But, if you’re looking for a little more unique, rare, or dare I say uncommon tricks, you’ve come to the right place.
We here at Tricks to Teach Dogs have scoured dusty-rhodes.com the internet and combined this training list of 30 Uncommon Tricks to Teach Your Dog. Some impress more than others, but if you don’t say “WOW, I didn’t know a dog could do that!” at one or two of these we’ll feel like we didn’t do our job.
So, with that in mind, we’ve uncovered some of the greatest uncommon dog tricks you’ve ever seen and the instructions for you to get started teaching your dog today.
1. Potty Training On Command Trick
Waiting outside for your dog to go potty in the scorching summer heat or the freezing dead of winter is a pain only us dog owners will bear.
With your dog going potty on command, you’ll be able to quickly move on to more fun activities!
Here’s a perfect example of the potty training on command trick (note: you can use any word or phrase as the command to go potty):
Click on the trick “how to” to collapse or expand each trick’s tutorial.
Within moments of the “potty” command, your dog should relieve themselves on demand.
Steps:When taking your dog outside to go potty, repeat the “potty” command the moment your pup begins relieving themselves. Say the command in a slow, soft tone to associate “potty” with the your dog’s current action. Promptly stop saying the command when the dog is no longer going potty. Continue using the “potty” command every time your dog both pees and poops and each time they outside to notice the quickest results. Next, to test your dog’s response to the “potty” command, calmly use the “potty” command before your dog relieves themselves. Notice if your dog responds immediately or not. If not, wait until they choose to go potty and continue repeating the trick command in the first step. With some patience, your dog will associate the word with going potty and begin to be potty trained on command. To note, this trick is best to begin at an early age, preferably when the dog is still learning to be house trained.
2. Carry Groceries Trick
Sometimes we all just need a little help with chores around the house. Why not ask your dog to help out by teaching them this neat trick?
Teaching your dog to carry groceries or other bagged items is a great way to get your dog to be a working member of the family!
Here’s a short video of a dog going to work and completing the carry groceries trick:
Your dog should carry your bag of groceries from your car into the house and repeat the trick on command.
Steps:Begin with an empty grocery bag, a canvas bag works best in the beginning since plastic bags will rip and tear. Place a few tasty treats in the bag, preferably in a closed pocket so your dog cannot simply reach in and reward themselves. Ask your dog to take it, and your pup should gently hold onto the bag in its mouth. Now, slowly begin moving away from your dog. Use the command “carry” and gesture your dog to come. Possible gestures to get your dog to follow you could be whistling, patting your leg, using the command “come” in conjunction with “carry” so the new trick command is “come carry”. There are many options, use whichever works best to get your dog to respond. After a few steps, with your dog following, praise your pup for carrying the bag the short distance. Reach inside the bag and reward him/her from the bag. This is crucial for the dog to quickly learn the trick. You want to associate carrying the bag with both treats and praise. You’ll soon finding your dog bringing you an empty bag begging in exchange for treats! Continue to lengthen the distance your dog carries the bag with the “carry” trick command. Move on to placing a few items into the bag. Once your dog gets used to the additional weight, begin handing them full grocery bags when you get back from the store. Make sure to hide a treat in the bag! In a tag team effort, use another person to call your pup inside the house. Reward your dog for completing a job well done.
3. Pickpocket Dog Trick
Looking for a good party trick to show your friends? A pickpocketing dog could be all the rage at your next social mixer!
Uncommon tricks can be very useful or just plain not useful at all. We’ll let you decide with the pickpocket dog trick.
For a visual walk through of how to train your dog to pickpocket, here’s Pamela Johnson from Pam’s Dog Academy:
On command, your dog will be able to grab a handkerchief or larger object out of your back pocket.
Steps:While standing with your back to your dog, hold a tasty dog treat to your tailbone and encourage your dog to come up and take it using the command “pickpocket.” Once your dog becomes consistent with taking the treat from your tailbone, place a handkerchief or other light object in your back pocket. Move your handing holding the treat to the handkerchief pocket and use the command “pickpocket.” Encourage your dog to take the handkerchief, and once they do so, reward them promptly with the treat and praise. Once the general behaviors have been mastered, begin moving away from your dog and using the “pickpocket” command to associate movement into the trick. Continue to practice with and without treats and praise equally each time your dog successfully grabs the object from your back pocket. To get the best reaction from a crowd, work on “selling it.” You as a trainer should act flabbergasted “How could your perfect pup do that!?”
**We at Tricks to Teach Dogs do not condone ACTUAL criminal pickpocketing, either by dogs or humans. It is simply a fun trick to teach!**
4. Dog Push-ups Trick
Puppy push-ups are a great trick to burn off some extra energy and pounds your pup may have.
Push-ups are one of the easier tricks on this list, but nonetheless pretty cool to train.
