What's the best trick you ever taught your dog?

Our little dog Clover (and we) are going to Good Dog Lessons. The teacher at tonight’s session was saying that one of the best things you can teach your dog is “leave it/drop it”. That having a dog obey when you don’t want him/her/it to pick up (and likely gobble down) something, could save its life. For example, when something is rotten and will make the dog sick, or some sicko’s left something that’s poisonous around). What’s the best trick you’ve taught your dog? What’s the cutest? The most unexpected?

We are also teaching her a variation on “sit up and beg” that I call “boxer”. I say “what kind of dog are you? Are you a boxer?” and she stands on her hind legs and paws at the air, just like a boxer jabbing. :slight_smile: Next, I hope to harness the SPROING for, “are you a springer spaniel?”

Well it’s been ten years since my Black Lab died but I managed to teach him how to swim
underwater (had pool in back of the house). He got so good he could surface dive and go
down the eight feet in the deep end and retrieve a toy (or chase me when I waved it in front
of his face).

Lord I miss that dog…

I agree with her, with “emergency recall” coming in a close second. My las trainer told the class that the reason why she emphasised “emergeny recall” so much was that her own dog had once dashed out the door in persuit of a rabbit and had been hit by a car.

It was kind of weird, training my dogs in this one. What you do is scream at the dog to come to you at random moments. If they do, you give them a “jackpot” treat, meaing a piece of steak or something ultra-yummy. The trainer said in a panicked situation, you’re not going to call for the dog in a sweet tone of voice: you’re going to scream. Thus, you need to get the dog used to it, or they might be scared they’re in trouble and refuse to return, resulting in tragedy.

The cutest trick I ever taught any of my dogs is Dead Doggy. I point my finger like a gun and say, “BANG!” She falls over on her side. I then walk over and say, “Hm, you’re not dead yet,” and pretend to fire more shots. When I do, she rolls over on her back and sticks her feet up in the air.

My other dog stands on her back legs at the command “Rory!” We got that from The Simpsons episode where Burns is impressed that the puppy can stand up like “a little Rory Calhoun.”

Sandy and I taught our dog, Daisy, to do the “downward dog” pose on command. We say “Do yoga” and she goes into downward dog. Soooo cute!

I don’t have dogs but a friend who trains Newfies and goldens with his wife taught the golden to go get him a tissue when he sneezed or made a sneezing noise.

I had an acquaintance who taught his dog this, with the twist that he would yell “Go!” and the dog (a dachshund) would take off running and then he’d yell “Bang!” and the dog would pitch over. Then he’d yell “Okay!” and the dog would leap up and trot back for a treat. It was hilarious.

The only interesting thing I ever taught my cocker spaniel Lady to do, was to jump into my arms. If I bent my knees and patted my chest, she’d run over, jump on my knees and then into my arms. With my two new dogs, we’re still working on “Come here!”

My greyhound Idol smiles, so we got him to do it on command.

I just say, “Ya gonna smile for me?” and he does.

All of my dogs respond to “No” and “Drop it.” “No” simply commands them to stop whatever they are doing. I joke that if they were peeing and I commanded “No” they’d try to cut it off (I don’t actually do this.) I train my dogs so that they essentially know what I expect of them. So if I am walking them (generally off leash) and they are paying attention to something on the ground - looking like they are going to pick it up and/or eat it, it is usually sufficient that I just call their name or say “Hey” or something sufficient to remind them that I am there and aware of what they are doing. Usually they make the right choice and I don’t need to progress to “No” or “Drop it.”

My favorite “trick” is that my current dog brings in the paper in the morning. We simply open the door and say “Get the paper”, she dashes out, and brings it back in to get her biscuit reward. Just seems like such an appropriate thing for a dog to do. And she seems so darned happy to do it. My wife taught her that trick in about a week after we went to a dolphin show and they explained how they progressively taught the dolphins to retrieve objects.

One of my favorite commands is “move.” If the dog is in the way - say underfoot when in the kitchen, standing in front of the TV, or near a guest who doesn’t care for dogs - you don’t care where the dog goes, you just want them to go somewhere other than where they are. Comes in handy quite often. Can be tweaked in the form of “other room” if you want the dog out of the room at meals, but we generally don’t worry about that.

I used to know a guy who had trained his dog to fetch beers from the fridge in the same way.

I use “outta my kitchen!” with my dogs. They used to be underfoot while I was cooking, hoping I would drop something or splatter food on the floor. (They know I’m a slob.) I used to tell them to get out of the kitchen and they’d all go to the doorway. I found that it worked in other rooms as well.

Ooh, great tricks and tips! It makes me grin to imagine the doggies doing them.

Emergency recall, yes, that’s got to be the most important. That is next week’s lesson. But I never would have thought to use the panicky/scream tone of voice that you’d probably be using in a real emergency, for practise. Great tip.

I want to try ‘dead doggy’ and ‘really dead doggy’, too.

Our family dog once went downstairs, took some beer from my brother’s room, and brought it upstairs. (Six pack, with two gone, so she could pick it up by the empty plastic loops.) We drank the beer. It was a gift, right?

She never did that trick again, alas.

