New Tricks To Teach Your Dog And How To Train Them

Dog tricks are a great way to enrich your dog’s life. If you’re looking for tricks to teach your dog, the good news is, there are plenty out there to choose from.

· 6 min read

Dog tricks are a great way to enrich your dog’s life. If you’re looking for tricks to teach your dog, the good news is, there are plenty out there to choose from. Finding new and fun tricks to teach your dog is a fantastic way for you to connect with your dog, bond with them, be playful with them, reward them, and bring you closer together. When you teach your dog new tricks and reward them, you’re deepinging the level of trust between you two. Whether it’s basic commands like sit or something more complex like sit pretty, they get a lot out of it. Dogs typically enjoy pleasing their owners and playing with them by performing dog tricks.

Dog tricks help strengthen your dog’s cognitive health due to the brain stimulation required to master these tricks.

Dogs also enjoy enriching their lives by learning new tricks, and they of course enjoy the praise they get when they master the tricks to teach your dog you’ve been tying out.

It doesn’t matter how old your dog is either; the concept of an old dog being unable to learn new tricks is pretty outdated. Many older dogs love training sessions because it gives them a great mental workout. In this guide, I’m going to take you through some of the best tricks you can teach your dog - a few that are basic and a couple that are a little more unique.


Why Teach Your Dog Tricks?

Dog tricks are a fantastic mental stimulant for your dog, and mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise for dogs. It keeps their minds active, stops them from getting bored, reduces the odds of cognitive decline as they age, and leads to a less destructive attitude as a result. As long as they already know the basic commands, teaching your dog some new tricks is exceptionally easy.

If you haven’t given them basic training yet, it’s important to take them to obedience classes to get it done. Obedience leads to well-trained dogs that you can trust and feel relaxed around - not to mention their mental enrichment.

Before you start finding tricks to teach your dog or being training them, there are some very important things to remember:

  • Training sessions should not last more than 10 minutes at a time.
  • Training sessions should only be occurring 1-2 times per day.
  • Always be in a good mood and give them loads of praise when they perform the trick.
  • Never use negative reinforcement or get angry with your dog.
  • Stop immediately if you start to feel frustrated with them.
  • Every training session should end with playtime to make it positive for them.

Tricks to Teach Your Dog

Now for the fun part where we look at some great tricks to teach your dog. These are a lot of fun, and you can make some fantastic memories with your fluffy best friend. While some of these dog tricks are going to take longer to master than others, they are all fairly simple for your dog to learn and for you to teach.

Below are 6 tricks to teach your dog you might not have tried yet:

1. Speak

This is a fun trick but be warned that it can be a little annoying if you’re not a huge fan of barking. All you need is to ensure you have plenty of treats and then get your dog to bark. If they aren’t a particularly vocal dog, start this training exercise by getting them excited first. Then, get them to sit while you hold a treat in front of them so that they can smell it.

Once you hear them start to make noise (whining or barking), give them the treat while you say the command speak. Repeat the process, only giving them the treat when they start to make noise, and always use a command to get them to be quiet when they are done - something like stop or quiet works well. After all, you don’t want them barking constantly.

2. Roll Over

It’s a simple classic, but this is a great trick to teach your dog, and it’s very simple to achieve. All you need to do is start by getting your dog into the down position. Next, place a treat in your hand and move it behind your dog’s head, with the aim of getting your dog to turn their head without standing.

Once they turn their head, roll your hand so that your dog will follow and roll over. As they roll, speak the command. When they complete the task, give them the treat and lots of praise before repeating the process. After several practice runs, they will pick the command up and will perform it with just the verbal cue.

3. Twirl

This dog trick can also be referred to as ‘dog dancing’, and it’s one of my favourite tricks to teach a dog. The trick has two parts, and you first start by getting your dog to sit. Then, holding a treat in your hand, you lift it up so that they stand on their hind legs. When they do this, you praise them and give them a treat (but no command just yet).

Once they have perfected standing, use the treat and move it in a circle around their head until they start to move with it. This is the twirl you are looking for, and you can give it the command twirl, dance, or whatever works for you. As they twirl, speak the command and give them the treat alongside a lot of praise.

4. Shake a Paw or ‘High Five’

This is another great one, and one of the best dog tricks if you’re looking for something that’s fun and easy. All you need to do is get your dog to sit. Next, place a treat in your hand and start to move it near the ground by their feet. Once you see them start to lift their paw, say the command “shake a paw” or “high five” and then give them the treat while you praise them.

This command is best learned with gradual progress, and eventually, you will have your dog raise their paw to the level of their chest, which feels like a real handshake. You can also add a command to get them to switch between paws while they shake once they have the hang of it (that’s what I did with my dog).

5. Hug

This is one of those wholesome tricks to teach your dog, and it’s fairly simple to achieve. Get your dog to sit, and kneel down in front of them so that you are as close to eye level as possible. Then, put a treat in your hand and hold it behind your head - encouraging your dog to investigate or try to take it. They’ll start to hug you as they reach around your back to the back of your head. As they do so, hug them back, and give them the treat and praise them.

After doing this a few times, you can add the command hug to the action as you praise them. While doing this, increase the amount of time it takes for them to get the treat so that they give you a slightly longer hug. Eventually, they will complete the command as you say it without the need for the treat. You eventually won’t have to give a treat every time, only sometimes. After all, a hug is a great reward too.

6. Play Dead

This is one of those dog tricks that are timeless, and yet it also remains one of the more uncommon ones that’s taught to dogs. All you need to do to get started is get your dog in the down position before kneeling next to them with a treat in your hand. Holding the treat, move it to their shoulder until they gently fall back and are lying on their side.

When they complete this, use the command play dead and give them the treat. Repeat the process several times until they do it on command and remain still. You can also use a release command to make sure they get back up afterwards.

To Conclude

These are some of the best tricks to teach your dog, and there are many more out there, and they’re sure to learn them in no time at all. Dog tricks are wonderfully enriching for both of you, and they can become a great source of entertainment for friends and family when they come to visit. With these dog tricks, your bond will be stronger than ever, and you’ll find that your dog is happier overall.

Before you head out, have you considered a canine DNA test from CirclePaw? It’s an excellent way to see what breeds make your dog the unique friend they are, and it can also alert you to any illnesses that they might be genetically predisposed to. A DNA test is the perfect way to learn more about your dog so that you can give them the best possible care.

Your DNA test from CirclePaw might inform you on certain traits your dog has such as intelligence, loyalty and obedience, which makes them easier to train.


Gronwald A. Why mental enrichment is so important for dogs. Animal Wellness Magazine. Published October 26, 2021. Accessed January 18, 2023.