10 fun dog tricks for beginners

Author picture Sharon

What tricks can I teach my dog?

Dog tricks are not only fun but a great way to bond and improve communication with your dog. As an added bonus, tricks are also a great way to entertain your family and friends. 

When training your dog, remember to be patient and to keep the sessions short and fun - your dog will learn better this way. 

Here are our 10 favourite dog tricks:

Dog trick #1 - Shake hands

Shake hands (or a paw shake!) is a popular dog trick and is usually the first trick most people teach their dogs. This is an easy trick to teach and most dogs pick it up really quickly.

Preview image for the video "How to Teach Your Dog to Shake Hands | Dog Tricks".

Dog trick #2 - Play dead

Playing dead or getting your dog to lie still on its side is another crowd favourite. If you are not a fan of guns, you can always use the cue ‘boo’ and pretend to be scaring your dog into a fainting position for this dog trick instead.

Preview image for the video "Teach Your Dog How to Play Dead - AKC Trick Dog".

Dog trick #3 - Roll over

Teaching your dog to roll over can be challenging for some dog more than others. It requires a high level of trust from your dog because rolling on to their back is a vulnerable position for a dog. So make sure you practise in a calm and safe environment and take your time with this dog trick.

Preview image for the video "Teach Your Dog to Roll Over".

Dog trick #4 - Spin

Teaching your dog how to spin is a cute and easy trick. Make sure you also teach your dog how to go the other way and use two seperate cues.

Preview image for the video "Teach your dog how to spin".

Dog trick #5 - Sit pretty

Getting your dog to sit pretty or sit upright can physically be quite strenuous for them. Some dogs naturally have strong core muscles so the sit pretty trick will happen easily for them. Other dogs may need more time to develop the core muscles needed for this trick. So keep the sessions short and be patient.

Preview image for the video "Teach Sit Pretty".

Dog trick #6 - Walk backwards (reverse)

The reverse dog trick is a practical trick to teach your dog. It can help get your dog out of tight situations or even away from you if you need space to move around.

Preview image for the video "Dog Tricks: Walk Backwards On Command".

Dog trick #7 - Bow

While this dog trick might not have a practical purpose, teaching your dog how to bow is a nice crowd pleaser. It’s an action that all dogs do naturally so the trick will happen quite easily for most dogs.

Preview image for the video "How to teach BOW  - Dog Tricks tutorial".

Dog trick #8 - Go around an object

Teaching your dog to go around an object is another trick that is also practical in real life situations. Now you can easily untangle your leash from around a pole or tree by asking your dog to go around the opposite direction instead of reaching around the object yourself!

Preview image for the video "Teach your dog to 'go around an object' (barrel racing)".

Dog trick #9 - Catch a treat

This trick is a fun way to bond with your dog. Some dogs will catch a treat naturally, while others might need some extra lessons. Teaching your dog how to catch a treat is also a great way to train your dog to maintain focus on you in the face of distractions.

Preview image for the video "Teaching a dog to catch treats".

Dog trick #10 - Get a tissue when you sneeze

This is a challenging dog trick and will take some time to master, but it is an impressive one! Take your time with this trick as there are a couple of different parts that need to be trained so it can be really difficult for beginners. However, if you break it down and practise each step for a couple of minutes each day, you and your dog will master the get a tissue trick in no time.

Preview image for the video "Teach your dog how to get a tissue".

With such a fun list of tricks, we bet you can’t wait to get started with trick training your dog! If you are a beginner, start with some of the easier tricks. This will get you comfortable with communicating with your dog and make things much easier when you move on to more complex tricks.