How to train a dog for Christmas

How to train a dog for Christmas
    How to train a dog for Christmas
    This Christmas, SUE WILLIAMS is teaching her dog some new party tricks to make present-giving even more fun...
    With Christmas just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to teach your dog some cool new festive tricks. Not only will these wow your friends and family but teaching your dog something new will mentally challenge him and improve your training skills too. This Christmas, I am teaching my dog, Kali, how to give out presents. Although this trick sounds easy, it is actually a relatively complicated chain of behaviors that each need to be taught separately before being linked together.

    Step 1 Hold it!
    It is best to choose something your dog likes – in Kali’s case, it’s a ball. As I am going to attach the item she learns to hold in her mouth to a present, I put the ball within a sock and then tie a knot to stop it from falling out. I can later use the empty end to tie on to the present.
    How to train a dog for Christmas

    First, I play with Kali, using the sock with the ball in. This ensures she feels happy holding it in her mouth. Once she is confidently carrying it around, I teach her to hold on to it in a calmer manner. I start by having her sit in front of me and I offer it to her. As soon as she takes it, I verbally reward her. Initially, I do this for a short time, building up the duration gradually.

    Step 2 - Hold and move
    Having asked Kali to hold the article, I move backward, encouraging her to come towards me. I reward her for her efforts verbally and by giving her a fuss.
    How to train a dog for Christmas

    Step 3 Larrying a present
    I have found that the easiest present to carry initially is one in a gift bag. Don’t practice with a real gift and definitely not something breakable, as you will most likely find that your dog drops the bag a few times before getting the idea. Using a gift bag easily allows me to tie my article to it. It is also not too cumbersome for her to carry. I start by teaching her to hold it while standing still, as in step 1.
    How to train a dog for Christmas

    Once Kali is doing this confidently, I progress to her moving with it in her mouth. She found this a little strange to start with, but quickly realized it was not a problem. It is important to help your dog by encouraging him verbally and rewarding him for trying.

    Ste 4 - Gift delivery
    For this part, I enlist the help of our apprentice, Jordan. With Jordan sat in a chair a short distance from me, I give Kali the gift and once she is holding it, I ask her to go to him. Jordan helps her initially by encouraging her.

    Ste 5 - Giving the present
    The last part is to teach Kali to sit in front of someone while they take the gift. I get Jordan to ask Kali to sit – a command she understands – and once she gives him the present, she is rewarded. With practice, Kali will be impressing my family this Christmas and to totally bowl them over, I have been teaching her to bow, too.
    How to train a dog for Christmas

    How to train a dog for Christmas

    Teaching a bow
    • I start with Kali in a stand next to me.
    • I use a treat in my right hand, which I place in front of her nose, and use it as a lure, moving it downwards between her front legs.  is will result in her going into a down.
    • To keep her back legs in the correct position, I use my left arm to support them.
    • With practice, Kali learns to maintain the bow position unaided.
    • I then progress to where I am stood in front of her and finally, to the level where I am a distance from her.

    @Posted by
    writer and blogger, founder of Our Dogs Are Loved .

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