Tricks you can teach your dog.

  by Dennis Fisher

This article is one of a great many articles written by Dennis Fisher about a very wide variety of subjects concerning different  dogs, such as obedience training, breeding, showing, health matters, training problems and other subjects.  All these articles appear on Dennis Fisher's websites.   Visit the site that has been set up specifically for German Shepherd Dog enthusiasts, or  if you interested in a breed   other than German Shepherd Dogs



     Teach your dog to wave goodbye to friends

This is a fairly simple trick to teach your dog.   Leave your dog in the sit  position and give the command  “wave” in a pleasant, encouraging voice.  Keep touching one of his paws until he lifts it up you without touching him.   Then immediately  reward the dog with tasty morsel and praising him extravagantly at the same. “Good boy!  That’s a good dog”!

  You can use any treat he likes.  I prefer to  pieces of boiled liver that have been browned in the oven so that they do not become crumbly.

  After he does this successfully a few times stop giving the dog the reward but move your hand up and down as if you are waving,  You will find that he is  eager for his reward and will start doing the same thing as you.  He will start  reaching out and try to touch your hand.   Then immediately praise him and reward him with the liver or whatever food you have used.

  Keep practicing using the same word over and over  “Wave”.   After a while it will clear what is required of him and he will respond without any food other reward, only your vocal praise.


Scratch your nose.

  I used very much the same method when I was very young to teach one of my dogs to scratch his nose.  My parents were very impressed.  It was really very simple.  I discovered   that by blowing in his face he would immediately scratch his nose.

  So I simply blew gently on his nose while he was sitting in front of me and gave the command  “Scratch your nose!”.

He would immediately respond by rubbing his nose with his paw.   Immediately he did this I would reward him with a tasty treat.   He soon learned what was required of him. After a while no food reward was necessary and he would respond immediately to my command.

I was very happy to show off in front for my friends with this little trick.  They  were intrigued with this demonstration.

It was a useful lesson for me also, because I learnt that you can take advantage of any natural habits a dog has and use this as the basis of a clever performance.  

  Fetch the car keys!


One of my dogs was a very good natural retriever and  also had a very good nose

I combined these two natural traits and taught him to find and fetch my car keys wherever they happened to be.

I started by using my car keys which were in a leather pouch as a retrieve article and began practicing the exercise in the living room.   I would thrown the leather pouch containing  the car keys a short distance then  give the dog the command:  Fetch the car keys! Instead of the customary “Fetch”.

  The dog would immediately respond  and bring the leather pouch back to me.

  My  dog enjoyed the game so much there was no need for any reward.   A simple “That’s a good boy!”  was quite sufficient.

  Afterwards I combined the exercise with the “find” command that is used in the search exercise.  While the dog was left in the sitting position and watching me,  I would place the keys under a cushion in the couch.  Initially I allowed him to see where I had placed the keys.    Because he had seen me place the keys in this position,  he immediately knew where to find the keys so when I gave the command

At the command “Find the car keys”  he would respond  very enthusiastically, and  would  burrow under  cushion and bring the keys  to me.  He  regarded as an exciting, enjoyable game and did not require much encouragement.

Most dogs have a very good sense of smell.    In the case of this particular dog his sense of smell was exceptional.  I would continue  to hide this  leather pouch but would do so, unobserved,  in other  rooms in the house.  

 I would give the dog the command:   “Find my car keys”.   The fact that I had changed the words of the command slightly was of no consequence.   The  words “Car keys”  were sufficient to set him in a wild search in every room of the house to locate the leather pouch, which he would never fail to find.

I was even able to  hide the keys in  the jacket  or trousers pocket of a  pair of  trousers hanging in the wardrobe.  The  dog would eventually locate them and bring them triumphantly to me.  Friends were amazed.

Afterwards the dog –who loved traveling   in the car with me – learnt to associate his actions  in finding the car keys, wherever they happened to be hidden,  with the trip I would immediately take him in the car. This was far greater rewards than any food.

After  the mere mention of the words “car keys” would immediately make him run around in a display of  tremendous enthusiasm wagging his tail furiously  in anticipation of his reward.


You can teach your dog a great many other useful tricks.  Here are details of the special methods used by a trainer who specializes in teaching dogs a variety of different tricks.


In Just 5 Minutes A Day, this trainer promises that  You Can teach your dog To...

Wake up the kids in the morning (or even a lazy partner)
Fetch the newspaper and the mail as you sit down for a cup of coffee
Opening and closing cupboard drawers as you're making breakfast
Look for the remote any time you lost it and want to switch on the TV
Open and close the doors as you walk through the house
Use his super-sensitive nose to find your lost keys whenever you're in a hurry...

On the set, this dog is being trained faster and more effectively with the "Shaping" technique used by Hollywood trainers.

And more. You can teach your dog almost anything...

IF you know how.

Have you ever heard of 'shaping'?

In Hollywood, dog trainers use this technique to get a dog to do almost anything. It works by starting with a small part of a trick (like "Touch the door handle") and then you teach him additional actions (Like "Pull it towards you", "Walk through the door", and "Pull it shut").

Step by step, you can teach him an entire sequence and learn him a simple command like "Open the door" to get him to open the door for you when your hands are full.

For more information about the methods used by this trainer click on the following site: