Everyone had that one friend when they were younger who had an adorable and funny dog. Your friend could have him roll over, play hide and seek or bark on command. Now your kids are growing up and they’re dead set on getting your family dog up to the same entertaining standard. One such trick that is guaranteed to leave your kids laughing and their friends keen to come over is if your dog can balance a treat on his nose.
This is a fun trick to teach him and it also comes with added bonuses. If you have a highly active and energetic dog, this is a good way to help him blow off steam and see to it that he spends more time napping and less time tearing around the house. Teaching him obedience commands like this will also make teaching him other tricks and commands easier too.
Now as you can probably imagine getting him to leave a delicious and tasty treat on his nose isn’t going to be all plain sailing. It will require rigorous obedience training to ensure he balances the treat on his nose and doesn’t just eat it in a split second. While it may be challenging, younger dogs who are receptive could pick it up in just a few days or a week. If your canine pal is older and not quite the quick learner he was in his youth, then it may take a couple of weeks.
It may initially seem like just a bit of fun, but training him to perform tricks like this will keep his mind active and productive, plus it will make training him to heel or not bark at strangers more straightforward too.
Before you turn your pooch into the latest member of a circus, you’ll need several things. Treats or his favorite food broken down into small chunks will be the most essential component. So whether it’s cheese or chicken, stock up!
You’ll also need a quiet space, away from distractions such as noisy kids. Ten minutes each day will also need to be set aside for training until he has the hang of it.
Once you have all of the above, just bring some patience and an optimistic attitude and you’re ready to begin!
when trying to get any kind of treat near his nose, he ends up nipping or biting. it's hard not to negatively react, unsure how to go forward. he's not aggressive but insanely food motivated and hyper, so sitting still for any amount is a challenge.
Hello Jessica, I suggest doing it a slightly different way. Start by teaching a dog to "Watch Me", holding the treat beside your eye, and praising and giving the treat when your dog makes eye contact. Gradually wait until your dog maintains that eye contact for longer before praising and giving the treat, then remove the treat from your hand and pretend to hold it still, tell your dog to "Watch Me", then praise and give a treat from behind your back. When he can watch you without looking at the treat, but just looking at your finger pointing at your eye and eyes, then command "Watch Me" while working toward slowly setting something small, that's not food, on your dog's nose to balance. Practice this with the non-food object until your dog can balance that, keep their focus on you, and you don't even have to point to your eye but simply can say "Watch Me". When your dog gets to that point, then switch the object out for a piece of dog food (not something super smelly). If your dog struggles at this point, then tell them "Ah Ah" when they try to mouth and cup your hand under their chin to guide them. Use the guidance with your hand on their chin and a little more firmness until they start fighting less, at which point you can phase holding the chin out. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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