Here’s an experienced doggy push up master alternating the sit with stand option:
Steps:Place your dog into a sit and stand in front of them. Command the dog into the down position either by voice “down” or by hand signal pointing down. Once your dog goes into the down position, immediately use the sit hand signal (pointing up) and the command “up up up” to get your dog to go back up into a sit and reward. Repeat. ONE and TWO and THREE…are they feeling the burn? Continue repeating with longer and longer intervals before rewarding. Offer various types of treats to keep your dog engaged in trick training. Try some store bought treats, small noodles, shredded (boiled) chicken, goldfish crackers, carrots, or even diced cooked hot dogs. Keep it fresh and exciting for your dog.
5. Doggy Tuck Themselves Into Bed Trick
Watching a dog wrap themselves with a blanket and tuck into bed is probably one of the cutest and coolest tricks to watch.
You’ll be sure to get a bunch of awes from anyone you perform this trick in front of. Beware, cuteness overload!
Check out this dog using gravity to skip out on rolling over to wrap himself up in the blanket. A true treat to watch:
Your dog will hold a blanket in their mouth, roll over, wrap themselves up, and finish looking comfortable and cute!
Steps:Put your dog into the lie down position. Lay a fairly large blanket, about 2x the size of your dog, right next to your dog in the down position. Make sure you place it on your dog’s dominant roll over side, meaning if they mostly roll left, place it to their left and vice versa. Bunch a portion of the blanket up right next to your dog. This makes it easier for the dog to roll over while holding the blanket without getting stuck. Using the take it command, get your dog to grab the end of the blanket by offering it to them. Reward only when the dog has the blanket in their mouth and “gives” it back to you. Meaning, if they take the blanket into their mouth and drop it before you grab it, don’t reward that behavior. We want the dog to hold on to the blanket through the roll over phase. *Warning, the following step requires patience* Once your dog has taken the blanket into their mouth, command your pup to roll over. Many times dogs will drop whatever is in their mouth when they roll over. It’s not a very natural motion for them! Do not praise or reward if they do drop the blanket. Immediately reset the trick and try again. Your dog will soon find out treats only happen if they keep the blanket in their mouth! After a successful roll over, the blanket may not be perfectly laid over your dog, but these things are up to the dog and how they roll over. Don’t fret. Your dog just performed an extremely advanced and downright impressive trick. Reward them for their work!
6. Go Hide Trick
Have you ever seen a big dog try and hide behind a small object? It’s really funny!
Teaching your dog the Go Hide trick is an uncommon trick that will be sure to get laughs from all your friends!
Here’s a short video of Schizo the dog hiding on command by Einstein Dog Training:
On command, your dog should hide behind or under any object you point towards.
Steps:Begin with using a large object, like a couch in your living room. Make sure there is ample room for your dog to go behind this object and hide. Show your dog a treat, get their attention and toss the treat behind your large object, or in this case, a couch. Use the command “Go Hide” when you toss the treat. Immediately reward your dog for getting the treat and “hiding.” Continue to practice by tossing the treat behind the object and repeating “go hide.” Now begin to use the “go hide” command without tossing the treat behind the couch first. Continue to reiterate the command if your dog makes it halfway to the couch but turns around. Once they reach the backside of the couch using the “go hide” command and no treat, toss a treat to them when they’re in the correct position. Repeat this process of using “go hide” before presenting the reward. Begin weaning your dog off the treats. Once they’ve mastered the previous steps, you can begin to reward in intervals, slowly removing treats from the trick altogether.
7. Take a Card From a Deck Trick
Ever wish your dog could be a part of those doggy poker games happening in the neighborhood? You know the ones they’re always painting about?
Train your pup to be the next World Series of Poker Champion! Here’s a quick way to teach your dog how to take a card from a deck:
Watch how Daisy the golden retriever picks a card from a deck! (from LilyAndDaisyTheDogs):
From an exposed, fanned out deck of cards your dog should be able to pull a card out on command.
Steps:Offer a single playing card to your dog and tell him to “take it.” Wait for your dog to take the card from your hand and reward with a treat and praise. Most playing card edges are sharp, be careful not to move the card and accidentally cut your dog. Up the ante (see what I did there :P)! Now hold three cards in front of your dog in a fanned position. Reward your dog for any card they grab from your hand. Double down (:P)! Add a fourth card to your fanned out deck and present them to your dog. This time, make sure the card you want your dog to take is further extended than the rest. Once your dog grabs the card you desire, reward with treats and praise. If your dog doesn’t grab the correct one, tell him “whoops” and restart the trick from the beginning. All-In! Now add the entire deck of cards to your hand and fan the deck. Instead of just offering one card for your dog to grab, present several options by having more than one extended from the rest of the deck. This will make it easier for your dog to pick a card.
8. Refuse Food Trick
What dog actively refuses food? Can you even believe this trick is possible?
Teaching your dog to refuse food is not only a funny trick, but it might actually keep your dog safe by not eating food that’s not theirs!
Below is a quick, alternate food refusal technique using the “Leave it” command :
On the presentation of food and with the command “yuck,” your dog will turn their head away from the food in refusal.
