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If you're looking for new and fun tricks to add to your dog's training, don't miss out on "be sneaky." This little trick is an easy progression from sit and lay down. Not only is it good for your dog's obedience training, it's also great for conditioning as it asks him to crawl and move in ways that he doesn't usually move.
Continuing to challenge your dog with new tricks is important to strengthening your relationship and bond as he has to continue looking to you for the correct cues. It's also important to teach tricks to exercise his mind as well as his muscles. Teaching your dog to be sneaky is the perfect new trick to keep both of you happy and entertained.
Before you can teach your dog to be sneaky, make sure he can already sit and stay on command. Start by taking him through a local obedience training course. The trainers can give you a good foundation to start training and help you troubleshoot any problems that may come up.
You also want to make sure your dog is healthy enough to do the trick without pain. Certain dogs might be susceptible to hip problems, especially if they are older. If you think your dog might be in pain while trying this trick, stop immediately and take him to your vet to get checked out. Tricks are meant to be a fun game for your dog, not something that causes pain.
This trick is perfect in its simplicity. You don't need a lot of space or too many pieces of equipment to get started. Depending on other training you're working on and your goals, you can train this trick anywhere. When you're ready to begin, make sure you have a few items on hand.
- Training treats
- A short hurdle
- A leash
Read through the three methods below and choose the one that best fits you. With a little patience and consistency, you and your dog will have a fun new trick to share.
The Sneak Up On It Method
Start in a 'down'
Ask him to lie down.
Put a treat by his nose
Hold a treat out close to his nose, but far enough that he has to stretch to get it. Give him the treat.
Start to crawl
Next hold the treat out just a little further so he starts to pull himself forward with his front paws. This is his first crawl forward.
Move the treat
Very slowly move the treat further and further so he starts to sneak forward in a crawl.
Give it a name
Once he's consistently crawling forward, say "be sneaky" before you give him a treat.
When he knows the command, place the treat a foot in front of him and say "be sneaky" let him sneak up on the treat and enjoy his reward.
The Hurdle Method
Set up your space
Set up your training space and get your hurdle set at a hight your dog has to crawl under.
Ask for a 'lie down'
Ask your dog to lie down in front of the hurdle.
Offer the treat
Offer him the treat under the hurdle. Encourage him to crawl underneath it.
Add another hurdle
When he is comfortably crawling under one hurdle to get the treat, add another. If you want, you can even add a third.
Name the trick
Now that he's crawling successfully under the hurdles, name the trick by saying "be sneaky" right before you give him a treat.
Take away the hurdles
Try taking away the hurdles and asking him to "be sneaky." You can go back a step until he's ready.
The Sneaky Corner Method
Find a doorway
Start next to a doorway into a living room or kitchen.
Start with 'lie down'
Start a few feet back from the doorway and ask your dog to lie down.
Lure him with a treat
Start to lure him forward with a treat. Encourage him to crawl forward towards the doorway to get the treat.
Sneak around the doorway
Keep encouraging him to crawl forward with treats until he reaches the doorway and pokes his head around.
Name the trick
Keep practicing crawling through the doorway and say "be sneaky" before you give him a treat.
Phase out the treat
Once he's associated "be sneaky" with crawling through the doorway, you can phase out the treat. Practice giving the command while you are in the room and he is just outside, waiting to "sneak" in.
By Katie Smith
Published: 02/16/2018, edited: 01/08/2021