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The best dog trick ever!

What’s the best trick you can teach your dog? Shake hands?  Dance?  Weave?  Fetch the paper?

Play Dead always goes over big in class.    Fun!   Army crawl, another cute one!

I think the best trick ever though is come when you are called.

What? You don’t think that’s a trick?  Why not?  I think it is.  It amazes me every time when I yell ‘dogs, come’ and they do!  Wow, what power I have!  I’m stronger than the frisky squirrel, more interesting than the neighbor’s  dog, more powerful than the pull of the stray cat running by!   My dogs come when they are called!

Did I hear my name?

Did I hear my name?

And you know why?  I taught them that.   Oh yeah, what a cool trick!

And every time they come, they get rewarded for it.   It doesn’t matter what they were doing, or how irked I might be at them, or if they took one last run at the squirrel teasing them on the high wire.  As soon as they get to me, its a good thing!  Praise and treats and love all around!

If you get your puppy as a baby, start day one.  Face him, take a step back, and they will usually follow you, ‘puppy, come’    Yay!

Same thing with your older dog.  If  you’re unsure if he will follow you, then hold out a yummy.  “Dog, come”   treat in mouth, good job dog!

When you are in the house, call the puppy just because.  Not always because you’re going anywhere, or need him or anything, but just because.   When I get a new one, I  count out about 25 to 30 treats and put them in a cup on the counter.  I try to call my dog that many times a day for a while.   Just from across the room, or down the hall or from one step away.  This does 2 things – teaches puppy his name, and that coming to you is fun!  We like fun, dogs like fun – fun for everyone!

But are you more exciting than dirty dishes?

But are you more exciting than dirty dishes?

If there are two of you, puppy ping pong is a great game.  Sit or stand across the room, and take turns calling puppy back and forth.    Bonus to this one, it wears him out.   We love tired dogs!

And if you don’t think this is worth doing, remember that when your dog slips his collar, or  the kid opens the door and accidently lets dog out,  or he digs  under the fence and is running merrily down the road away from you.

When he turns around and arrives safely in your arms, I guarantee you will be thinking Best Trick Ever.

Did the ‘come’ trick help recover your dog?  Share your story here!

Visit the Cresteds at www.longroadkennel.com

Pick a Spot, Any Spot!

Your Saturday Quick Tip:


When you bring your new puppy or dog home, besides the crate where he sleeps, its often handy to have a ‘spot’ for them.   One in the tv room or kitchen or wherever you hang out the most.   A bed or a towel or blanket will work for this.   Make sure treats are dispensed from his spot.   Surprise!  Its a chewy, or new toy or yummy treat!  And do it often for a while.   Name it  – spot, place, bed – whatever,  so the dog understands it.

Later this will come in very handy when the doorbell rings or company comes over that doesn’t want puppy all over them.   “Go to your spot!”

Yeah, I picked this spot.  Got a problem with that?

Yeah, I picked this spot. Got a problem with that?

Yeah, You gotta go, too

One aspect of housebreaking that people often shirk on is going with your dog.  Not literally!   Why would your mind go there?  No, this is not that kind of blog!

But when you’re first housebreaking, you have to go outside with your dog.  Yes, even if you have a fence.  Yes, even if your other dog goes at the same time.   Yes, if you want the quickest and fastest way to housebreak, you go too.

You walk them to the same spot, take the same path and worry about the grass being trampled away later.  You have them on a leash and you stand there and wait.   I encourage them  ’hurry up!’  because, you know, its kinda boring. LALALALA  and you really can’t even bring your Kindle out with you because I always seem to end up housebreaking in the dead of winter with lovely sleet and snow accompaniment.


When they go, you reward them verbally and with a tiny treat that you have hidden in your pocket.   This reinforces,’ yeah, that’s what she wants and this is where she wants it!  How clever am I!’   Smart things our dogs.

Then, if you have that fenced yard, you can unleash them and let them run around and have fun and you can go back inside.  If not, you can take them for their walk or play with them or whatever you want.  You need to do something though, for at least another minute, or they will realize “As soon as I go, I go back in the house” when what you want them to think is, “I want to hurry up and do this so I can get a treat and have some fun!”   And sometimes they do go twice….

And sometimes we pretend we don't have to go at all!

And sometimes we pretend we don’t have to go at all!

Now, how long do you have to do this?   Beats me, its your dog.   Some (labs etc) you can do it a few days and they will mostly ‘have’ it.   Others (yorkies, maltese, etc) it might take, oh, lets say - longer.  No need to scare people.

Another reason you need to go out with your dog, is if you ‘send’ them out, alone, they might go, but what they learned was ‘I do this away from my folks and under the dining room table is a good away spot and much faster to get to than outside!’   Not my idea of a good time at supper.  Your milage may vary however.

It won’t last forever though – after all, while I promise you that someone did earlier in your life (go thank your mom) –  how long has it been since anyone accompanied you to the bathroom and danced and clapped and gave you treats?  See?  All things come to pass.  Really.

Check out the available puppies and dogs at www.longroadkennel.com




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