Steps:Present a treat to your dog. When your dog is all excited for the treat, use the command “yuck” in a low tone of disappointment and pull the treat away. Repeat the doggy fake-out until your dog turns their head away from your hand. Be sure to watch closely, you want to mark the moment your dog’s head turns by saying “good!” and rewarding the treat with praise. Simply look for your dog’s eyes to dart away from the treat you are presenting in the beginning. Then, work your way up to their head fully turning, and then finally to their head turning for an extended period of time. All the while, use the command “yuck” to initiate the trick. You must be consistent in your rewarding. Dogs will squirm and try to find any way to get a treat, even cheat! If they get lazy and only partially turn their heads, don’t reward. Only reward the behavior you desire or the steps to reach the end behavior.
9. Shell Game Trick
Are you smarter than your dog’s nose?
Probably not, and that’s what makes this game a doable trick to teach your dog.
Here’s a funny video of a big dog playing the shell game. Enjoy!
Your dog should be able to pick out the correct “Shell” or cup which has the treat inside.
Steps:Begin with one cup. Place a really smelly treat inside the cup and make sure your dog watches you. Use the command “find it” to encourage your dog to get at the treat. When he noses or paws at the cup, reward him by lifting the cup and giving the treat. Depending on the cup, you may need to rub the treat on the inside of the cup to give it lots of treat scent. At this point there is a choice: are you comfortable with your dog nosing the cup or do you want the dog to paw at the cup in order to indicate he wants a reward? You need to reward the behavior you desire and practice. Add the extra cups! Place the treat under the already scented cup. Encourage your dog to nose or paw at the correct cup by using the command “find it.” Be careful to not let your dog forcefully turn over any of the cups. They should be indicating the correct cup for you to turn over. If your dog noses or paws an incorrect cup, calmly say “whoops” and do not reward. Only reward the correct cup and use your vocal tone to indicate the correct or incorrect cups. Once your dog has mastered selecting the correct cup from a non-shuffled line-up, begin the shuffle! Place a treat under the scented cup and start to mix up the cups slowly. Ask your dog to “find it” and watch as they sort out the correct cup! Reward the correct choice and practice for mastery!
10. Dogs Walk Themselves Trick
Wait! A dog that can walk themselves! Why isn’t this taught in puppy training classes?
Teaching your dog to walk themselves or another calm pup is an adorable sight to see. It’s not terribly useful in the grand scheme of dog training, but sometimes you just want to have fun!
Check out this dog walking himself like a pro (credit Kyoot Animals):
Your dog should carry the looped end of their leash, or the leash of another dog, in their mouth while walking.
Steps:Coil or fold up your dog’s walking leash.
Present the leash to your dog and ask them to hold it using the “take it” command. After they hold the leash in their mouth for a short period of time, take it back and reward your pup.
Walk with your dog holding the coiled up leash in their mouth. Using the “heel” command, you should walk side-by-side with your dog calmly holding the leash in their mouth.
Once your dog feels comfortable holding the leash in their mouth, uncoil the leash, clip one end to their collar, and present the looped end to their mouth. Ask them to “take it” as they’ve done previously.
Continue walking side-by-side in the “heel” command. Make sure to stop immediately if your dog drops the leash from their mouth and re-command him/her to “take it” again. After all, we want them to be able to go on walks by themselves!
**Hunting and retrieving dogs will have an easier time with this trick as they will naturally have soft mouths and are bred to carry prey in their mouths for extended retrieving treks.**
11. Crawl Trick
Call it the Army crawl or just straight up doggy crawl, your pup sliding across the floor is a great beginner trick that you don’t see very often.
A crawling pup is an easy trick to teach and can be usually taught in one session.
Check out this expert pup crawling with an army pack on his back:
In the down position, your dog should crawl forward, sliding their belly on the floor while moving forward.
Steps:Tell your dog to lie down, facing you. Kneel on the ground and present a treat in your hand to your dog. Slowly move the treat away from your dog and in a drawn-out voice, use the command “crawl.” After your dog makes a few short crawl steps on their belly, reward them with the treat and praise! Continue working with your dog while you are kneeling. Gradually work your way up to using the “crawl” command from a few feet away. Ideally, you’ll be standing and your dog will be crawling to you. If your dog immediately stands up to get the treat, try moving the treat away from your dog even slower. Your pup may think the only way to get the treat is to stand and walk over. We want to promote the crawl instead.
12. Skateboard Trick
Skateboarding is an advanced trick that will truly get heads to turn.
Make sure to get a big enough skateboard for your dog to be comfortable with all 4 legs on at a time, or else this trick will not work!
Only try this trick if your dog is safe around a skateboard.
Bamboo is a pro at boarding by the seaside (via Bamboo YouTube):
Your dog should be able to hop on and off a skateboard comfortably on command.
