Seeking Suggestions

One of my most favourite things to do in the whole wide world, is teach Shiva a new trick. Shaping is just a ridiculous amount of fun. I love how I can actually see the moment she gets it in her eyes. It’s almost euphoric for both of us.

The problem is, Shiva is so accustomed to shaping and so used to offering new behaviours that it doesn’t take her very long to pick up something new. Which means I’m running out of ideas. We’ve got all the basics down: roll over, play dead, beg, bow, shake a paw, high-five, crawl, turn around, wave, and many others that I’ve probably forgotten about. Remember, she’s nuts. Teaching her tricks is one of the things we do to tire her out so we can sleep through the night.

Here are a couple of videos I took recently. The first is a trick sequence with the use of a toy as a reward. She’s actually pretty calm. The second one I used food. And she’s a lot less calm. I apologise for the sloppy recording. One of these days I’m going to plan this stuff out in advance.

What kinds of tricks have you taught your dog? Do you have any suggestions for us? My imagination is running on empty.

Happy Friday!

24 thoughts on “Seeking Suggestions

  1. How did you teach wave? Or dance? Or the play dead thing?

    I have sit, down, wait, spin, shake, and bow down. But I’ve had issues figuring out how to make something like “bang” resulting in play dead work.

    Tips please!

    P.s. I wish we lived even remotely close to one another, our dogs would get along famously.


    • It took 2 of us to teach the Bang Play Dead trick. One of us to shoot her and hold the treat while the other one “put” her in the position she needed to end up in. She needed to know “play dead” first, but we wanted her to fall from a standing position and end up on her back with her legs in the air. It didn’t take her long once she understood how she should end up and it’s absolutely hilarious once they get it.


  2. I have been using YouTube to find some great videos on training and tricks using a clicker recently. I agree, you can walk an excited dog for an hr but 15 min solid training relaxes them more. Do you have a favourite book for short exercises using shaping or website?


  3. Two of my favorite Charlie tricks are 1) he will lie down on a blanket, pick up a corner and “tuck himself into bed” by rolling over and dragging the blanket with him. 2) he will jump through my arms when I make a circle out of them. Emma likes to jump to my face level from a standstill, so we’re working on getting her to jump into my arms, which really just means I’m learning how to catch her without dropping her! Figure eights and leg weaves are fun too. Good luck! YAY for clicker trainers!! WOOHOO.


  4. Speaking of YouTube, look at “Useful Dog Tricks” with Jesse – she has a boatload of tricks, some of which you may be able to add for Shiva. I noticed she is a right handed dog preferring to turn to her right rather than her left. You both rock!


  5. Great tricks! And it looks like you’re having fun which is even better!

    I’m teaching Honey the names of her toys so she can get them and bring them to me when I ask for them. Eventually, I’d like to teach her to pick up her own toys.

    I teach it by using a “hot” “cold” approach. I get really excited and encouraging when Honey approaches the toy I asked for and nearly ignore her when she goes for the wrong one. She’s pretty fast at picking it up.


  6. I am playing this to Macaulay tomorrow. Shiva is a total star, but anyone can see it’s because she loves to work with her positive, upbeat owner. What a team!Roberta is right – you do both rock.


  7. What a good girl!

    My brother taught his dog figure 8’s (through the legs), I think that is a good one. I wanted to teach my dog to play “shy”- put his paw up and touch the side of his face, but I haven’t managed it. You should try “shake” (shake the water off).

    Very impressive!


  8. where’s your tail? my goodness, how cute was that?! 🙂

    it’s amazing how fast shiva responds to your commands. i don’t see such quick responses even among the class 4 dogs at georgia’s school. hard to believe shiva was ever a ‘special’ dog.

    i’m afraid poor georgia has old school training which is to say living skills like sit, down, stop [very useful], stay/wait, come, heel, cross the road, look at me, relax, say please and other such FUN stuff! i’m also trying to teach her not to accept food from strangers or eat off the ground unless i give a cue because of the baiting that’s been happening in my area. this is proving to be VERY hard.

    i have tried teaching her fun stuff like roll over and high-5 but she looks at me like i’ve gone mad because…”remember mum, i’m a PROUD pig dog!!”

    🙂 xox georgia’s human


  9. I like teaching them to go to bed and cover themselves up with a blanket. Another cute one is teaching them to get you a tissue when you sneeze. If you like teaching tricks, a fun book is Dog Tricks For Dummies. There are a lot of fun ones in there!


  10. First, dear, I must apologize. I’ve been meaning to get over here and as you can see, I’ve been a busy bee. Between the puppy mill rescue and my holiday gift guide…not to mention full-time job, blogging, replying to emails from people all over telling me they cried when they saw my video…praising us for the rescue effort…and then those that slammed us..replying to emails asking for dog advice and then dog product advice…I don’t even sleep anymore. LOL! Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for commenting. I know it’s hard for all of us to do and I am guilty of not doing it enough. Thanks for showing your support to the pet blogging community!


  11. What a clever girl Shiva is! She knows so many interesting tricks.

    I usually go to YouTube to look for ideas and ways to teach the tricks. Another way is trough other bloggers and their videos. However, I find that it’s hard to teach Eva a new trick, I think it’s my problem as I don’t know how to teach her. So far, we’ve done shy, sit, a little of figure 8, beg, scratch.

    I’d love her to teach her something like bang and play dead but really can’t get it at all. Sigh!!! Recently we are practising ‘pick’ and ‘hold’, still way to go : )


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  13. I LOVE Shiva! She is too cute! When I had my dog, I taught her two unusual tricks. The first was “posture”. She would sit, and slouch a little. I would say “posture” and she would wiggle up straight. The other was I taught her the names of her toys (star, anna banana) and I would tell her go get star, and she would go to the pile of toys and pick out start. She would do the same with the others.


  14. Hi Y’all!
    Just hopped by to say HI!
    My Human Momma has taught me lots of stuff, but the most useful has been to roll over and hold it. Unfortunately, I have to practice it at the vet’s too. 😦
    She’s also teaching me moves, like stepping sideways with her, figure 8 between the legs and we’re working on a high steps…sorta like walkin’ forward and given’ paw at the same time. We’re gonna put ’em together to music when I have all the moves down. We can do a dance on some of our therapy visits in addition to the usual “shake”, roll over, bow, etc.
    Love Shiva’s moves!
    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog


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