Dog Tricks with Multiple Uses and Competition

the crawl tunnelThere are lots of tricks you can teach your dog that have multiple uses, but these are some of our favorites.

For those of you with a crawl space under your house or porch, you may find the crawl and pull trick handy should you ever need to run cords under them as in this story. One time I had to pass a long extension cord under my front porch.  The porch was long and fully enclosed.  I hated the thought of crawling under there with all the spiders!   Then I remembered that my dog knew how to crawl, and pull.   I then had her take the cord in her mouth and asked her to crawl. There was someone on the other end of the porch calling out ‘pull!’ This was quite a feat for my dog to be obeying two commands at once, but she did it!  You can imagine how proud I was of her, and how glad that I didn’t have to crawl in that dark space myself!

No longer offered by the UKC, the crawl command is still a fun obstacle for play days and fun with your dog. The crawl command can be taught different ways, but one of the easiest is with the use of the Crawl Tunnel. Start with the roof high, lowering it only when your dog is confident at each level until you reach the desired height. You can even have your dog fetch your slippers under the bed.

Teaching the pull command can be done by placing the verbal cue when your dog pulls say on a tug toy, rewarding for every good pull. Then ask your dog to pull different objects. Be sure to add length of time on each pull by rewarding for longer pulls.

You may have seen dog shows where the dog jumps into or out of windows, well it is another fun trick that can help you get your dog into the car, provided you don’t mind the claw marks. We do not advocate jumping into or out of a house window as they are too high and most movies use editing for those scenes. It is also an obstacle you can come across in some dog agility venues called the window.

Window hurdleSo all you need to safely teach this trick to your dog is the window hurdle.  Start low so your dog can see the other side. Most refusals on the window, much like a plank jump, is due to the fact that the dog cannot see where they are landing. Be sure to get your dog confident before raising the height of the window. Also be sure to proof your window by moving it to new locations, start low and build up again. Soon you will have a window jumping pro ready for competition or loading up into the car.

Do you have a favorite trick with multiple uses or a story about one you use with your dog to help make your life easier? We would love to hear them!