Steps:Introduce the skateboard to your dog. Bring a skateboard inside, where your dog feels safe and secure, and encourage them to sniff and examine the board. Move the skateboard wheels, knock on the board, make noises so your dog can start to become comfortable with how the board operates. Roll the skateboard back and forth. Watch your dog’s reaction for any signs of fear and uncomfortableness. If you see any, stop and move back a step in the process. Praise your dog for any curious behavior. If he/she tries to get on the skateboard, safely secure it and praise your pup! You’re pup is getting comfortable with the board! Continue praising your pup for any curious behavior he/she shows the skateboard. Now you need to reward more directed behaviors from your dog. Offer more praise when your dog’s paws are on top of the board. Reward and treat each time to associate the behavior with great things: treats! In this step, you need to up the ante and begin rewarding every time your dog puts more than one paw on the skateboard. However, be sure to still reward when he/she puts one paw on the board, but now only every other time. Continue rewarding less over time. It’s time to start rewarding your dog when he/she has more than one paw on the board. Once your dog is comfortable with more than one paw on the skateboard, begin moving the board forward and backward a few inches to get your dog used to the idea of the board moving. Reward your dog as the skateboard is moving and their paws are on the board. Grab a stinky, tasty treat and hold it in your hand tightly. Allow your dog to lick and try to get the treat from your hand as you move the skateboard with your other hand. Remember, your pup’s paws must be on the board. This action will help associate the greatness of the treat with the moving of the board. Work on moving the board up to 3-5 ft in distance while your dog’s paws are on the skateboard. Get your dog to stand on the skateboard. It’s time direct your dog’s behavior to the next step in the training. This time, reward when your dog is standing on the board with all 4 paws and intermittently reward when your dog puts 2 paws on the board. Be sure to stabilize the board so it doesn’t move much. Your dog should work on getting all 4 paws comfortably on the skateboard. Once your dog is comfortable on a stable board, begin using a command to have your pup hop on the skateboard. Using your chosen command, ask your dog to mount the board by themselves, without any assistance from you. Reward him/her when they successfully hop on the board by themselves. Continue the previous step, but begin rewarding your pup from further away. Instead of tossing your dog a treat, make him come to you while on the board to receive the treat. Start close and as your dog masters pushing the skateboard, move further away. You have a skateboarding dog!
13. Kisses Trick
Sometimes we all need a little love. Have your pup show you some by asking for kisses!
Did you know? In a dog pack, a dog will show subservience to a dominant dog by licking their lips.
Here’s the cutest video of a bulldog kissing a baby via suburbanbullies.com
Your dog should lick or nose your lips or cheek on command.
Steps:Kneel down to doggy level. Place some peanut butter on your cheek. Point to it and say “kisses” while your dog licks the peanut butter from your face. Practice the previous step. Move forward without peanut butter, keep a treat in your hand and point to your face asking for “kisses.” When your dog licks your treat, reward and praise with “good kisses!”
14. Bang Trick
Your dog is an armed criminal! How are you going to stop him?
Every dog has their own little special flair when doing “bang” and that’s what makes this a very hilarious trick.
Check out this funny compilation of dogs performing the bang trick:
On the command “bang” and the hand signal for a play pistol, your dog should immediately roll over onto their back and play dead.
Steps:Place your dog in the down position. Using a treat as a lure, coax your dog into lying on their side by moving the treat slowly from their nose to their shoulder and then down to the ground. Take note of which side they prefer to lie down on. Practice. Practice. Practice. Now, start from a sit position and move into your dog lying on their side. Try to train your dog to be as fluid as possible between these steps. A solid foundation will make the performance of a lifetime! Work in the verbal command “Bang” when your dog has mastered moving from a sit position to lying on their side. Repeat and practice till your dog understands “Bang.” Once your dog is responding to your verbal cue, begin adding the physical pistol cue. Hold your index finder pointing at your dog, your thumb high in the air, and the rest of your fingers tucked in like a fist and you’ve got yourself a wild western hand pistol. Put it all together! Use the verbal and physical cues and enjoy your pup flopping to the floor in success!
15. Peekaboo Trick
Peekaboo is a great beginner trick for you to teach your dog. It’s also a great bonding experience.
With great power comes great responsibility! You may find your pup going peekaboo on your guests hoping for a tasty treat!
Here’s a quick video tutorial of peekaboo via expertvillage:
Your dog should be able to peak through your legs from the rear and sit.
Steps:Stand with your legs spread apart. Try to do your best superhero pose! While having your dog’s attention, use a treat to lure them around to your backside and then forward through your legs. End with the command “sit” to get your dog to sit squarely between your legs. Reward your dog with the treat and lots of praise. Repeat the previous step until your dog is comfortable following your treat lure and promptly sits between your legs. Begin adding in the command “peekaboo” when you are luring your dog between your legs. Praise them with “good peekaboo” when they correctly sit between your legs. **Fair warning, a large and overly excited dog peekaboo’ing guests could cause a scene.**
16. Open and Close Doors Trick
Tired of letting your dog inside from the backyard all the time?