Lissa - I do the same “outta my kitchen” with Baron. The usual result is he lays down right next to me. :rolleyes: He’s also mastered “begging for table scraps” and “whine till I get taken out”! He’s a genius I tell you! :smiley:

I sometimes wonder if we were separated at birth. I also taught our dog “get outta the kitchen” for when I’m cooking and also to keep him from begging at mealtime. It’s funny to watch him look down and make sure his feet are technically in the the living room as he tries to crane his neck into the kitchen.

When he was a pup I hung a small bell at doggie nose level by the back door and would ring it with his snout every time I let him out, eventually he learned to ring it every time he needed to go outside. But then he started ringing it every time he wanted to go outside, which was all the time,so it got a little annoying.

“Drop it” and “Leave it” are standard for us and so is “Stop”, and he obeys both instantaneously. He took off after a rabbit once and was headed for the street, One yell of “STOP!” and he hit the brakes, I was very proud of him for that.

We really got lucky with our dog, he is a rescue mutt but he has been so adaptable and intelligent. We have turkeys and ducks roaming the yard and he not only leaves them alone, he helps us round them up at night to put in their pens.

My dog loves the truck so much that I can just conversationally tell him “load” and he’ll go get in it. It works well enough that it’s our emergency recall. If he gets freaked out by fireworks or something and jumps out of the yard, I can always find him in the back of the truck, although he’s not supposed to get in it while the tailgate’s up. Of course, if I’m not home and fireworks go off, he goes and gets in random trucks in the neighborhood, starting with the other white ones. The neighbors all know this, and nobody’s driven off with him yet.

It’s pretty handy on the job site; I can let him run around, but if he starts to get in the way, I just tell him “load” and he stays in there until I tell him otherwise.

I taught our dog (years ago) to pee on command, object of the exercise when you took her out last thing at night she’d pee straight away instead of sniffing all over the garden first…

I remember reading a story about a man who taught his dog to go across the road to get … something (I forget what) from the shop next door. They moved house and coincidently there was a shop right next door, so the man [presumably having warned the shop owner first] sent his dog out one morning to fetch whatever it was…

6 weeks later a bedraggled dog returned, having gone to the shop next door to the house they used to live in…

Early 70s Urban Legend?

I do the same thing, but it all runs together and becomes “geddouddadaKITCHEN!” Heloise (a JRT) dashes off, returns, stops in the living right at the edge of the kitchen linoleum, lays down, and watches me, waiting for something tasty to fall. She found a loophole in my command.

I must say, that apart from yelling “get out of the kitchen!” and “back seat!” (to get her out of the front car seats), my girlfriend taught Heloise all her tricks: bang/“you’re dead”, drop it, stand, etc. Doing agility with her has really helped her learn complex things (at least, they seem complex to me).

When she takes off after squirrels, though, only my booming “STOP!” will prevent her from running. Ginger, my girlfriend, just doesn’t have the gravitas.

My dog liked his squeaky toy. He’d chew it for hours…squeak squeak…squeak squeak…squeak squeak…

After a while it got irritating, so we hid the toy under the sofa. After a few minutes, we would hear…squeak squeak…squeak squeak…squeak squeak…WTF!!!

So we hid it again, out of sight of my doggie, after teasing him with it, and watched him actively search for it. Within 5 to 10 minutes he would find it. In the end, we would hide it out of sight on top the tv cabinet.

Sadly, one day, our other dog who was envious of my dog’s squeaky toy found it and literally ATE IT!! :eek:

This wasn’t too hard as it was somehow already programmed naturally, but when I was a kid I taught my dog to attack snowmen. I’d just point one out and yell “Frosty!” and the dog would jump on the snowman and dig it to pieces and then eat parts of it.

I was totally ready for the snowman apocalypse. Sadly, it doesn’t really snow much here anymore.

One extreamly useful command I’ve taught a couple of dogs is “beep!” this means “you are in my way, move immediatly to somewhere else without going thorough me.”

Got the idea from a friend who’s wife was partially paralyzed, and could barely walk…very important that thier lab not trip her up.

The one that cracks people up is “kerpow” with thumb and forefinger in pistol configuration, and or course the dogs immediatly play dead.

I taught my parents’ dog to growl when he wanted to be petted.

At first, he would hop up on the couch and stare at me. I’d occasionally glance at him, but then I’d ignore him. Then he’d playfully growl/whine. It worked from that up to, when he’d walk into the room, I’d look at him and say, “Grr?”

He’d look back and go, “Grrrr!” Then I’d pat the couch and let him jump up and be petted.

He sort of took it a little further–not understanding that other people didn’t understand the Grrr. Someone he didn’t know would be sitting there and he’d come in, stand in front of them and grrr. They’d ask what was wrong with him. I’d say he just wants to be petted. They’d usually say that it didn’t sound like he wanted to be petted. I’d tell them to just pat the couch, and he’d jump up all happy-like.

I miss that little runt.

A shoulder-level “high five” is a sure winner with people meeting my dog. It started as a “shake”, but he was a lefty (or just didn’t understand to use his right, which is teachable but less fun), so we made it a “high five”, and now he’ll do that at shoulder level.

He’ll also do “Cube root of eight!”, but that’s more a function of telling him to “speak” and the fact that he almost always barks exactly twice in succession.