dog which can be helpful in day to day life with your dog.

Use a small puppy bone biscuit or cheerios work well for small dogs or short nosed dogs. 

Once your dog knows sit, stay, and will let you handle his face you can teach this trick.  Stand behind the dog while they are in a sit stay.  Put one hand under his chin and take the dog bone and gently place it on their nose.  It is helpful to give the stay command again while you place the bone.  Start with only a few seconds of the bone sitting on the nose.  Remove the bone, praise, and let the dog eat it.  Gradually build up the time.  When you can tell your dog understands to not move with the bone on his nose slowly begin to remove your hand from under his chin.

When you can remove your hands from his face and he waits patiently with the bone until you remove it you can add the second part of flipping it off their nose and catching it.  While the bone is on the dogs nose tell him "get it" when he flips the bone off he can eat it if he catches it.  If he misses grab the bone and don't let him have it.  Pretty soon he will understand that he doesn't get the cookie unless he catches it.  

Have fun with this -- don't get frustrated if your dog takes some time to understand.  Keep the training sessions short and happy!

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