Or, do you have the air conditioning on and need the doors shut throughout the house, but don’t want to lock Fido in one room?
Teach your dog to open and close doors! At first, it will be scary how mobile your dog be with this trick.
Watch Lily the Great open and close doors like a boss:
Your dog will be able to open and close doors around the house with ease!
Steps:Start by getting your dog comfortable with pushing a slightly open door. On the other side of the door should be a tasty treat or your dog’s favorite toy that they desire. Make sure to not set your dog up for failure by asking them to push a “pull door.” We’ve all done it at the supermarket, but let’s give our pups a better start than that. 😛 After your dog is comfortable pushing his/her way into the room for a treat. Move on to holding the door slightly open and encouraging your dog to jump up and/or push the door open with their paws. By you holding the door, your dog will have to find more force to open the door and should resort to pushing with their paws. Once your dog touches the door with their paws, allow the door to swing open and reward your dog with their treat or toy. Reset and promptly close the door. Encourage your dog to jump up and touch the doorknob. Once they do, slowly open the door. This should associate the doorknob as the device to open and close doors in your dog’s mind. Practice and put it all together to teach your dog to open a door! Once your dog has mastered opening a door in the push direction, try teaching them to open the door using pull. First, the setup. Depress the door handle and tape the latch down so the door can freely move open without your dog having to turn the handle. Your dog must first learn to grab the door handle and jimmy it open while moving backwards before they need to learn to turn the handle. Encourage your dog to paw the handle and force the door open backwards. The best way to get your dog to do this is by standing on the other side of the door. Using yourself as the reward, and maybe a tasty treat or toy, call your dog and make life on the other side of the door sound EXCITING! Be patient as they figure out the pull technique versus the push. With enough encouragement and excitement your pup will be blasting the door open to get to you. Now, remove the tape depressing the door latch and repeat the previous steps. To make it easier for your pup, put some pressure on the door so that when the door handle is depressed even the slightest, the door will swing open in their direction allowing them access to you and your exciting side of the door!
**CLOSING THE DOOR**On a slightly ajar door, standing on the inward side, hold a treat about door handle height and coax your dog to “take it.” Your dog should jump up and use the door as leverage, thereby forcing the door shut. Praise and reward your pup’s door closing ability! Practice repeatedly, and as with all tricks, slowly remove the treat from the trick but always praise your dog as a reward.
17. Ride a Horse Trick
Teaching a dog to ride a horse is without a doubt the most uncommon trick we’ve come across.
Teaching your dog to ride a horse can be extremely dangerous for you, the dog and the horse. Be careful and be safe.
Hi – Ho Silver, Away!!
Here’s a short video of Cathy Hatrick-Anderson teaching her Austrailian Cattle Dog to ride a horse:
Your dog should be able to sit or stand on a horse’s backside.
Special Considerations:Do not attempt to get any ole dog to ride any random horse. The two animals need to be trained, calm tempered, and comfortable around each other before this trick is even attempted.
Steps:Tie your horse off next to a platform about height of the horse’s elbow or barrel (picnic table height). Using the platform, encourage your dog to place their front paws on the horses back. Reward your pup with treats and praise for first attempting to get “up” on the horse. Continue coaxing your dog to get “up” on the horse’s back. Practice until both your dog and your horse are comfortable with these steps. At this stage, pick up your dog and slowly place them on your horse’s back. Be mindful to watch for any fear in either your horse or your dog and act accordingly. Do not put a fearful dog on a horse, and do not let a dog get on a fearful horse. Once your dog is standing on your horse’s back, reinforce this behavior with lots of treats and praise. A super smelly, tasty treat is perfect. Hold the treat tightly in your hand and let your dog lick and attempt to grab it. This will associate the great tasting treat with the moment of standing on a horse’s back. We want to associate these two great things! Finally, once you’ve practiced enough so that your dog and horse are completely comfortable with the dog being on the horse’s back, remove your dog from the horse and place them on the platform. Hold a treat on your horse’s saddle, outside your dog’s reach and use the command “up” to encourage your dog to jump up onto the horse’s back. This is the most jarring part of the trick for the horse and should be taught last. Once your dog is on your horse’s back. Praise and congratulate your two animals on a trick well done! Remember, practice, patience and safety first!
18. Slalom Poles Trick
Slalom Poles are a staple of dog agility training. Quite frequently they are the make it or break it component of a great course run.
Teaching your dog to slalom or weave through poles is an advanced trick that will put your dog to the test!
Here’s the Tex, the winner of the 2015 Masters Agility Championship:
Your dog should be able to go in and out (or weave) through a series of poles in a dog agility training course. The first pole will always brush past your dog’s left shoulder.
