Thursday, March 13, 2014


Nobody has to teach a dog tricks or go the extra mile to explore new adventures. No one needs to get involved in agility or other activities with their dog.
After all, training is time-consuming, sometimes costly, and requires incredible  patience and understanding. But if you’ve chosen to go this extra mile,I know that your relationship with your dog is a special one. Your dog is a special gift to you, and you have chosen to give back to him.
As you progress in your training, you’ll find out more about your dog: how he thinks and what he likes. You’ll gain insight into the way your dog learns and better understand how to shape that learning process, from the length of the lessons to the various teaching approaches. You’ll discover how to reward and encourage your dog in fun, engaging, and constructive ways.
Why teach your dog to do tricks? After all, he’s not joining the circus anytime soon. The answer is simple: Most dogs will jump at the opportunity to perform for fun, praise, treats . . . almost anything! Dogs are active by nature and love to do stuff — just jiggle your car keys or utter the word W-A-L-K if you don’t believe me. Tricks give your dog the chance to release his inner,  audience-starved vaudevillian, expend pent-up energy, and use his innate dog
skills — jumping, barking, sock-stealing — in positive ways.
A well-trained dog also serves as an ambassador for us all. Whether you’re just clowning around in your living room or putting on an act at a local fair, the work and time you devote to your dog shines through wherever you take him. Sure, your dog may never star in a commercial or show off his routines at the local Elks Club, but that doesn’t rob you of one undeniable fact: If you love your dog, he’s a star. And the size of your star is not measured by how many people share your pride; it’s measured by you. When I listen to my friends and clients talk about their dogs, I feel the warmth in their hearts, and when I see the dog face-to-face, I already know that dog’s worth.

Copyright © Sarah Hodgson – Originally appeared in Dog Tricks and Agility for Dummies 2nd ed by Sarah Hodgson

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