Silly dog trainer, tricks are for kids
“Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won’t
buy the wag of his tail.”
– Henry Wheeler Shaw
Jenna was a sweet, shy border collie mix that had
recently been adopted by a very nice family.
They had called me in because Jenna was very shy
and nervous around kids and stangers. They were
not sure if they were going to keep her because
she would not allow the children to come too close.
She was in no way aggressive, just very nervous
and would try to run away.
I went to their house on a Saturday afternoon to
We did not know her background, but you would guess
that she did not have the best upbringing. The shelter
had found her roaming the streets of Newport, RI and
had no idea who the owner was.
I spent a few minutes with Jenna and then turned to
the owners and asked for some treats. The father of
the house was excited to get started on obedience
training and asked what command we were going to
start with first.
When I informed him that we were going to teach his
new family member some tricks I could see the slight
look of disbelief on his face.
“Tricks?” he asked.
I asked him to trust me and that it would all make sense
in a little while.
We then spent an hour teaching Jenna to give paw, wave,
sit pretty and roll over.
I asked them to practice and informed them that I would
be back next week. I also asked them to have their kids
their with some friends. With a puzzeld look on their
faces, they agreed.
The following week they had done their homework and the
kids were there.
I asked all of them to sit around and watch mom and dad
do a training session with me. Every time Jenna did any
trick all the kids would start to clap and cheer for
Within minutes they wanted to help out.
I asked the owners to do tricks everytime someone comes
over the house. I added that doing tricks is fun, and
strangers to Jenna will have the same response to her
that the kids had.
Within a few weeks Jenna was a differnt dog. They kept
teaching her more and more tricks and her confidence
contiuned to improve.
The last time I saw her, she was a much more confident,
Teaching your dog tricks is one of the best ways to build
confidence and bond with your dog. Trick training is much
more positive than obedience training and everyone loves
to watch your dog do a trick.
Here is a video that I did on teaching your dog to do the
roll over trick.
All the best,