Steps:Stick two PVC pipes into the grass to act as poles. Using the command “weave” walk your dog through the poles with the first pole passing your dog’s left shoulder. Reward and praise your dog for completing their first weave! Position your dog facing down the pole line and holding a treat in your hand, lead your dog through the poles again ,but instead of you walking through the poles, make sure your dog only weaves through the poles. Reward your pup as they weave through the second pole. Remember lots of praise! Place more poles (PVC pipes, etc.) into the grass to extend your dog’s training difficulty. Using a treat, guide your dog through the newly established poles. If needed, lead your dog by holding onto their collar or a short leash to make sure they are properly weaving in and out of the pole course. Additionally, you can work to stand a few feet away from the poles and indicate via body language to point a push and pull direction to get your dog through the slalom poles.
19. Pick up Toys Trick
Having your dog pick up their own toys is definitely the most useful (or second most useful after potty on command) uncommon trick on the list.
If you can teach your dog to pick up after themselves, having your children do the same should be a breeze, right?
Check out Grace “cleaning the house”:
Your dog should pick up their toys and place them into their toy basket or chest.
Steps:Place a few toys on the floor around your training area. Have the toy basket or chest open nearby. Encourage your dog to go fetch you a toy and bring it back to you. When he/she brings the toy back to you be sure to hold a treat over the toy basket so once your dog reaches for their reward, the toy automatically drops into the basket. This is exactly what you want! Praise and reward your pup for cleaning up! Next, place the toy basket directly in front of you. Ask your pup to fetch a toy, and when they return point into the basket and command them to “drop it” in the basket. Take a treat and reward your dog for the great job! After your dog has become a master at bringing one toy back to the toy basket, build up their confidence by requiring them to bring back multiple toys for a treat. Soon they’ll be cleaning up the entire house! Finally, work on adding the command “pick up your toys,” “clean the house,” or another variation into your training.
20. Moonwalk Trick
The late, great Michael Jackson sent ripples through the entertainment industry with his signature moonwalk. It was only a matter of time before dogs picked up the vibe and started learning how to moonwalk too.
The moonwalk is a great intermediate trick to teach your dog the combination of bow and back up.
Here’s a close alternative to the moonwalk by GoodnightBurbank:
In the bow position, your dog should scoot backwards without raising their shoulders.
Steps:Place your dog in a lie down position. Face your dog, and while bending over, place your knee directly in front of them. Move your knee towards them slowly. You don’t want to knee your dog in the face! However, this will force your dog to back up a few steps. Use the command “scoot” while your dog attempts to back up. Make sure to place your hand over their shoulders to prevent them from immediately standing up instead of moonwalking or scooting backwards. Be sure to reward even the smallest scoot backward. Make sure your dog knows what it takes to get a treat! The bow and a backwards scoot. As your dog masters moonwalking backwards, stop pushing your knee toward your dog. Continue to make sure your dog’s shoulders do not rise from the bow position. Finally, step further back from your dog and give the “scoot” or “moonwalk” command. Practice from distance and watch your dog pay tribute to the greatest pop star of all-time!
21. High Five or Fist Bump Trick
Although one of the more simpler tricks on the list, it’s still a bump up from the shake command (see what I did right there? lol).
High Five or the alternate Fist Bump trick is a great beginner trick to show your friends you don’t just train from inside the box!
Here’s a boxer fist bumping by Owned by a Boxer:
Your dog should paw your open fist or close fist on command, mimicking a high-five or fist bump.
Steps:Hold a tasty treat in your closed fist and present it to your dog. Wait for your dog to paw at your hand. Reward your pup once he/she paws at your hand. Once your dog realizes that pawing your closed fist results in a reward, begin adding the “fist-bump” command. If you desire to teach the “high five” command, begin presenting an open hand to your dog and wait patiently for your dog to paw at your hand. Reward immediately once their paw hits your hand and add the “high five” command.
22. Spin Trick
Teaching your dog to spin is a great dance move they can bust out at your next party.
However, your dog may already do this without any training necessary!
Here’s another tutorial brought to you by expertvillage:
Your dog should be able to spin a full 360 degrees, in either direction.
Steps:Holding a tasty treat, move your hand in either a counter-clockwise or clockwise motion, luring your dog to complete a full circle. At the same time, use the command “spin.” Release the treat and praise your pup at the completion of the full circle. Repeat and practice. Try to reduce the amount of luring needed for your dog to complete a full circle. Ideally, you want you be able to make a quick flick of the wrist gesture to command your dog to perform a spin. Once your dog has mastered one spin direction, try going the other way! If you’re adventurous, use a separate command for the opposite direction. This way you can command your do to go back and forth, clockwise and counter-clockwise for greater effect!
23. Wave Trick
Sometimes dog’s paws are bit muddy, wouldn’t it be nice to just wave?
Check out a five month old Shiba Inu waving by drjonathantoy:
Your dog should wave their paw in the air.
Steps:Place your dog in a sit. Command your pup to “shake“, but place your hand at a higher than normal level for the shake. Use the command “bye” when they attempt to shake. When your dog tries to paw at your hand, pull your hand back and wave. When their paw misses and whiffs air, praise your pup and reward. Make sure to praise the actual waving motion.
