Teaching your dog tricks stimulates his mind, increases its ability to analyze information, all the while giving you more knowledge of how your dog's brain works. Additionally, teaching your dog tricks is a fun way to spend quality time with your dog, which then creates a closer bond between you and your dog.
Did you know that your dog is capable of learning hundreds of words and loads of tricks as long as you apply patience and consistent training?
For example, in the following trick called "find the object", your dog will learn how to identify a toy or a particular item by its name from a group of items.
It's a very entertaining game that will widen his vocabulary and activate his thinking process, all the while, strengthening your bond.
To start, line up several different objects on the floor or a low table and ask your dog to find a specific one. If you have the time and the patience, there is no limit to the amount of tricks you can your dog!
Start with an item that he's already familiar with, such as his food dish or his favorite ball - whatever that may be. Place that object in an obvious area right next to two other unfamiliar, non-fascinating objects, such as a book or a small piece of wood.
Then, point to all the items on the floor or the table and command your German Shepherd to "find the dish" or "find the ball", etc. As soon as your dog picks up the right object, praise him by petting him vigorously and perhaps giving him a treat.
If he knows how to fetch, use the fetch command and have him bring the dish, ball, etc. and lay it down next to you.
Important: do not put the treat on the dish that he just brought to you (if that is the item you asked for) because that will encourage him to only pick the dish from the group of objects that you laid out for him.
Next, place another item on the pile, one whose name is also familiar to your dog (such as a ball, etc.). Tell him to find that item and then go back and forth between the second object (the ball) and the first one.
Don't scold him if he picks the wrong item, and don't acknowledge it, either. Just keep saying the command "find the ___". Once he has mastered the game, do a more advanced variation of the game, where objects are placed in different locations and then tell him to find it.
What wise guy said you can't teach an old dog new tricks? This is completely wrong! The only problem is that people don't take the time or have the patience to teach their dog some new dog tricks!
"Flatterers look like friends, as wolves like dogs." - George Chapman
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