24. Handstand Trick
Nothing screams circus dog quite like one doing a proper handstand. Handstand is definitely not an easy trick, but it is for sure one of the coolest on the list.
**Warning** The handstand trick is a very complex, multi-stage trick that is not for the impatient pup or owner!
For the record, this picture is of an overextended handstand. A yoga dog is so cute, we couldn’t resist.
Here’s great example of a dog doing a handstand by BlondasWorld:
Your dog should be able to raise its rear end into the air, support itself with its front paws and hold the position for a short period of time.
Steps:Place a few books against a wall. Put your dog into a sit with their backside to the books and the wall. Command you dog to “back up” and place their hind legs on the books. Reward and praise your dog for completing step 1! As your dog gets comfortable with placing their hind legs on the books, begin increasing the height by adding more books! Once your dog has mastered doing a handstand on books, remove the books and work on your dog putting their paws on the wall to support themselves. Be sure to reward with a tasty treat the moment their legs touch the wall. Lots of praise too! Start introducing the “handstand” command. Moving back to using the books as a stand, bring a small chair and place it on top of the books. Using the “handstand” command, get your pup to place their legs on the top of the chair. A small, soft children’s chair works best. Keep increasing the books below the chair to challenge your dogs skill. After they’ve mastered backing up onto a few books, the wall, and the books and chair, remove all these objects and use only your hand as support for their hind legs. This is closely mimicking the final handstand technique. After much practice, patience and hard work, begin removing your hand as a support when commanding “handstand.” Your dog should be able to do a short handstand without any support. The key here it to reward at the height of their handstand so he/she associates a tall handstand as the correct action. Work on lengthening the time your dog is able to stay in a handstand through practice. It will take your dog some time to get comfortable with these actions.
25. Play Piano Trick
Sing me a song, piano dog, sing me a song tonight!
Dogs may never be the next Billy Joel, but they can sure get a laugh as they play the piano.
Here’s Tucker playing the piano and “singing” by KennedyFamily99:
Your dog will play the piano by pounding their paws on a piano.
Steps:Place your dog in front of a piano. Have a tasty treat available. Lure your dog towards the piano. As soon as their paw hits the piano keys, reward them with the treat and praise. Sweet! He played the piano! Work on getting both of your dog’s paws on the piano at the same time. Once your dog has mastered tapping the piano keys once and is standing on the piano, ask for a shake to get your dog to raise their paw in the air. Once your dog’s paw returns to the piano and makes a sound by pressing on the keys, reward your pup for again playing the piano. It will be difficult for your dog to play alternating paws in the beginning. Shifting weight from side to side in order to lift opposing paws is the end goal, but now work with your dog one paw at a time. Lifting by using the “shake” command and rewarding when their paw hits the piano keys. Practice and repeat with the opposite paw. Your dog will master the one paw lift, begin spicing things up by asking them to switch paws and therefore play the full range of the piano! Continue practicing and using your chosen command. These are very non-instinctive actions your dog is committing, so take careful watch of exactly when you reward your dog. You want to reward when the dog lowers their paw onto the piano, unlike many other tricks where dogs are constantly rewarded for lifting their paws!
26. Learn Object Names Trick
Dogs are very smart – sometimes too smart!
Test the limits of your dog’s memory with teaching them to discern object names! You’ll definitely impress with this uncommon trick.
Check out the dog that knows a 1,000 words by ABC News:
Your dog should be able to identify multiple objects by name.
Steps:If your dog is already familiar with an object (rope, favorite toy, etc.), use it as a starting point. Lay it on the ground in front of your dog. Grab two other objects that are not close in shape or size. To make the initial training easier for the dog, it’s best to have a wide array of items to choose from. Command your dog to bring you the item they’re familiar with by saying “find” and the name of the toy. For example, “find rope!” First, reward your pup the exact moment they touch the correct object. Don’t worry about bringing it to you just yet, we’re working on the basics. Repeat and practice until your dog is comfortable finding the correct object. Now, using the fetch command, ask your dog to bring the correct object to you. Begin adding more objects your dog knows to the lineup of possible choices your dog can choose from. Repeat the above steps until your dog is proficient with the new objects. Try alternating between known objects to test your pup’s recollection.
27. Fetch a Drink From The Refrigerator Trick
Fetch a drink is a great trick if you’re watching Sunday’s football game, the stakes are high, but you need another drink. Fido can save the day! By the way, this is a very advanced trick.
In order to help your dog open the refrigerator, tie a towel or piece of cloth to the refrigerator door. This will act as a mechanism for your dog to pull the door open.
Here’s Tango performing a bunch of uncommon tricks, including getting a drink from the refrigerator by aquamoose2112:
Your dog should be able to open your refrigerator, grab a drink, bring it to you, and close the refrigerator.
Steps:Start with teaching your dog to open the refrigerator door by pulling. A great way to teach your dog to pull is to play tug of war with a toy rope. Reward him for pulling on the rope. You’ll use this technique to open the fridge door. Attach a dishtowel to your refrigerator handle. With the door slightly open, ask your dog to tug on the towel. Reward and praise your pup when he grabs the towel and eventually pulls the door open. Once your dog has mastered pulling an open door, close the door to add the additional challenge. Continue practicing until you feel comfortable he can open the refrigerator door on command. Now, let’s teach your dog to get a drink from the refrigerator. In the early training phases, it’s best to use an empty bottle of what you want your dog to fetch (i.e. an empty beer, soda, water, etc.). Spend some time getting your dog used to carrying the item by playing with him and asking him to fetch it for you. Place your drink on a low shelf within the fridge. Make sure it is accessible by your dog or else this whole process is for naught. Ask your dog to fetch you the drink from the fridge. First, practice with an open door, then move to combining opening the fridge door and fetching you a drink. Build confidence in your dog with lots of praise and rewards. Finally, after your dog has fetched you your drink, ask them to close the door (see previous uncommon trick on how to teach your dog to open and close doors). Once your dog is comfortable with all three levels of the trick, begin adding your own command to the entire trick. For example, you could use “get me a beer,” “get me a soda,” or just plain “get me a drink.”
28. Climb a Ladder Trick
Having your dog climb a ladder to get a treat or toy is a great act for a dog performance.
Teaching this trick comes with a lot of safety concerns. Use a small ladder. Never let your dog climb backwards down a ladder, you should carry them to the ground. Never take your eyes off your dog. Also, cover the ladder steps with a non-slip material.
We do not recommend this without a spotter or any support system, but this dog is amazing at climbing ladders:
Your dog should be able to traverse up a ladder one paw at a time.
Steps:First, start with getting your dog to put their front paws on the ladder. Lure them with a tasty treat up the ladder and once their paws touch the ladder, reward and praise! Work on luring your dog’s front paws up to a higher ladder step. Reward and praise when they move up to the next step. Once your dog has reached the highest ladder step they can reach with their front paws only, begin using your other hand to encourage them to lift one of their back legs onto the bottom step. **WARNING, be sure to watch your dog carefully. They will be off balance and need to be stabilized so they do not fall.** Continue raising the treat higher, and work slowly and steadily with your dog to place both their front paws and back paws on the ladder. Practice for short periods. This is a lot of work and stress for your dog. Once your dog has mastered this trick, they’ll be moving effortlessly and quickly up the ladder for their tasty reward!
29. Hockey Goalie Trick
This trick could be called Soccer Goalie Trick or Football Goalie Trick if you’re from outside the United States, but to be honest, we at Tricks to Teach Dogs love hockey so we’re going to run with it!
And, since we found this great picture of Snoopy playing hockey, it had to be posted in tribute to Minnesota native Charles Schulz.
OK, for all those who love soccer, here’s a cute pup playing goalie by TopVideos Go:
Your dog will sit between you and the goal and catch anything tossed their way.
Steps:First step is to associate a command with your dog catching something in their mouth. Play with their favorite toy and then toss it into the air, when your pup goes to catch it, say “catch” as the command phrase. Praise your dog for the great catch! Secondly, have your dog sit a distance from you and start tossing toys and balls and soft toy hockey pucks at your dog. Use the command “catch” each time to encourage your dog to catch the items as they fly at him/her. Finally, set up a net behind your dog. Make sure they are in the sit position in front of the net and shoot your soft, stuffed puck at them. Using the command “catch,” watch your pup play goalie! At this time, bring out the treats. Work with your dog to go sit in front of the goal and reward them for doing so. In the end, you want your dog to be able to get back into position after the resulting victory lap they’ll do when they stop a puck like a true NHL goalie.
30. Find Your Keys Trick
Every time I leave the house, I go through the simple mental check for “phone, keys, wallet.” If I don’t have one of those, I’m spending the next 5-10 minutes searching the house.
Instead of spending 5-10 minutes searching, asking your dog to help find your keys will make it easy to find these lost items quickly!
This is a great example of a dog finding keys by rogersmmr:
Your dog should be able to locate your lost keys or other items.
Steps:Take a small pouch, could be a anything that can hold treats securely, and attach it to your key chain. Toss the key chain with treat pouch attached across your room. Ask your dog to fetch your keys using the command “keys, fetch.” When he brings the keys and pouch back to you, take a treat from the pouch and reward your pup. It is important to take a treat from the pouch they just brought you. Associate bringing you the pouch equaling tasty treats for them! This is the basics of having your dog find your keys! To expand on the basics, toss the key chain with pouch further and further from you. Then, work on hiding the key chain and pouch around the house and asking your dog to find it. Continue to test and up the ante with your pup. Soon, after they’ve mastered the previous steps, you can remove the pouch from the key chain and ask your dog to fetch the keys without the pouch.
Here’s a bonus video of a dog walking on a tight rope. As the title of the video suggests, this dog and trick are amazing: